Apparently, conservative Republicans love candidates who speak their minds until they say something they don’t want to hear. Imagine that! Though I will admit that calling out a large swath of your constituency for “white supremacist” tendencies is a rather fascinating proposition.
It’s not the kind of campaign message I’d generally recommend.
To wit, freshman Democratic Naperville State Rep, Anne Stava-Murray took her hometown to task over what she called its “white supremacist policies.” She also declared that the entire Chicago area is fraught with “white supremacy in an unclad kind of way, without it’s hood on.”
Stava-Murray, who’s currently campaigning for Senator Dick Durbin’s seat, clearly hasn’t read any Dale Carnegie lately. All I can say is, I can’t wait to see her first mailer. It’s bound to be a doozy!
But before we continue, the Daily Herald was dead on when they called our intrepid state rep out for incorrectly applying the term “white supremacist.” If you also recall, the former Elgin, Illinois, diversity consultant had the same sort of connotative problem.
People! There is a vast difference between a white supremacist and your garden variety racist. A vast difference!
David Duke and members of the Ku Klux Klan, the White Aryan Resistance, and the American Nazi Party are white supremacists. They believe Caucasians are the “master race,” they assault minorities, burn crosses, and actively call for a race war. There is nothing subtle about them.
Conversely, some Naperville residents harbor some racist sentiments, and just like my hometown of Geneva, various Naperville entities semi-unconsciously apply a list of unwritten racist rules. But regular racism tends to be much subtler than your average white supremacist.
It’s a very important distinction, particularly for someone who wants to win a Congressional seat – a very unlikely occurrence after Ms. Stava-Murray’s fascinating declarations.
Now that we’ve resolved that issue, I think our errant state rep is onto something, especially in regard to Naperville, which may be even worse than Geneva in the implicit racist policies rules regard.
- Racial profiling during traffic stops
- A lack of minority police officers
- Discrimination in housing and home showing
- A lack of minority teachers
- A much higher African-American student suspension rate
- A lack of black AP students
which she chalked up to “white ignorance,” claiming “As soon as people realize that they have some ignorance, mostly they want to solve it.”
I don’t know about you, but Ms. Stava-Murray must’ve run into a breed of Collar County folks I’ve never encountered. My experience has been that most politicians and voters react rather negatively when someone makes a point of pointing out their “ignorance,” especially if it’s true!
And sure enough! The Lisle and Naperville Township Republican Organizations demanded an immediate apology, while Naperville City Councilman Kevin Coyne called for Stava-Murray to be officially censured, vowing he would no longer refer to her as a state representative because “she doesn’t deserve that title.”
How mature! He must be taking his political cues from Donald Trump.
Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico simply said, “I don’t think it’s a fair characterization,” which is the perfect response, because all those over-the-top tirades do is remind the rest of us of Queen Gertrude’s famous quip, “The lady doth protest too much methinks!”
If one of those wacky NBA players tries to tell me the world is flat, I don’t demand a retraction, I just walk away laughing!
Some folks pointed out Naperville’s healthy 31.7 minority population in protest, but that’s almost as bad as saying “Some of my best friends are black.” And more than half of those minorities are of Asian descent, with just 5 percent being black and 5.7 percent claiming Hispanic heritage.
Though Asians certainly are a minority in this country, and they do experience the occasional racist rant, with the exception of the whole driving thing, most Asian stereotypes are positive. I wish my Caucasian counterparts were noted for being exceptionally smart and good at math! And the truth is, they can’t drive either!
If you really want to discern a town’s true colors, head on over to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s website and click on their traffic stop studies, which also include police pedestrian stops. It always proves to be quite an enlightening endeavor.
Sadly, the IDOT traffic stop data lumps all minorities into one group, so that large Naperville Asian community makes it impossible to determine if African-Americans are being singled out. Ah! But the pedestrian stop study is another story.
Granted the Naperville Police made just 21 pedestrian stops in 2017, but when you consider half of the detainees were white and half black, considering the demographics we just covered, that is a statistically significant number. There was just one Hispanic stop.
And while just 20 percent of the white folks enjoyed a pat down, 70 percent of the black folks were frisked.
Another telling indicator is vehicle consent searches. In 2017, Naperville officers asked to search 75 minority driven cars, but just 53 Caucasians faced the same request. I’d be willing to bet that most of the minority searches involved black drivers, too.
So, as long as we agree to use the phrase “racist policies” or “unwritten racist rules,” Stava-Murray is generally correct, and most folks in the surrounding counties are well aware of those Napervillian tendencies. I spent quite a bit of time in Naperville in the 80s, and a majority of residents harbored a “Thank God we’re not Aurora” mentality.
And we all know what that really means!
They were just fine with the police zealously guarding their borders, too. The bottom line is, Stava-Murray is correct. Though I love Naperville, they need to do more work on racism than most Chicago area municipalities.
But while I admire her capacity to tell the truth, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why she said what she said. I’d expect those statements to come from a community activist, but not from a politician who needs those “ignorance prone” white folks to cast a statewide ballot in her favor.
Though I count myself among their numbers, liberals continue to be an eminently entertaining and fascinating breed!