Here They Are, The 17 Jerks (And Countless More) Most Responsible For Holding The Rest Of Dallas-Fort Worth Back In 2017.
Mass shootings, political strife, actual Nazis and a steadily rising threat of nuclear conflict have all blighted 2017.
We’ve seen a number of serial sexual harassers and abusers exposed, and – thankfully – we’ve seen positive changes in how we respond to victims and how we deal with offenders. (Of course, when the current president has been able to shrug off sexual misconduct accusations from 19 women, it’s clear that we’re still far from where we need to be in terms of comprehending the scope of the problem, let alone addressing it.)
But as we take time to contemplate the existential rot that’s spread across our nation over the last 12 months, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also single out some of the scum that’s infiltrated our fair Metroplex. So we’re going to do that here.
Before we do, though, we should recognize that we have a wealth of culture, creativity, entrepreneurial hustle and culinary delights here in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area. We only call attention to the worst because we know our city deserves to be seen apart from their malign influence.
Alright. Now with all that feel-good crap out of our systems, let’s hold our noses as we plunge into Dallas’ Asshats of 2017. (By the way, these are listed in no particular order. As we pointed out last year, an asshat should never be able to call themselves the “best” of anything).
State Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R – Irving)
This shit stain called ICE on protestors at the state capitol this summer, bragged about it to other lawmakers and then panicked when those lawmakers called him out for it. In that one exchange, Rinaldi managed to look like a racist, an asshole and a coward. That’s actually impressive, just in the least approving sense of the word.
We could take more time to burn this sniveling creep, but one of the people who scuffled with him, Eagle Pass Rep. Poncho Nevárez, already delivered us the perfect tweet to sum up Rinaldi, and the interaction on the House floor:
He's a liar and hateful man. Got no use for him. God bless him. https://t.co/te13An7gwm
— Rep. Poncho Nevárez (@poncho_nevarez) May 29, 2017
Hiram Patterson and Kirk Lyons
It’s looking like the city will ultimately drop nearly half a million dollars on the removal of the reprehensible
massive stone turd statue honoring Robert E. Lee that once stood in Oak Lawn Park. Of course, all that would have been a whole lot cheaper if it hadn’t been for the racist bureaucrats who wanted it to stay put. Hiram Patterson and his attorney Kirk Lyons particularly managed to obstruct the process by filing a motion with the courts and challenging the city council’s initial decision to have the statue taken away.
Fortunately, this only delayed the inevitable, as it wasn’t enough to save that stupid effigy to a general who’s best known for leading an army against our country in order to defend fucking slavery. (You can quibble over the finer details of the Civil War, but even if “preserve slavery” was reason 104 of the Confederacy’s 105 reasons to secede, they wanted to defend slavery, so quibble the fuck off.) Oh, and get this: Lyons doesn’t even live here; he primarily operates out of North Carolina. Imagine having so much racism in your body you can’t contain it in your home state. Disturbing, right?
One last thing: This whole affair seems like exactly the sort of thing we should expect from a guy named Hiram, but that’s still no excuse for this bullshit.
Robert Jeffress has long led Dallas’ First Baptist Church, but he took on greater national significance when he allied himself with Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency in 2016. As a member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board, Jeffress is still rooted in the political landscape, while still holding sway in that opulent monstrosity of a church.
Jeffress, like Trump, isn’t shy about making inflammatory political statements. He managed to bring up North Korea while complaining about NFL players who kneel during the national anthem as part of an ongoing protest against police brutality and racial injustice. That clumsy tie-in added a zesty dash of jingoism to an otherwise boilerplate example of dog whistle racism. He’s also managed to bring politics into his church, dedicating time during services to interview people like Sean Hannity, in part to promote a movie Hannity executive produced.
As hope drains away with each passing month under the Trump administration, it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine a Dallas without this unctuous political agent, his self-serving veneer of faith and his gaudy, overstuffed, traffic-clogging house of worship.
Gov. Greg Abbott
Greg Abbott has an agenda for Texas, and he’s eager to ram it down the throats of the state’s largest, more liberal cities. For a long time, the focus of this feud has been targeted at Austin, but his campaign against local governance has created friction with Dallas, too.
Abbott’s extended tantrum arguing for the state’s overruling of local control should scare the hell out of all of us. The more extreme aspects of Abbott’s agenda this year included measures that would make life worse for immigrants and transgender residents. This thuggish imposition from the state could severely limit our ability to take care of our people and sustain a modern economy.
Just our luck that the only thing “trickling down” in this country is the executive branch’s authoritarian impulse to squash dissent, huh?
