Programming Note: I’m All Over the DMN Place This Week

In a rare down moment late last week I dashed off a quick comment on the Dallas Morning NewsGap blog. (It’s a blog about the divide between North and South Dallas, not about the place you can buy stuff to send me as presents.)

That posting prompted Sharon Grigsby, the ViewPoints editor, to have me write a column that’s going to run in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News. Also, it prompted three letters to the editor that will run in tomorrow’s issue, where some folks take issue with what I had to say.

UPDATE: The discussion in this thread got sidetracked. This is one of those rare times I want to talk seriously about an issue and have people throw in their two cents, so the main unrelated comments not on topic have been removed. This includes my own comments. We’ll have that discussion another day.


  1. Dave says:

    It’s still all about you, isn’t it, buddyboy. I suppose since you’re no longer on Harlan’s payroll, you have to prop yourself up SOMEhow. What the hell have you actually done to make our city a better place … other than yammer. Bored with you. Next!

  2. Trey Garrison says:

    Is it all about me?

    Did you notice the name of the blog?

  3. Bethany says:

    I think he was expecting it to be about Dave. Can you make one called

  4. bring on the snark says:

    Well, I read all of it… Of the posted links, I am most impressed by the letter to the editor from Ms. Ashley Rusell of Mesquite, who graduated in the top 40% of her high school class. And she didn’t need a man around to do that, let me tell you.

  5. Bob says:

    Here’s your chance to spread the ‘libertarian’ gun gospel, Tres. If everyone was packing heat down there in the ghetto, none of this would have happened. Maybe you and the libs could start a ‘guns for goons’ program to get a gun into the hands of every South Dallas Sagger amd welfare mom. Maybe the DMN could help by putting a coupon in Al Dia and Briefing redeemable at the local gun shop for used Glock.

  6. Bob says:

    Spread some rational fear today!

  7. Rawlins Gilliland says:

    Frankly, I expect to appreciate much of what you say in your column on Sunday regarding the role that men have in a boy’s life or not….. For instance, one of the reasons I grew up with a different world view of women than most men was not only because I had a brilliant activist mother. I also had a father who respected my mother’s ambitions and loved her for who and what she was rathher than what he expected her to be.

    I thought the original post on the DMN blog southern Dallas was thoughtful and had depth. I look forward to reading it.. (With or without aspirin.)

  8. Bob says:

    This idea of black males needing fathers/role models is nothing new. You’re recycling material that Bill Cosby wore out years ago. When are you going to have an original idea?

  9. Jen says:

    I thought it was a good post Trey, but then again I don’t think I’ve ever disagree with you. :)

    Bob, why do you want to spew so much hate. It’s not healthy to hate so much man.

  10. Bob says:

    “Bob, why do you want to spew so much hate. It’s not healthy to hate so much man.”

    It’s the TSA thugs. Those groping, dirty apes. With hollow chests. They make me hate. I want to teach them to fear my guns.

  11. keith johnson says:

    Left in SD to fend for himself, how long would it take before “Bob” calls Trey asking to borrow his gun?

  12. Tom says:

    I don’t think Trey’s love affair with guns and individual rights is the focus here. Boys need positive male role models, whether they are a father, stepfather, grandfather, uncle, cousin, older brother, teacher, coach, or a volunteer.
    I’ve been active in Big Brothers Big Sisters for four years. Our local chapter has been working recently to find Big Brothers and mentors for boys in South Dallas and Oak Cliff.
    Because most “Bigs” and “Littles” are matched within a 5-mile radius of one another, there’s a stronger need for mentors in those areas.
    But that doesn’t mean you need to live south of I-30 to volunteer. It takes just a few hours a month to make a difference in a young person’s life. You can learn more about the program at

  13. Rawlins 'mongoose' Gilliland says:

    C’mon. This reminds me of the time…on this blog actually….when the column was debated and snarled over before it ever went to print…based on the promo.

    I know that guns are a touchy subject. And I have some strong reactions regarding. But the subject is a losing battle whenever it is tackled, and to Tom’s point…is NOT what this column is about. If I thought the only thing that makes Trey tick was a trigger, I’d hardly respect his work. On the other hand, I’m the man who found him the six-shooter lapel pin destined to be his signature accessory. So gimme five!

    Meanwhile, let’s avoid another lengthy debate about guns and in the (I believe) spirit of the moment, respect the issue of valid role models….be they fathers or mentors or whoever…who instills in boys a better image concept of what manhood is. Believe me when I say I know this turf, working with at-risk teens. Trust me. I have done things and gone places and experienced things in my lifetime that would have made most of the big-assed son of a bitch loud mouth ‘he-men’ cry for their mamas. And I never used a gun. Or lost a fight. Note: my front left tooth was knocked when I was jumped in a knife fight in Istanbul in 1973.

