OMG! Black teens! RUN!
What do you call it when black teenagers leave a party?
I’m sure you’ve heard about it.
At about 11:00 p.m. on June 24, a group of teenagers were vacating a house in the neighborhood of West Thrush Avenue. These kids wandered in the streets for a time, walked into people yards and general made a nuisance of themselves.
Well, heaven forbid.
.I guess I’ve been a riot or two. Kicked out of a house party, or just leaving a house party, I’m sure I’ve committed these and more crimes. Hell, I KNOW I’ve made a much bigger nuisance of myself. I could go into details, but this is a family newspaper and I’m not sure the statute of limitations has expired. I KNOW I have committed even worse offenses.
Wait, I’m wrong. There is one crime I could not have committed. I could not have committed the unpardonable crime of being a mouthy black kid. One — and exactly ONE — witness to the crime heard one kid yell some stupid racist crap about killing a bunch of white people.
This one witness wrote a letter to the PeoriaChronicle.com blog. He told people that this was the fifth “mob action” this summer.
Then all Hell broke loose.
The blog post was linked by Drudge.com. It seems Drudge is hungry for stories that confirm the fears of nervous white people. And this tiny little blog that was lucky to get 500 hits a day was subjected to 300,000 visitors on June 26, and was shut down because of the excessive number of hits.
City of Peoria officials started getting calls from all over the place wanting to know what the Hell is going on. And what was going on was, well, nothing. Except of course one dumb black kid saying something stupid for the benefit of the one person who writes letters to blogs.
Police — who originally didn’t think this merited much of a report at all — were sent back to the scene and told to re-interview any witnesses. They found — nothing really. No assaults. No trespassing. And no race crimes.
And then Barbara Van Auken was quoted saying bad things about the letter writer. He’s had it in for her for years. And it’s true. The letter writer (I’m not naming him, look it up yourself) HAS been been openly critical of Van Auken’s representation of the 2nd District. The letter writer supported Van Auken’s opponent in the last election.
And to this day, the only people who seem inclines to believe THIS version of events are fellow bloggers.
Folks, one of two things happened. This one eyewitness heard something stupid and panicked. Or he didn’t hear something stupid, but he wrote the letter anyway.
Should the blogger have run it? Yep. Sure. In the interest of fairness and transparency, the letter should have been run. I would have run it with a little commentary. I certainly would not have run it as is, with no statements about taking it with a grain of salt.
I’ve certainly advocated presenting the citizen journalist view, especially when it conflicts with the official version.
But seriously. I’m laughing at this version of events.
It’s not that I’m singling out this person and calling him a liar. But I’m certainly not going to swallow HIS version of events and call these 19 other eyewitnesses liars, either.
And buy me a soda someday and I’ll tell you about the time I … Oh, nevermind.