NPR was on. A Northwestern scholar, Eula Biss, who has just written her latest tome, No Man's Land, waxed about Rogers Park Bloggers, among other arguably nasty neighbors. I agree and disagree with some generalizations released outside of the publication on WBEZ. The ignorant are not always evil. The European immigrants may be occasionally foolish, but not necessarily vicious or intentionally vile in the classical sense.
Some native Chicagoans respect our African American neighbors. Yet, we all have our moments of ignorance or insensitivity. These fleeting moments are shared by our darker counterparts. Perhaps, some of us are occasionally too sensitive. Some neighbors are significantly nicer and/or more reasonable than others with lighter complexions. Yes, Eula, there is some ignorance and occasional white trash in our midst. Perhaps, everyone has momentary digressions into ignorance. We have stopped the car and I walk the fifteen minute trek to and from work from the Howard Terminal, when I miss the 290. The bike is looking better since bike racks were added by the Terminal.
Not all RP bloggers, among others, are divisive bigots or racists. Yes, the "P" word, as in pioneer, is a bit shortsighted and ignorant. Just because I experience the perpetual pigeon spasms above the fiberglass shelters at the old Terminal in the 1990s. This does not give me special dispensation.
Yet, I have heard worse from the few who are ignorant, yet carry darker complexions and less noble mentailities. Yes, not everyone walks the streets with Cobra or Old English in their hands. However, where are Chicago's Finest? Doing the donuts or sparking up at Starbucks on Howard and Western waiting for the next arrest or mop up job?
Why have an anti-open liquor ordinance, when cops refuse to enforce it let alone comply? Why have an anti-grafitti, anti-dog poop or an anti-litter ordinances, as well? This is not gentrification; just an issue of good manners with under funded red tape rituals. Call it, the faux grae fallacy. There is a reason why the Municipal mavens do not want me waltzing with my Wallbanger, yet it will not arrest me. Police seem content waiting until some alcoholic flattens his nostrils on our pavement. Swagger control? Where is it when we need it?
Black or white, I have seen both varients in need of detox and a well attended twelve step program or rehabilitation.
I mean, we have heard of the other notorious letter. I avoid bigotted terms, even if the late yet great Richard Pryor and a few of my less sophisticated neighbors use less than fine language, daily, along with other epithets. The kind that nauseate Rogers Park parents with young children.
If Jews avoid the "K" word, the Irish avoid the "M"word, and Italians avoid the "D" word, then why do more African Americans encourage others to cease using the "N" word and crass language? Why do some, of a variety of differing complexions derive power from cussing loudly on the sidewalk. Do any of us need that kind of attention? Often, the ones that cuss are saying virtually nothing when you remove the vulgarity! Why can't we just shut our mouths when we have nothing good to say?
Some refuse to address and chill the more active vegetation growing within our own community. I make no racial distinctions, here. It would nice if Gale School educators, among others, look for options as well as pastors. Why? Do African American Comedians, among others, get special privileges to be abusive?
I'm just as disgusted at Jackie Mason, among, as well as those few obnoxious neighbors. Frankly, why use words that belittle someone or simply distract others? Are we laughing about ourselves or are others laughing at us?There are amusing ways of discussing our differing ethnic rituals or social experiences without defamation.
Rogers Park will get better, when there is more economic diversity north of the Central Street Border. It will also require some reality on the part of those up north who are too foolish to enjoy Rogers Park. Perhaps, those who are too ignorant finally move in and stay a while.
Can you imagine an economically diverse Deerfield or New Trier High School? Not on Kirk's watch! Any comments, Eula Biss?