DPJC In The News
OnLine News Reports:
Religion News Service: "Discriminated against after the death of her child, the Lakota Sioux leader realized that Native Americans have to stand up and be counted."
September 27, 2022
By Benjamin Spratt, Joshua Stanton
From the story:
(RNS) — The destruction of Native American lives, cultures, languages and traditions is a scar on American history that disrupts simplistic narratives of American democratic ideals and exceptionalism. The numbers alone are shocking: The Native American population, about 10 million when European colonialists reached the United States, plummeted due to disease, murderous policies and forced assimilation to less than 300,000 by 1900.
Until 1960, the Native American population recovered only slowly, as high birth rates were undercut by high rates of mortality, the latter a symptom of continued oppression. Since then, however, the Native American population has grown rapidly, especially over the past decade.
As they increase in number, many Native Americans and those of mixed Native and European and African ancestry are reclaiming their heritage, notably spiritual rites, rituals and traditions. These practices, filled with linguistic, social, gustatory and historical significance, have been pursued in part as a search for self and story.
Yolonda Blue Horse’s search began after she experienced a devastating loss and nearly lost the right to raise her children.
Blue Horse and her husband had moved to the Dallas area in 2000 after her then-husband was serving in the United States military and was transferred to Fort Hood. (Blue Horse had also served in the military but had been discharged by this time.) Blue Horse had arranged for a neighbor to watch one of her three children so that she could go to work during the day.
A few weeks later, she got a call from a hospital explaining that her daughter had died. Rather than investigating her neighbor, however, law enforcement and Child Protective Services investigated Blue Horse and her husband. CPS removed their other two children from their care for more than a year, raising the specter that, in addition to suffering the loss of one child, they would lose all three.
Read the complete Religion News Service article here:
Dallas Morning News: "Number of teen migrants rises at Dallas emergency shelter as volunteers step up to help"
DPJC Board Member, Yolanda Blue Horse, photographed at the rally held on Tuesday, March 23rd, standing in solidarity with the unaccompanied minors now housed at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. (Photo: Lola Gomez / The Dallas Morning News)
From the story:
By Dianne Solis
7:15 PM on Mar 23, 2021
About 1,750 boys are now being held at the emergency migrant shelter at the Dallas convention center, and volunteers say they’re doing well and seem to be relieved to be in their care.
“The kids are safe, they are dry and they are fed,” said Dave Woodyard, the CEO of Catholic Charities of Dallas, which is helping organize volunteers. “They are on a path to get reunited or into a permanent shelter and having a much better life ahead of them.”
Most of the teenagers are from Central America, sent to the hastily prepared “decompression center” from overcrowded federal facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border. As many as 2,300 are expected at Dallas’ Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, and it is only one of a handful of shelters being opened to handle the overflow.
Read the Dallas Morning News article here:
CBSDFW.com: "Dallas Rally, Vigil Held to Denounce Racism And Attacks On Asian Residents"
By: Erin Jones March 21, 2021
From the story:
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – 'The Atlanta spa shootings have shined a light on anti-Asian hate, and in the last week, more reports of hate speech and crimes have surfaced.
At Dealey Plaza, the Dallas Peace and Justice Center and more than a dozen other nonprofits hosted a rally and candlelight vigil denouncing racism and attacks on Asian Americans, as well as honoring the victims of the Atlanta spa attacks.
“We thought it would be supporting the Asian community to put together an event like this and to show them that we’re here to support you,” Dallas Peace and Justice Center board member Yolanda Bluehorse said.
“There needs to be more of us that actually can be heard — you know be seen – say this makes us angry and this has to stop,” Gaban said.
They’re creating awareness and conversations while pushing for change.
“I think love is a cure and we just need to be heard,” Dallas American Asian Culture Center co-founder Jed Anantasomboon said.
“I just want people to be aware that we have hearts, we have feelings, please don’t treat us with hate,” Meng said.'
View the complete story and video on the CBS Website:
WFAA: 'What they did to him was injustice'
Dallas Peace and Justice Center Executive Director Hadi Jawad was included in WFAA's reporting on the 47th anniversary observances of the murder of Santos Rodriguez.
