I don't like Barack Obama much, but I can't help but picture him waking up to phone calls like this and saying "What the hell are you people going to put me through today?"
See, it's like this. In Carpentersville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago (there are probably really friendly, nice suburbs around Chicago, but I haven't been to one yet) two neighbors got into it over . . . . well, probably over nothing. Why lie to you, my loyal readers? You know how these things work. Neighbors don't need much excuse to hate each other.
The problem is that one family is black, and the other is Hispanic. That means that, in a Chicago suburb, everything they say to each other has a racial undertone. If it doesn't have one when it's said, it will be given one by everyone who hears it. So here we have these two neighbors, who report that they have "clashed" before.
Mrs. Ramirez-Sliwinski (a trustee in Carpentersville? I thought only prisons had trustees) notices one day that her neighbor's children are playing in a tree. Their tree. On their property. Now, class, what is the correct response?
A. Mind your own business. Kids have been climbing trees for thousands of years.
B. Mind your own business. It's not your tree, it's not your yard, and they're not your kids.
C. Go stand in someone else's yard and yell at someone else's kids to stop playing on their own property.
If you picked A or B, don't beat yourself up. You have probably never lived in a Chicago suburb or, if you did, you may not have met anyone in the city government. Of course, the answer is C.
All that is dumb enough, but Ramirez-Sliwinski told the kids they were being "monkeys."
Now, I call kids monkeys all the time, both as a parent and as a professional. But white kids, Mrs. R-S! You can call white kids whatever you want. But you're an Obama delegate, which means you're a Democrat, which means that you should know that a certain number of words per year have to be removed from polite society whether any offense is intended or not--indeed, whether any reasonable person would take offense or not. That's the Chicago Way.
You 'ave been, how you say? 'Oist by your own petar'.
So here we have a dumb argument between neighbors over nothing, which people on both sides chose to escalate until it ended in a police visit, a "stop being a stupid busybody" ticket, and Ramirez-Sliwinski stepping down as a delegate after the Obama campaign "persuaded" her.
(Again, if you haven't lived near Chicago, the word "persuaded" may not be appreciated in the fullness of its rich, textured, and multi-layered meaning. They didn't ask nicely.)
A Year of Poetry – Day 338
42 minutes ago