Quick Hits – Never underestimate the persistence of American racism

Like I just did!

Since journalists are charged with being the skeptical gate keepers in our collective pursuit of the truth, when I first read the Naperville, Illinois, Buffalo Wild Wings news story, I thought it was a hoax perpetrated by a group attempting to secure a large settlement.

Before you hit the “send” button, please allow me to explain!

Considering the recent raft of breathing while black revelations, I cannot imagine a Caucasian who hasn’t taken note of the dire consequences befalling the bigot when those stories go viral. C’mon! White people have dialed 911 or complained to management about blacks for:

  • Barbecuing in a park
  • Babysitting white children
  • Accidentally brushing a woman in the subway with a backpack
  • Going to a public pool
  • Sitting a seat away while flying
  • Napping in a dorm lounge
  • Shopping
  • Leaving an Airbnb with their luggage
  • Taking a college tour
  • Golfing
  • Sitting in a Starbucks

And each one of those prejudicial perps either lost their job or suffered severely in the court of public opinion. So, you’d think my Caucasian compatriots would get some sort of clue and finally realize no good can come from that kind of blatant and shameless intolerance.

I apologize for having far too much faith in my race.

BWW

Second, if it happened at the Geneva, Illinois, Buffalo Wild Wings, it would’ve been far more believable. Given its 1 percent black population, I lovingly refer to my hometown as “The City of Whites.”

But to be fair, aside from your garden variety anonymous racist literature, Genevans have acquitted themselves quite well in this regard. I’m not sure if it’s wisdom or dumb luck, but I’ll take it either way.

Conversely, 18 percent of Naperville’s 150,000 residents are African American, and if one in five of your neighbors are black, they’re certainly not a rarity. Furthermore, given its size and relatively young average age of 39, I’ve always viewed our neighbor to the southeast as quite the cosmopolitan municipality.

Lastly, how did this blatant bigotry travel like a rogue electrical current go from a customer, to a host, to a series of restaurant managers unchecked? I understand this is the era of Trump but am I really that out of line to be flabbergasted that there wasn’t even one adult in that Buffalo Wild Wings room? Really? There wasn’t a single savvy soul who said, “Hey guys! Keep it up and this ain’t gonna end well for us?”

Let’s start with the racist customer who asked the host to move that group of 15 because he didn’t like black people. Who says that out loud in 2019? He should’ve simply asked the host to move him with no explanation necessary. Instead, this man felt comfortable enough to say exactly what was on his mind, and he firmly felt he had the right to ask the other group to move.

That’s some sort of entitlement mentality.

And if the story wasn’t bizarre enough already, the host himself was black – another reason I questioned the veracity of this sad scenario. We have to imagine he did his damndest to warn his supervisors they were heading down a very dangerous road.

But they clearly didn’t heed that admonition because after one manager tried to get the group to move, another went over and tried to tell them their tables were reserved after they correctly wouldn’t budge. I’ve only dined at Buffalo Wild Wings once in my life, and even I know they don’t take reservations.

After one or two more attempts to force the party to relocate, they finally gave up and left the restaurant altogether. But wouldn’t you think those managers would’ve finally found religion when the black host broke down and cried and some of the white customers came up and hugged the group as they were leaving?

But no! They were all fired, a number of employees quit in despair, and the customer who started the racist ball rolling has been banned from Buffalo Wild Wings for life. Of course, the corporate talking heads offered all the right platitudes, but only time will tell if they’re sincere about making the obviously necessary changes.

To his credit, Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico personally reached out to the aggrieved party goers lamenting that, “It’s shocking that this type of behavior exists today. This was an incident that is not who we are as a community.”

But even though I’m not questioning the Mayor’s sincerity, I’m not so sure about the latter part of his statement. Naperville has been beset by racial incidents in recent years, including an essay by former resident Brian Cook on what it was like to grow up black in that predominantly white community.

That all culminated in Naperville State Rep Anne Stava-Murray claiming, “Our city’s history of white supremacist policies is ongoing,” in a January Facebook post that ignited a firestorm in which she was rebuked by the Mayor. Outspoken City Councilman Kevin Coyne repeatedly demanded her resignation, too.

Ironically, other than saying this was “an isolated incident,” Councilman Coyne has been conspicuously silent on this one.

And while I certainly wouldn’t label every Napervillian as racist, and I think Ms. Stava-Murray’s “white supremacist” choice of words was a poor one, that doesn’t mean her underlying contention wasn’t correct.

