The Hispanic leaders who started the push to rename a Dallas street after Cesar Chavez must have breathed a sigh of relief when the short Downtown stretch of South Central Expressway was renamed last week. (Here at Back Talk, we’re written plenty about this topic; check out the links at the end of this post to read just a few of the stories.)
After all, these same leaders put a lot of time and energy into renaming first Industrial, then Ross and finally this tiny stretch of downtown. And the non-Hispanic leaders who backed this charade from the beginning also must be relieved, since they can take credit for "bringing the city together" with the renaming, and all of the associated nonsense that politicians claim when things go their way. But this entire process was an embarrassment for the city and for its leaders, if you ask me.
From the botched online vote to rename Industrial for Chavez, which was quickly negated because guys like Mayor Tom Leppert couldn’t stomach renaming the companion to the Trinity River Tollway after Chavez (it eventually became Riverfront) to the coarse political landgrab when these same people tossed Ross Avenue up for graps without even consulting the businesses that line the street, there are a lot of people Downtown who should be ashamed of their conduct.
If they were looking to pad their resumes, I guess it was a success. If they were looking to sincerely honor Chavez for his work on behalf of farm workers, renaming a dinky street virtually no one lives or works on after Chavez and calling that an "honor" is a sad joke.