By: Kevin Reece July 14, 2020
From the story:
'Santos Rodriguez. It's a name the City of Dallas should never forget. Forty-seven years ago, a Dallas police officer played a game of Russian roulette with an innocent child and murdered him.
Nearly 50 years later, neither Santos' mother nor brother has recovered.
"He meant everything to me. He was my son. What they did to him was an injustice," Bessie Rodriguez said.
Bessie hates having to relive what happened to her son. The brutal murder of 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez in 1973, at the hands of a Dallas police Officer Darrell Cain sparked outrage and protests in the streets of downtown Dallas. Similar cries for justice we are hearing on the same streets nearly 50 years later.
"My boys didn't have a chance," said Bessie.
Not a day goes by that she doesn't think about her son and the way he died. "He had that gun right there near his temple so he kept telling him if he didn't tell the truth he was gonna shoot him," she said. In the middle of the night on July 24, 1973, Santos and his brother were taken from their home, handcuffed, and put inside a patrol car. Two Dallas police officers accused them of stealing $8 from a cigarette machine at a nearby gas station. While trying to force a confession, Cain pointed his police pistol at Santos' head and pulled the trigger, murdering him.
Cain was found guilty of murder and served only 2 and a half years of his 5-year sentence. "He just got away with it," said Bessie.
Bessie and her son David, who was 13 years old when he witnessed the brutal murder of his brother, feel like they have been treated more as a nuisance than as loved ones who are still suffering.
Hadi Jawad, Executive Director of the Dallas Peace and Justice Center says both mother and son need help. "His brother David who was in the police car when Santos was killed is psychologically damaged. He has had no help over these years," said Jawad.
In fact, for decades Dallas didn't even address the family's pain until the mayor publically apologized in 2013. "It took us 40 years to get an apology from the mayor of Dallas to his mother," said Jawad, who has worked with local leaders for years to try to help Santos' now 75-year-old mother. Bessie says she and David feel forgotten. "We just have struggled. He (David) needs help. He needs to see a doctor," she said.
Jawad says the City can only change its future by remembering the sins of its past and present. "Dallas has got a very dark history and for many years it has been trying to run away from this dark history." "It's a significant story and Dallas must learn to embrace the story of Santos Rodriguez," he said.
Last year, the community center at Pike Park in Uptown Dallas where Santos used to play was renamed after him. The City of Dallas plans on unveiling this memorial statue in Pike Park next year along with renovating the building. Current city leaders are trying to do what's right because it's never too late to right a wrong.
"He was special. While I can, I will still go to the cemetery take him flowers and pray for him. I have gone all these years," Bessie says. She still visits her son's grave every month. She wants to believe what happened to Santos won't happen again, but she has lived long enough to know otherwise. "Santos ain't the first and I don't think he'll be the last," she said. Bessie says before long she'll be gone and doesn't want what happened to Santos to be forgotten.
"I don't want them to forget the injustice."
Cain died last year in Lubbock. Missing in his obituary, was any mention that he was ever a Dallas police officer. WFAA reached out to his family and spoke with them about this story. They declined to do an on-camera interview.'
View the complete story and several videos on the WFAA Website:
WFAA: Emboldened by NFL mascot decision, activists ask Texas high schools to do the same
Dallas Peace and Justice Center Executive Board Member Yolonda BlueHorse and DPJC friend Arthur Red Cloud are interviewed in this piece. We thank them both for their dedication and tenacity in fighting for equity and respect for all peoples!
By: Kevin Reece July 14, 2020
From the story:
"I think it would do, not just justice, but it would do us right," said Arthur Red Cloud of Society of Native Nations. "And we haven't had right for a long time."
DALLAS — The decision by the NFL's Washington, D.C. franchise to finally retire its nickname and mascot, that Native American groups have complained about as racist for decades, has north Texas advocates hopeful that high schools will strongly consider doing the same.
"A few days of happiness and joy and it's like yes, finally, finally," Native American activist Yolanda Blue Horse said of the NFL team's decision.
"What a lot of people don't understand is that R-word for us, it's equivalent to the N-word," she said.
But she said one fight partially won leads to so many more.