Because while the previously cited breathing while black viral incidents were generally precipitated by a lone white racist, the management staff that incited this particular “event” was so at ease with their level of bigotry that didn’t question their actions for a scant nanosecond.

And if a commercial enterprise is that comfortable with that absurd level of intolerance, it is, indeed, an indictment of the city in which it’s located.

So, I apologize for not believing the victims who had to endure what amounts to being kicked out of a restaurant for being black. The abundantly apparent lesson here is, never underestimate the insidiousness and perniciousness of American racism. I won’t do it again!

And if Ms. Stava-Murray is right, and, at this point, there’s no longer any doubt, given the audaciousness of this kind of racism, Naperville really needs to take a long, hard look in that bathroom mirror and decide who they want to be and how they want to be perceived.

Contrary to conservatives’ consistent claim that electing a black president summarily ended racism in American, this incredible Naperville incident clearly indicates we’ve got a very long way to go!

22 thoughts on “Quick Hits – Never underestimate the persistence of American racism

  1. Frequently who they want to be and how they want to be perceived are completely different issues. And the second is the most important to Naperville.

  2. Sounds more like a group of kids coming into a restaurant; and being kids, were very noisy having fun.

  3. And Buffalo Wild Wings is noisy to begin with. That’s why I’ve only been there once!

  4. I live in Naperville is a Townhouse subdivision. Many townhomes are rented by landlords which take section 8. I’ve been here for 4 years prior to the association allowing section 8. Since I will be telling the truth let’s just get the “Racist” bullshit out of the way. The unit across from me has a mattress on the balcony. The unit 2 buildings over has a old water heater out on the balcony. We have garbage pick up as well as a centralized section for dumpsters which many garbage bags on the ground. We have in the past year had a Swat team here twice, many DuPage Sheriffs serving warrants weekly and many car break ins. I am a typical Naperville Whitey and have never seen any of this prior to the as Jeff Ward 18% of the population moving in. I got off the train 4 weeks ago and watched 4 African Americans carrying a huge sign with the “Straight out of Compton” movie post on it. All the other Whiteys that walk their dogs pick up dog shit with empty plastic bags, however we have an abundance of “Pittbull Shit” all over the place. Racist? Maybe I am, however the fact is this, I’m a stupid racist for not leaving. Why you ask? I lost $35,000 in my home’s value for staying so I wouldn’t be a racist for leaving

  5. I live in Naperville in a Townhouse subdivision. Many townhomes are rented by landlords which take section 8. I’ve been here for 4 years prior to the association allowing section 8 last year. Since I will be telling the truth, let’s just get the “Racist” bullshit out of the way. The unit across from me has a mattress on the balcony, renters are black. The unit 2 buildings over has a old water heater out on the balcony, the renters are black. We have garbage pick up as well as a centralized section for dumpsters which many garbage bags on the ground next to the dumpsters. We have in the past year had a Swat team here twice, many DuPage Sheriffs serving warrants weekly and many car break ins. I am a typical Naperville Whitey and have never seen any of this prior to the…. as Jeff Ward saying18% of the population in Naperville are black moving in. I got off the train 4 weeks ago and watched 4 African Americans carrying a huge sign with the “Straight out of Compton” movie post on it. Why? What’s the message? Naperville will become the next Compton? All the other Whiteys that walk their dogs pick up dog shit with empty plastic bags, however we have an abundance of “Pittbull Shit” all over the place. Racist? Maybe I am, however the fact is this, I’m a stupid racist for not leaving. Why you ask? I lost $35,000 in my home’s value for staying so I wouldn’t be a racist for leaving. Dat’s all I be saying.

    • Junior,

      You posted twice, do you want me to remove one of them?

      And Section 8, a scourge if there ever was one, is an entirely different story. But let’s look at the evidence first! Of the people on Section 8, 49 percent are white, 33 percent are black and 13 percent are Hispanic.

      When I moved in with my first girlfriend in Rogers Park on Jarvis, we lived directly across the hall from a 20 something Section 8 white woman and she was a fucking nightmare. Music blasting at 2 a.m. – and I mean blasting. She let her cats do their thing in the hallway. And she accused my girlfriend of trying to steal her boyfriend which meant banging on our door at all hours.

      I finally put an end to most of it by operant conditioning. Every time she blasted her music, I’d go down the basement and pop her circuit breakers and she didn’t know how to reset them, so she had to call the janitor.

