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.