Roy Oliver, Christopher Hess and Derick Wiley
In 2017, the Dallas-Fort Worth area saw three notable cases where unarmed people were shot by the police. In January, Dallas Officer Christopher Hess fatally shot 21-year old Genevive Dawes while Dawes was still in a moving vehicle. In April, Balch Springs officer Roy Oliver shot and killed 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, after police were called in response to a party Edwards was attending. In the third case, Lyndo Jones was shot last month while trying to enter his own car by Mesquite officer Derick Wiley. As of this month, all three officers have been indicted in response to their respective shootings. Dallas’ police force has faced several difficulties, but until this year, the national conversation around excessive, often deadly force used by police hadn’t really included any incidents connected to the Metroplex.
But 2017’s cases couldn’t help but infuriate citizens beyond our own city limits.
There was an initial claim by the DPD that Dawes had rammed Hess’ squad car before being fired on, but video evidence showed her vehicle was moving slowly and didn’t pose any apparent danger.
Edwards was at a party without drugs or alcohol, not that the presence of either would remotely defend what transpired. The case against Oliver has drawn justifiable outrage as it’s unfolded. Court documents claim Oliver actually flipped off the car where Edwards was shot after he fired into it, and unrelated charges over a road rage incident have been pressed against him. Oliver faces the possibility of significant jail time, but there’s a larger question of how he made his way into the force that should be confronted.
Fortunately, Jones survived being shot while he tried to enter his own truck, but the injuries he sustained – and the Mesquite police force’s decision to restrain him without cause for six days – did cost him his job. It’s an infuriating case, even if (again, very fortunately) it wasn’t a fatal one. The charges against Wiley were delivered this month. By the way, the Mesquite police did briefly try to charge Jones with evading arrest after keeping him chained to his hospital bed for six days, but somehow, those charges didn’t stick.
Chancler Encalade, Nigel Garrett, Cameron Ajiduah and Anthony Shelton
Starting in late 2015, there was an alarming rise in hate crimes directed at LGBTQIA individuals in the Oak Lawn area. Measures to increase security were put in place in 2016, though, and they seem to have made the area safer. Unfortunately, the start of this year saw a different series of hate crimes against the community.
From January through February, Chancler Encalade, Nigel Garrett, Cameron Ajiduah and Anthony Shelton would use Grindr to find gay men and then arrange to meet at their homes, where they would then beat, threaten and rob them. These armed assaults created a new source of panic for a group already reeling from a senseless, disgusting terror campaign. The four men are now facing prosecution under federal hate crime charges. As of this writing, all but Shelton have pleaded guilty to the charges they faced.
The Dallas Gas Hoarders
Dallas, what the hell?
When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, it caused horrific damage to the region, and a significant number of casualties. Then, at some point, some observers of this catastrophe started fretting over a possible impact on the distribution of gas from Houston to places like Dallas. As word about a potential gas shortage spread, nervous drivers flocked to stations, and those people then stretched that “potential” shortage into a full-blown calamity — one complete with long lines at pumps, inflated prices and people using the absolute stupidest possible methods for storing gas.
Let’s face it, the slow climb up the evolutionary ladder wired our brains in ways that are great for not being eaten but less than ideal for navigating modern society. Blind, stupid panic in the face of an unclear threat can save you from being alligator food, but it’s not necessarily the best response when you’re scrolling through news stories while on the toilet.
Neely and Andrew Moldovan
Neely and Andrew Moldovan weren’t happy with their wedding photographer, Andrea Polito. But their argument against her, which apparently stemmed from a $125 fee and an allegation that the couple’s photos were being unfairly withheld, got real nasty, real fast — so much so that Polito ultimately sued and ended up winning a $1.08 million settlement against them.
Here’s what happened: After the Moldovans told their side of the story to NBC DFW, the public swiftly, and viciously, descended on Polito. It was an easy narrative about a greedy – possibly fraudulent – vendor screwing over her clients. At least, it was until the court case revealed documents indicating that Polito had operated fairly and within the agreements of her contract, which showed that the couple’s outrage over withheld pictures was wildly (or opportunistically) misrepresented.
Are there vendors out there who operate in bad faith? Sure. Are there clients from hell, who will game a system to their benefit? Yes. This case has turned out to be an example of the latter, and hopefully it sticks in the memory of every uptight patron who ever thinks about bullying a restaurant into taking an expired coupon.
Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R – Arlington)
Tony Tinderholt had an auspicious start to his year – in January, he managed to propose one of the stupidest, cruelest pieces of anti-abortion legislature you’re liable to ever see. The measure would have added serious penalties to anything that even felt a little bit like an abortion to Tinderholt and would have turned the use of the morning-after pill into a felony. Why did he draft such an extreme bill? Because Tinderholt felt that a potential murder charge is what it takes to make women “behave” — that’s why.
