A lesson in law enforcement bias!
My youngest son is a really good kid. He may have inherited my foul mouth, but he also picked up my work ethic such that he quickly moved from cook/deliveryman to General Manager of a major pizza chain store. And I’m quite proud of him, too!
But aside from hitting the workforce ground running, he’s learned a very hard lesson in law enforcement bias lately. Please allow me to explain.
Given his propensity to deliver pizzas, he’s racked up many more miles than your average driver has over the last four years. But despite that insistently fast-forwarding odometer, when he drove our now-retired 2004 bronze Honda Accord, he didn’t receive a single traffic ticket.
Like most teenage boys, tiring of driving the “family” car and flush with cash, he set his heart on a bright yellow newer model Chevy. I tried to talk him out of it, but even my car enthusiast friends said it was a really good deal on a great car.
So, what could I do? He was 19 and he wasn’t about to listen to his father.
But since purchasing his dream vehicle, despite his driving habits and mileage remaining unchanged, he’s suddenly racking up tickets. You see, the reason I advised against buying a yellow car is, before they started catching on with white folks, it was our Hispanic brothers and sisters who primarily owned them.
And law enforcement hasn’t quite caught up with that sea change. They see a yellow car and…well…you know. So, a good kid who’s quickly risen through the corporate ranks and simply wants to earn a reasonable living now has to shell out at least a thousand dollars in court and legal fees to protect his driving record.
For the record, the DeKalb Police, who have, and are still having, all sorts of race-based issues, are particularly egregious in this regard.
Though this certainly has been a hard lesson for my son, at least he’s white. Between a recent Chicago Sun-Times expose and a 2019 Illinois ACLU report, Black and Latino drivers are pulled over twice as many times as white folks, and I’ve seen how some of you Caucasians drive! Police are also 1.4 times more like to search Hispanic vehicles, despite the fact that white folks are 1.3 times more likely to be carrying “contraband.”
This is exactly the kind of blatant racism that drives minorities to despise law enforcement and eventually brings the federal government down on some “overzealous” police departments. And then the police wonder why a large swath of the public end up loathing them.
So, now my son wants to have his car painted blue. But I told him, just like every Latino or black driver already knows, he simply has to drive much more carefully. And even that might not be enough.
Like I said, it ain’t just me!
As a result of Monday’s column on the plurality of Geneva teachers who insist on attacking everyone and anyone who didn’t support them during the recent strike, an unexpected high-ranking local official reached out to me regarding that very issue.
You see, most local politicians hang out with other local politicians. Considering all the feuding and infighting that goes on, you’d thing the converse would be true, but, as it turns out, it’s the nature of the beast. And this official has even more friends on the Geneva School Board than I do.
So, he called me specifically to say that the teacher attacks on board members phenomenon is even worse than I wrote on Monday. As he put it, “One of those board members described going through hell after the strike was resolved.
As for me, I fervently hope Geneva teachers understand they’ve completely lost the public relations battle they’ve fought so hard to win. Monday’s piece received over 10,000 hits (not everyone reads the whole thing) and of the more than 60 to 100 responses, only three were negative.
What they also fail to understand is, there are any number of ballot referenda questions that can rein in rampant school district spending. The Daily Herald reported on 18 such Illinois referenda in the 2018 general election alone.
But those eager folks made a mistake. Tax cutting referendums should always be inserted into odd-year consolidated elections when only older and more conservative citizens tend to vote. Believe it or not, the average age of a Kane County consolidated election voter is rapidly approaching 60! And they don’t have children in school, and they’re sick and tired of being taxed out of their homes.
Has anyone checked their recently reassessed Geneva tax bill?
So, when you finally understand that politics is nothing more than a series of equal and opposite reactions, I can promise you that 2021 will be a fascinating proposition. Considering that some of those teachers cover The Bard, I’m rather surprised they don’t understand what “Hoist by his own petard” means.
But methinks they’re about to find out!