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Friday, April 13, 2012

Tulsa takes line from fictional “City Hall” mayor

Film "City Hall"
 Life imitating art imitating life — cynical sayings at city hall
Excerpt, minor edit by Carolyn Bennett

Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mayor Dewey Bartlett, in the face of street killings in a predominantly black American neighborhood “[reaches] out to local NAACP officials, a black city councilman from Tulsa’s north side, and local preachers, calling for ‘Operation Bridges of Faith’ to help youth on the north side [and] asking for ‘brainstorming for ideas to give kids something to do this summer once school is out…baseball, softball, cheerleading, whatever it might be.’”

In the 1996 film “City Hall,” the mayor (played by Al Pacino) visits the dead boy’s home and at his cleverly choreographed press conference later that day, he flanks himself with a choral yet silent presence of black preachers whom he introduces, clearly enunciating “Reverend” …. The mayor then instructs his staff to see that “their” neighborhoods were cleaned up. This NYC fictional mayor pushes theater even further with a ridiculous display of “preaching” at the dead boy’s funeral. 

City Hall Tulsa, Okla
Tulsa performance typical, vacuous Life imitating art imitating life

The mayor stole the lines from Pacino and I agree entirely with Fred Mazelis’s thoughts today at World Socialist Web Site. The Tulsa mayor’s “cynical move … [says] nothing about jobs for working class youth and the unemployed of all races or the protracted and increasingly desperate social crisis to which crimes like this are connected,” Mazelis writes.

 “While the precise motives and psychological states of both suspects in the shootings are not fully known or understood —

It is clear that this incident reflects the growing poverty, hopelessness and social tension that, in the absence of mass social movements, increasingly erupt in the form of social backwardness and tragedy.”

Source and notes

News report: “Two suspects confess in Tulsa, Oklahoma, shootings” (Fred Mazelis) wsws.org, published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), April 13, 2012, http://wsws.org/articles/2012/apr2012/tuls-a13.shtml

“City Hall” was a 1996 Harold Becker film starring Al Pacino, John Cusack and Bridget Fonda. The story surrounds an initial (accidental) death of a boy (with racial overtones) caught in the crossfire of a street shooting with wide-ranging connections between the mob and the mayor, big-boss party politics, corrupt government, payoffs, setups and cover ups in New York City; and an investigation by a deputy mayor with fallout, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115907/

Image City Hall, http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2326043904/tt0115907
Tulsa, Oklahoma's Official Governing Body and Services. City Hall Tulsa, foreclosurelistings.com


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