Is this failed legislation terrible enough to make this bald, stupid oaf an asshat of the year? Absolutely! Is this the only reason he’s here? Of course not! Hell, it’s not even the only abortion-related reason he’s here. Tinderholt’s asinine grandstanding would later impact a bill intended to stiffly increase the punishment for acts of animal cruelty. He felt he needed to interject because he didn’t want it to look like animal cruelty was “worse” than abortion in the eyes of the law. It’s like Tinderholt is a helicopter parent upset that his precious child, Abortion, is stuck on the bench while another child, Animal Cruelty, gets to play shortstop.
Tinderholt also managed to leak his viscous stupidity all over proposed state regulations for ride sharing services. He and Deer Park Rep. Briscoe Cain inserted language into the proposed bill insisting that “sex” refers “the condition of being male or female.” Jesus, Tony. You know something is trademark Tinderholt when it’s useless, mean-spirited and lacking in any apparent understanding of an issue.
Tony, we know we can’t motivate you to be a better or more thoughtful person. If this article even enters your orbit, you’ll just reflexively shout “Fake news!” at it, and spit a wad of half-chewed cornbread and animal crackers all over your screen that an intern will have to clean. So we’re not going to bother trying to make you a better or more thoughtful person here. Instead, we’re going to use the rest of this space to laugh at how you broke your stupid wrist on a stupid hoverboard over the summer. You’ll interfere with measures against animal cruelty to make some hollow point about abortion, so we’ll ignore our sensitivity to human cruelty just long enough to mock you and your mangled appendage.
Ha ha ha. That’s us laughing, Tony. That’s us laughing at you and your stupid broken wrist.
Do you know how much of an asshat you have to be to make us stand up for Tony Tinderholt? Seriously, re-read what we just said about Tinderholt and imagine the kind of person who would offend us so much that we would side with him, ever. Matthew Powers is our asshat in question, as the former candidate for Arlington City Council pursued a deranged harassment campaign against Tinderholt’s wife, Bethany Tinderholt, which included vicious statements directed at the couple.
The harassment started online at the beginning of last year, with Powers allegedly using his @CzarofSwag Twitter account to send disgusting messages to Bethany Tinderholt. That account would eventually be suspended, but the matter escalated when a neighbor of the Tinderholts received a menacing hand-written letter meant for Bethany. Powers would be charged for these actions earlier this year.
This story starts with the grossness of someone calling themselves “CzarofSwag” and only gets worse. We dislike Tony Tinderholt enough to laugh at his stupid broken wrist, but Powers’ alleged behavior is absolutely inexcusable.
Home is supposedly where the heart is, but Richard Spencer has a moldering cum sock where his heart should be, so while we know he grew up in Dallas, it’s anyone’s guess how connected he feels to the city. But he does maintain some sort of profile here, as there’s video from last year of Spencer, along with tedious provocateur Milo Yiannopoulis and other Nazi types, at One Nostalgia Tavern. (The bar rightfully kicked them out after the group started flashing Nazi salutes — hence why they’re being referred to as “Nazis” here, and not the alt-right.)
The idea that Spencer has any relevance to the national discourse is incredibly fucking deflating. He’s been mocked, he’s been punched, he’s had his facile, shitty defense of white nationalism taken apart with ease and yet he’s still around.
To call Spencer and his cohorts a “threat” could feel misleading, because they’re a circus of extremely online morons with entitlement issues and deeply stupid ideas about race. Theirs isn’t an ideology to be grappled with – the only appropriate response is to fully snuff it out.
Of course, the danger in that approach is that it could feel dismissive; that, as long as they create an atmosphere that curdles, then radicalizes, white male anger, they’re dangerous and that has to be acknowledged. After all, when it comes to terror attacks, aggrieved white men are the biggest threat to American citizens. And even if Spencer and the people tied directly to him have nothing to do with these documented terror attacks, it would be a mistake to suggest that they and their ideology are harmless, even if that suggestion is only intended as a way to deprive them of credibility.
Still, that doesn’t make them worthy of any honor whatsoever. It makes them worthy of unabashed scorn.
So here’s what we’re going to do: We’re going to take whatever bile we have left within us after living through this excruciating year and unleash it on this gangrene nipple of a person.
Fuck you, Spencer, you suppurating cock wound. Fuck your sad insistence that your oily onion-color skin makes you better than anyone else. If you were an actor, you’d be typecast as a necrophiliac. You have less charisma than polio and your dumb voice sounds as awful as seeing a dead dog on the side of the road feels. You’re the oldest mop in the grossest porno theater, existing just to sop up every pathetic white nerd who had a meltdown after realizing he doesn’t have what it takes to be special.
We hope 2018 plagues you with every bad thing that happened to everyone else in 2017.