      Fast forward to my time as a TCSA travel soccer coach, and the league director was having trouble that was incredibly similar to yours – with his white trash Section 8 neighbors. I helped him navigate his homeowners association.

      So, I would say your problem is Section 8 and not a racial one!

      Jeff

      • You can remove the first comment. However my issues here in Naperville don’t have white skin. But let’s be real, 63% of the population is white and 13% are black. So by percentages you are doing a mathematical favor to the smaller population, now do it by actual numbers of population size. You know….58% of all violent crimes nationwide and colorless comes from which nationality? Flip it by actual population numbers of nationality size. We do have section 8 whiteys here with no mattresses or old water heaters on their balconies. So I would have to say my issues aren’t section 8. My tax payer swat teams weren’t here for the whitey section 8’ers either.

  6. Excellent article Jeff, as always. Could you to please contact me about information I have on another topic. You are no doubt aware of the Senate Transportation Chairman, Martin Sandoval, corruption investigation by the FBI, and that five IDOT officials are being investigated as well as others. Meanwhile, the governor is now vouching in earnest for the integrity of IDOT as we approach a huge 23.5 B dollar Rebuild Illinois project. Surely there would be no misappropriation of this taxpayer money in Illinois!

    I have information about another area of IDOT corruption (in land acquisition) that just took place in our own Kane County Court System with one of your favorites presiding – Judge Kevin Busch. The title to our property was vested and an easement taken without the required Quick Take Hearing, and without any agreement on our part. This violates Illinois eminent domain law, and the 14th amendment which says that no state shall deprive a person of life, liberty, or property without due process. The hearing was scheduled, but then canceled when the case was called on that day. The PJC Order for the taking of the property was signed by the judge and passed on through with no agreement. Judge Busch admitted later in court that we did not receive our Quick Take hearing, but allowed IDOT to vest the property and take the easement anyway. I guess the US Constitution does not matter in Kane County.

    I believe that IDOT did not want to have a hearing in open court because they had appraised the residential value of our property at only $40,000 from the street without ever entering our newly remodeled home. Our house is tax assessed at $135,000, and was on Zillow for $160,000 at the time of the IDOT appraisal. Our lot is even tax assessed at $50,000. IDOT appraised the value of our house at $40,000, and appraised the commercial value at $56,000, and then recommended that our home be torn down and redeveloped by the town into commercial property. Of course IDOT’s low appraisal meant a low IDOT payment for the easement as well, this in violation of the 5th amendment fair compensation takings clause. There is far more corruption involved in the appraisal process as well that I dug into and uncovered. You don’t need to post this right away if you would like to contact me first. Thank you.

  7. Section 8 is a nightmare. You should try evicting someone on section 8. Nice way to spend about 8 or nine months. And in Cook County and in dear old Naperville for some reason, probably trying to show how nice they are, it is illegal to ask for a source on income on a rental application. You cannot say I refuse to take section 8, as i used to do, because that is “economic discrimination”.

  8. Where do you get your demographic data? According to city-data.com, which I have always found to be accurate and which uses census beureau data Naperville’s population was 5.2% black as of 2017 which is a far cry from the 18% you cited.

    • J!

      Holy fuck! That’s where I got my data, too, but I read it incorrectly! You are right, the black population of Naperville is 5.2 percent, but I’m not sure that changes my underlying thesis. I mistook the number for the percentage of Asians.

      Though I certainly appreciate the correction, that still means 8,000 Napervillians are black. Compare that to 220 black Genevans, 666 Batavians, and 541 St. Charles-ites and my point remains. African Americans are not a rarity in Naperville.

  9. I wonder why Junior thinks it’s relevant to complain about some people who have nothing to do with the BWW incident.

    Since I will be telling the truth, let’s just get the “Racist” bullshit out of the way.

    I have yet to meet or hear from a racist who didn’t insist that he or she was just “telling the truth.”

  10. I haven’t seen a “Brother” ever telling the truth either. Research it, see what happens to home values once a village goes to a salt and pepper stage. It’s never worked. Never. White people raise their kids with do right, blacks raise theirs with a slap followed by “Mother Fucker”. Prove me wrong

  11. Section 8 will not approve of a tenant rental unless the landlord offers a lease. Offer month-to-month arrangements on rentals and landlords do not have to sweat any eligibility issues. The landlord will also not get the inflated rents the government will pay, either.

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