Without A Sidearm

What the fuck do they think goes on in black neighborhoods?

The finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, who also was Michigan’s former GOP chairman, was captured on video telling a tea party meeting that voters in Detroit get picked up at pool halls and barbershops and bused “from precinct to precinct where they vote multiple times.”

Ron Weiser also said at the Aug. 9 meeting in Milford that someone not from Detroit would not want to go to the polls there at 6:30 a.m. “without a side arm.”

I hear this miserable fraidy-cat shit all the time and it is becoming a THING with me, like what do you think, nobody’s at the polls with their coffee and their friends in Detroit because Teh Negroes live there and their ways are strange to us all? Not fellow humans, are they, who are voting before work and then going to work and going home and having dinner and trying to get the kids to bed on time and watch Idol and go back and do it all the next day?

You wouldn’t go to the polls in Detroit without a sidearm? Fool, ain’t nobody nowhere gonna screw with you UNLESS you show up all aggro and packing your Wal-Mart arsenal. Otherwise you’re just some other dude and you’re not bothering them one bit. I’ve been in just about every neighborhood in the city of Chicago at just about every time of the day and night, and not once did anything happen to me that could remotely be construed as threatening. I got invited to a self-confessed gang member’s birthday party once. A coke dealer gave me directions when I was lost. Those are the scariest things that have ever happened to me in neighborhoods that appear regularly in the police blotter.

(I regularly do just the stupidest shit. Last night after dark I drove out to meet a fellow who’d advertised some furniture on Craigslist. As I drove my car into his locked storage lot behind his creepy van, it occurred to me that this was pretty much the plot of every third Morgan Freeman movie, but hey, too late. The furniture was great, the guy was nice, his price was fair, and he offered to deliver it free of charge. Horror.)

Am I lucky? You fucking bet I am. Could I have been raped and murdered that night or any one of a hundred nights and days when I’ve been driving around places we’ve allowed to decay until they look like demilitarized zones? Absolutely. You know what else could happen? I could get pasted all over the freeway by a semi truck out of control. I could drop dead of a heart attack while jogging. I still drive and I still jog and the universe is random and horrible so you tell me where this kind of thinking leads. I’m a grown-up. I lock my doors at night. I live where I live because I believe it’s as safe as can be found within the limits of how I want to live. But I try not to live like there’s some magic line somewhere that’s going to protect me because there just fucking isn’t.

It makes me insane, the way we wall ourselves off from one another and act like it HAS to be that way. It drives me up a fucking tree, hearing people put limits on their movements because of absolute bullshit. Yes, you can drive there safely. Yes, you can park your car there. Yes, you can order from that restaurant. Yes, you can live your life as if you’re not shit-stupid and scared of people who don’t look like you. These are CHOICES you’re making. Own that at least. Give yourself that much credit. This isn’t me saying you need to seek out the most Beirut-like place to live. This is me saying you can venture places without a sidearm, if you want, because it’s up to you.

And think about this: If you’re scared to VISIT someplace, why are you okay with anyone living there? Statistically the people who live in these places are far more likely to be the victims of crimes than those just passing through, so where do you get off exactly muttering darkly about where you won’t go and what you think happens there?

Apparently if you’re the bag of fuck cited above, you get off before you get anywhere near anything new, so your beautiful mind doesn’t have to be troubled by it.


9 thoughts on “Without A Sidearm

  1. And yet, the Republican Party really, truly thinks they can “appeal to black voters” simply by finding more Allen West types to spout their BS on the TeeVee.

  2. Funny that. The limitations we accept from, well, Someone we give power to.
    I have a new career, which has forced me to quit my day job to open up my schedule for new gigs in said new career. This was a choice that demanded certain changes in the financial landscape ( I know you all know what I’m talking about) which included selling my car, because the payments and insurance were eating up too much of my monthly income. And I don’t need a car with the new gigs.
    You would think that I had decided to have my legs amputated for fun the way almost everyone was all ‘but, but, but, your going to have to, you know, TAKE THE BUS!!’
    Yeah. So what? It’s what people do who don’t have a car.
    Sheesh. And while there are adjustments they aren’t as dire as, well, eating dog food, which was kinda what was gonna have to happen for me to keep the car.
    And in my lack of mobility I am strangely feeling quite free. There was a moment before I made this decision that, as a choice, it wasn’t on the table. I had somehow forgotten that the car and car loan were a choice I make, not something I am a victim of. Part of this is our collective fear, but some of it might also be our commitment to being victims so we don’t have to, you know, be put in that position of reflecting on how some of my life just might be a reflection of what I decided I wanted and to change it I need to change what I want.

  3. Love how the guy claims he “meant no offense” in flatly stating significant numbers of Detroit citizens are felons who require you to be carrying in their presence. Nice to meet you, too, Mr. Weiser…

  4. i grew up on the outer core. nice block tho. i went to the core for grade school. sadly my only contact now is estate sales in not the best neighborhoods. i meet noting but BLACK HUMANS and interacted w/ some very nice black males last year. of course i was wearing house shoes. lol. in below freezing weather. funny thing, my REPUBLICAN brother was fearful, where i had no fear. same when gas needed to be bought + we were also in a bad neighborhood. i did not fear sitting in a car alone.

  5. Right, he meant no offense. Generally people don’t think it’s offensive when they talk about Going There Then or “the ghetto” or anything like that. And to give them the benefit of the doubt they’re probably NOT trying to be offensive, except in the way that the world is offensive, every single goddamn day. They grew up hearing it, their friends/family all say it, they certainly have no direct experience to contradict it, so they repeat it.
    And then something happens in their neighborhood and it’s all, “But nothing bad is supposed to happen HERE.” Or “this is such a nice community.” I always wonder where the people live, whose lives are SUPPOSED to be capsized.

  6. I thought that most pool halls were open late and therefore deserted in the early AM.
    And the “no offense” disclaimer is so ridiculous to invite a scorn all its own.

  7. Maybe he meant “no offense to all y’all white folks”.
    Several years ago my son got into some trouble. He ended up spending 10 days in Harris County jail. I went to visit him every afternoon, a chore that entailed arriving at least an hour early to get a place far enough to the front of the line to ensure access. I spent many hours sitting on the floor in the waiting room with wives, mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers of drug pushers, gang-bangers, theives and murders and most likely some of those family members were guilty of crimes as well. The funny thing was these folks took care of each other and me, a white lady from the suburbs. They instructed me on my first visit how to fill out the form to get access to my son’s floor, they showed me what line to wait in, they shared and commisserated with me and each other talking about time served and time left to serve. There is a policy that you must have sleeves on your shirt to visit. Anyone who arrived with a sleeveless shirt was loaned a jacket, sweater, whatever. Not once did I feel threatened. My son’s last day, some of the ladies hugged me and we cried together, with joy that mine was getting out and sadness that their’s wasn’t.
    And I have “wealthy” white lady friends who lock their doors while driving through “bad” neighborhoods even in daylight.
    I learned alot about who we need to fear and who we do not those ten days. I can promise you I was treated better by those poor folks (most of whom rode the bus to get there) than I would have been in the rich suburb near me. I’m more afraid of the white guy down the street hoarding weapons because he’s afraid of the “gov’mint” than I am anyone I met at that jail.

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