Years ago, along with students and with the support of the Society of Native Nations, she implored the leaders of Keller Independent School District to retire the Keller High School's "Indians" mascot and logo.
The logo pictures an Indian chief in a head dress. The drill team, called the Indiannettes and its team members in Native-American inspired outfits, is one depiction she found particularly offensive.
"We're not characters. We are a race of people," Blue Horse said.
She is originally from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota.
"They're teaching non-native kids that it's OK to dress up like another race of people. It's OK to put on a head dress and do this 'oooh oooh oooh'," she said placing her hand over her mouth. "And we don't do any of that. What they're teaching kids in that school district is wrong."
But a petition to change the mascot three years ago went nowhere. The community and school district stood fast.
Now, however, emboldened by the current environment of protest and change, a north Texas college student started a petition drive again. So far, it has drawn nearly 24,000 signatures of support.
"2020 is the year of like social justice, I was like we can do this. We can finally change this," said Haven Gonzales, a college student in Austin.
She attended Birdville High School and said she was always bothered by the imagery, logo, and costumes at competing athletic games.
"I was like, this is it. People want change. People are demanding change. We're not going to settle for like the way that it's always been."
There is also a competing petition drive to keep the Indian mascot. The petition author, whom WFAA was unable to reach for comment, wrote "our mascot honors Indians and there (sic) traditions..."
In an statement to WFAA, a Keller ISD spokesperson said, "the district is aware of the survey, and as always, will review any material provided by those who are seeking change as well as from those who wish to keep it the same. The input from our community as a whole will be carefully considered."
Activists, however, finally see a chance for change.
"I would ask them to be the first school in Texas to be on the right side of history," said Arthur Red Cloud with the Society of Native Nations.
He said that if a school like Richland Hills can agree to remove its "Rebel" mascot as it did this past month, that Keller could choose to do the same.
"I think it would do, not just justice, but it would do us right," he said. "And we haven't had right for a long time."
Read, view the complete story, and sign the petition on the WFAA Website:
Dallas Morning News 10/3/19 - After Amber Guyger verdict, how far have we come since a Dallas cop killed Santos Rodriguez in 1973?
Commentary by Robert Wilonsky Oct 3, 2019
"Dallas cannot run from its past," activist Hadi Jawad told me Wednesday. Especially when it chases us into the present.
From the commentary:
"A 30-year-old Dallas police officer shoots an unarmed innocent of color. The officer, who has been on the force for just a few years and has already been involved in one prior shooting, is charged with murder. The officer's defense team seeks first a change of venue; then, later, offers "mistake of fact" as a defense, insisting the shooting was an accident.
In the days after, a Dallas Morning News editorial says that while "obviously the public is horrified and sickened by this shooting ... remaining calm and letting justice take its course [is] imperative." A news story also appears in this newspaper beneath the headline "Officer with a Gun Holds Awesome Power," which says at the time of the shooting, the officer's life was not in danger and that "there was no reason for anything at all ever to have happened."
There is a week-long trial, during which there is sworn testimony revealing ugly truths about the Dallas Police Department, resulting in promises of reviews and reforms, changes and consequences. There is much hand-wringing in the media, too, about protests and demonstrations that never materialize. It takes the jury just five hours to find the officer guilty of murder. The next day, the officer is given what activists believe to be a sentence far too light and lenient.
All of this took place 46 years ago.
'But Dallas cannot run from its past,' activist Hadi Jawad told me Wednesday. No, we cannot. Especially when it chases us into the present."
Dallas Morning News 7/14/19 - Reported on the Dallas protest against religious violence in India
From the article:
"Members of the North Texas Indian Muslim community protested Sunday against recent attacks against Muslims and other religious minorities in India.
The gathering of about 200 people at Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas chanted, 'We are Tabrez! Justice for Tabrez!' in reaction to the June 17 fatal beating of Tabrez Ansari, which was captured on a video that has been widely circulated."
The report included a comment from our new Executive Director, Hadi Jawad:
"'This is the foundation of our democracy,' said Hadi Jawad, the executive president of the Dallas Peace and Justice Center. 'You call, and you say to the member of Congress, to the senator, that you want India to be in the spotlight ... that you demand Indian leaders are held accountable.'"
You can read the entire story here: