The City Council voted to immediately remove the Robert E. Lee statue in Oak Lawn, but over a week later, it still stands. It looks like Dallas and the statue might need more than counseling after all. The city may be dealing with a curse, and might need a municipal exorcism.
As City Council nearly unanimously (Sandy Greyson said Far North Dallas liked the statue, even though they live closer to the Mason Dixon than the rest of us) to take down the statue, the ghosts of racist past began to do their work. First, the drilling and pulling wasn’t having much of an effect. Next, workers found out that the crane wasn’t big enough. Somehow, no one measured the statue. Bureaucratic oversight or the work of an adept apparition?
Tragedy struck the statue drama just a few days after the crane snafu. For some reason (maybe Hurricane Harvey clean up, but did they need ALL of the City of Dallas’ cranes?), there were no cranes in Dallas, and one had to be driven up from the Bayou City. An 18-wheeler ran through a light and collided with the crane that was destined to take down the statue, killing the driver of the semi truck.
The smarmy specter is not done yet. According to City Manager T.C. Broadnax, the combination of busy construction schedules and threats to crane companies from Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists who have been gathering at the Lee statue have made it difficult to find a crane company willing to take it down. Workers in New Orleans and at the University of Texas resorted to taking down Confederate monuments under the cover of night for the same reasons.
As usual, Dallas isn’t exactly leading the pack when it comes to rectifying the evils of its Confederate and Jim Crow past, and a festering phantom is now inhabiting the statue, protecting it from progressives everywhere.