    Remember, the cobra may look omnipotent but the seemingly innocuous mongoose inevitably wins.

    Looking forward to reading this column, Trey.

  14. Meanwhile, slightly back to topic (and forgive the mutual admiration society vibe) but Rawlins Gilliland is a man I consider a role model for men and boys, because he’s fearless, honest, thoughtful, and he has both a sense of perspective and a sense of humor. The guy absolutely lives the word respect — both for himself and for others, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with him. He’s open-minded, gracious, and chivalrous. Any boy would be lucky to have him as a role model, father or father figure. And in large part, that’s what my Sunday column goes to.

  15. Daniel says:

    It’s not healthy to hate so much man.

    Put differently: Trey is too much man for you to hate, if you expect to receive the blessings of good health.

    Left in SD to fend for himself, how long would it take before “Bob” calls Trey asking to borrow his gun?

    It’d be too late in any event. In South Dakota, they put bastards like him through a wood-chipper.

    Oh, yeah, back to the original subject of this thread: Guns. Bob, you haven’t lived until you’ve gone out to the country loaded to the gills on good clean LSD and shot guns: 357s, 44s, 38s, a 9-millimeter, couple of shotguns, I don’t know what-all. It’s like, I don’t know, a huge ripping tear in reality or something and then everything pours back in to fill it again, and it’s exactly the same, but different every time. Like it’s reinventing itself second-by-second, but using the same forms, which are made of Pure Mind and so are kind of subconsciously collectively agreed on, but it’s malleable. Mister, I’m here to tell you it’s malleable. I mean, you know?

    So now that I’ve weighed in on the subject of guns — Tom, where do I sign up to become a Big Brother?

  16. Daniel — dude — we weren’t in the woods and shooting when we tripped.

    We were walking through Six Flags. You must have had too much.

  17. Tom says:

    Trey will be happy to know that there’s a rifle and archery program sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters. It was started by a Big Brother from Fort Worth. They have several outings a year and a clay shoot fundraiser.
    All the info is at

  18. Daniel says:

    (grimly introspective)

  19. Late to this debate. Damn this pesky day job!

    First, kudos to Tom for bringing a problem-solving comment to this discussion.

    Den’Neicia Bowens of Dallas wrote in her DMN letter to the editor this morning that she appreciates Trey’s point of the importance of a father in the household. But she claims her neighborhood is different: “Even though most of my male friends who live in my neighborhood don’t have fathers, none of them is violent. They are honest, self-respectful, self-reliant, humble, graceful, in college, serving their country … And the majority was raised by a mother or grandmother.”

    I’d love to visit that neighborhood! Den’Neicia, if you happen to see this entry, let us hear from you.

    Trey’s commentary this Sunday in Points will offer some hard and fast numbers on the correlation between crime and single-parent households. I won’t steal his thunder pre-publication, but I will say he makes a powerful argument.

    For today, I’ll go personal: No one’s more egotistical about their mothering skills than Super-(Kool-Aid)-Mom me. But with our two sons now 21 and 19, I know without a doubt that there are lessons their father taught them that I was not equipped to teach. And there was role-modeling he did day in and day out that molded them. Denying the differences between moms and dads — and how we influence our children — undercuts our significance in their lives.

    Can a mother do a good job raising a son without a father? Certainly, but often that’s because of the smart help she seeks out — friends, relatives, ministers, teachers, Big Brothers. But when so many young men grow up without fathers in a concentrated area, things usually don’t turn out as they did in Den’Neicia’s neighborhood. Instead, the culture of disrespect starts brewing. And the tragedy is that the young men who steep in that culture so often become the perps and the victims.

  20. Rawlins Gilliland says:

    Knowing Sharon since she is also my editor, I am sure that Trey would agree with me that she could probably train squid to dance, let alone raise wonderful children under many circumstances.

    That said, another organization to consider supporting as well as Big Brothers is Youth Conflict Resolution Center. I have volunteered with them for years, mentoring and speaking in regular workshops. Lately on Saturdays at the MLK Library on MLK in South Dallas near Fair Park. Spearheaded by Diana Clark, a fearless and tireless social working woman now joined by her daughter Andrea in conjunction with Mediation Services and the Dallas court judges.

    Everyone needs positive role models. Be one. -

  21. amanda says:

    Rawlins, and Tom…thanks for solutions.