If liberals didn’t have double standards, they wouldn’t have any standards at all. – Screenwriter Burt Prelutsky
Apparently, I’m one of those rare liberals who doesn’t believe in double standards, but I’ll be more than happy to point them out because this is one of the worst I’ve ever seen.
Most of you’ve already heard about Chicago’s Friday Morning Swim Club which, in the words of the Tribune’s editorial board, is “A delightfully wholesome and healthy enterprise wherein numerous Chicagoans jump into Lake Michigan at Montrose Harbor early (7 a.m.) on Friday mornings.”
This singular recurring event has done even more to restore my faith in post-COVID humanity than watching Donald Trump be repeatedly indicted. Per the Swim Club founders, the point is to get folks off their phones and into the water, and they’ve succeeded magnificently in that regard.
Prior to Snidely Whiplash, I mean Mayor Johnson and the Chicago Police putting the kibosh on it, roughly 300 participants would put down their kielbasa, hot dogs with no ketchup, deep-dish pizza, and Coor’s Lights, leave their cellphones behind, hoist their pandemic-incited ample asses off the Barcalounger and head down to Montrose Harbor for a group swim.
It’s the kind of physical fitness and social scenario that every flippin’ major metropolitan city should not only encourage, but fully support. But not Chicago, because what fun would it be to condone any fun form of sanity. Apparently, if it doesn’t involve gunfire, it’s not worth doing.
Once again, in the Trib’s surprisingly humorous words:
…in the age of Big Tech, of course, we can’t quietly have nice things. Thanks to social media and a few bored journalists trolling for stories, publicity for the big, organic swim ballooned, and numbers increased to the point in which the authorities feared anarchy and subversion. And so, last Friday (August 25), the early-morning plungers arrived at the beach to find police cars and the threat of arrest.
Participants were breaking rules: The swim was outside official hours, banned flotation devices were being used, and lifeguards were not present. Heads were bowed, and swimmers went home dry, logging on to their computers in their lonely apartments without benefit of a Lake Michigan brace.
So, let me get this straight, a group of predominantly white folks takes this incredibly positive step and the second the City can’t control every aspect of it, the participants are threatened with arrest? Yet, if I head down to the Second City to steal $950 of Walmart goods, Cook County state’s attorney Kim Foxx won’t even bother to prosecute me because it’s not worth her time.
This is why Chicago can’t have nice things!
Ain’t it funny how the heavy hand of The Man came down on these Caucasian swimmers the second they became a “threat,” but when black teenagers flood the Loop to jump on cars, block traffic, start fights, shoot each other, and smash store windows, Mayor Johnson says we have to show them “compassion” and he orders the CPD to show restraint.
These children’s absurd excuse for their “wilding” shenanigans is, “We just want something to do,” to which my response is, “On what fuckin’ planet am I’m fuckin’ responsible for fucking entertaining the likes of you?” Poor little bored darlings, perhaps they could pay more attention to their schoolwork, instead.
To be somewhat fair, on the day the CPD called a halt to the Friday morning festivities, Lake Michigan was experiencing the kind of riptide currents that would challenge the most seasoned swimmers. So, while I get that, I DO NOT get why the City felt the need to call it off for the rest of the season.
Doesn’t the City That Doesn’t Work have far greater things to worry about than a bunch of white folks who want to go jump in the lake? Why not assign a few lifeguards and police officers to make it a little safer and encourage all Chicagoans to come out and enjoy a Friday morning swim in the body of water inextricably linked to Chicago’s identity.
Again, per the Tribune:
…if Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration says it wants to expend some resources to make Chicago a more livable place, we say here’s your opportunity: Celebrate what has happened organically, organize some lifeguards, put up some boundary lines in the water, dial back the obsessions with permits or whatever (which keep no one safe) and focus instead on making the swim club work, safely. Support it and improve it; don’t shut it down.
And if the Chicago Tribune and The First Ward agree on something to this vast extent, then the event must have merit.
My God! Think about how that kind of constructive “advertisement” would go a long ways toward offsetting the hyper-violent Second City’s hard-earned “Chiraq” nickname. But we can’t have that now, can we?
I will admit it’s a fascinating proposition whenever the double standard is thrust upon white folks, if for no other reason than that’s rarely been the historical case. But it’s particularly egregious when the elected officials who so vociferously rail against any form of bias and discrimination turn out to be the worst kind of bigots themselves.
To quote the great Cleavon Little from one of my favorite All in the Family episodes in regard to Mayor Johnson, “Look what we done found here… A genuine, 100%, die-in-the-woods bigot!”
They really do come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.