Wednesday, July 11, 2012

As an African-American, Mother and accidental Peorian, I am continually offended by the local newspaper

I find the high level of condescension and what I believe to be race baiting that continues to appear on the Editorial page of the Peoria Journal Star, nothing short of offensive. I would think the "type" of people they feel free to slam in these editorials don't read the newspaper, so one begins to wonder - exactly who are these editorials directed to? 

The continued editorials in a newspaper that is known for allowing hateful comments on articles about African-Americans is the reason I don't allow my children or any out of town visitors to read the local newspaper. Unfortunately, the editorials sound a lot like the hateful rhetoric that appears regularly on pjstar.com and local blogs - including EmergePeoria.

Below are just a few of the comments from recent editorials that I find in poor taste. Below that are just a few of the comments that racists are allowed to make on pjstar.com. The comments are seldom if ever removed for racist content.


July 6, 2012
"One wouldn't give them too much credit for self-restraint, however, as their enthusiasm for mayhem was likely quelled somewhat by the earlier presence of 22 police officers patrolling the public housing project, hoping to prevent a repeat of last year. As always, that uniform presence makes a difference. As soon as that disappeared, all hell broke loose."

"Some locals don't like the badges hanging around, of course. One visitor to Taft told a Journal Star reporter, "I don't want to say it's (military) tactics, but that's kind of what it feels like ... I understand the police presence to a degree, but this is overbearing."
" To which police Lt. Mike Eddlemon responded, and rightly in this view: "That's too bad ... I'm not doing and my officers aren't doing anything other than providing a safe atmosphere for everyone here."
"It's fair to ask: When was the last time police felt compelled to fire pepper balls to try to disperse a mob in a surrounding community?"

"At what point does the bar get raised not just for external influences - teachers, law enforcement, etc. - but for those who have the most direct responsibility for what they choose to gift to or unleash on the world? These kids have parents or some contact with an adult who should know better, don't they?"

"Here's one rule of thumb: Police yourself, police your own family, police your own block, and in time there will be no need for an "overbearing" police presence anywhere in the community."

"Meanwhile, the irony should not be lost on anyone: Even on Independence Day, independence can be too much of a burden for some."

Posted Jul 09, 2012 @ 11:01 PM
"… making their presence known, confronting young people in traffic stops, enforcing curfews, issuing citations for even the most innocuous of violations, impounding vehicles, just generally hassling those who are up to no good in a community that would be immeasurably better off if they shaped up or took themselves elsewhere."

"Few people wish to live with an occupying force in their neighborhoods, but apparently quite a few don't dislike it enough to cooperate with police so that indefensible crimes such as the drive-by shooting that killed 8-year-old Albert Billups in his sleep a year ago don't go unsolved."
"They hate the police, they hate the neighbor who wants to clean up the neighborhood. They are ... hell bent on destruction and disorder," noted Lt. Mike Eddlemon, who's leading the task force.
"Arrests are made when people who will not tolerate living like that tell police what they know, as someone did regarding the whereabouts of those allegedly responsible in the homicide of an East Peoria man in June. Two Peoria men are now in jail on first degree murder charges, facing the bleakest of futures."

"Of course, if you enjoy the nightly gun play, if you want your kids growing up in an environment where "you never know when a bullet could fly off in the wrong direction" - where if you don't lose them to violent crime you might forfeit them to gangs and jails instead - then by all means, keep your mouth shut. Most folks, it's safe to say, would weary of that lifestyle, but hey, the world is made up of all kinds."

"In any case, it's very troubling to hear a young teen say "we're not scared" while describing that kind of existence. The adults in the community have failed him, because that is not the right reaction. He and his siblings should be frightened. Peoria's leadership owes it to them to help them appreciate that shootouts in the streets are not normal. For those who disdain the tactics in preventing that, well, get used to them."

Click images to enlarge.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. Why is bad behavior always excused. It is time for some of the people in the city of Peoria to finally admit that their are problems with some of the youth in Peoria. Adding to the problems is some people trying to sugar coat this behavior by blaming others. It is society's problems, let's just offer more programs and our more money into such programs that little or not effect. Some parents teach their children that rules don't apply to them. The police need help and I for one think that some of those so called civil leaders need to start blaming the true culprits, the community. We, as a country give out and hand out too many freebies and multigenerations learned to become helpless. It is not the communities responsibility to raise our children. I am so sick of hearing this.

Emerge Peoria said...

This post has NOTHING to do with excusing or condoning bad behavior.

This post is about an Editorial Board of a local newspaper who consistently uses the same race baiting rhetoric that they allow to be posted in their on-line comments.

Anonymous said...

No comments from Randall Emtronics since you scolded him Emerge. Are you deleting his comments?

Emerge Peoria said...

No, I have not deleted any comments from Randall Emtronics.

Sharon Crews said...

I don't think Emerge is making excuses for bad behavior. I think she is objecting to what seems to be the constant use of the pronoun "they," (and often "you") which has no direct noun reference. The end result of the use of that pronoun is that the writers of these criticisms are lumping all black people in that all encompassing "they." Not all (or even many) black people fit into the mold depicted in the above statements. Also, I tire a bit of the "fish" analogy--teach people to fish instead of giving them fish. When was the last time anyone of these critics taught anyone to fish?

Anonymous said...

Amen,Sharon.

Randall said...

No, what the PJS is saying is that people are damn tired of a segment of the community that seems to foster 90% of the crime and after years of pouring money into programs and schools and laws that affirmed that people of color get a better opportunity, nothing seems to have come from it and people are tired of it. The reason the paper is so vocal is because many people would leave this town in a NY second if they could sell their homes for anything near what they owe on them. Many can't and so you have this from the local paper.
Myself? I don't like the idiot comments from people who do indeed spread hate and racism. Buy hey, we all are racist to some extent, even Emerge here. She's no angel. I do, I think, understand her frustration with this. I mean if nothing but old fat white guys were shooting up the city and robbing people, I would be a bit on edge. Sadly this is what is happening. A small group of thugs is making life crappy for people of color with their bullshit. This makes the less informed and the truly under educated judge thus the comments.

Emerge Peoria said...

It's true I am no angel. I would sell my home in a NY second if I could get a decent price.

Emerge Peoria said...

"Meanwhile, the irony should not be lost on anyone: Even on Independence Day, independence can be too much of a burden for some."

I personally find the above statement in an of itself, absolutely AMAZING. In my opinion, the Journal Star Editorial Board is no better than the people who comment on pjstar.com, they went way to far with that statement. Frustration is no excuse.

Emerge Peoria said...

"confronting young people in traffic stops, ...., issuing citations for even the most innocuous of violations, impounding vehicles, just generally hassling those who are up to no good ..."

... and this is okay? This community the pjstar is talking about is also made up of law abiding citizens, who may be subject to and/or have been subject to "just generally" being "hassled" by police who have been given the go ahead by the local NAACP to do so.

It is a police state and it's not okay when every single, black boy is allowed to be viewed as if they are "up to no good." I am ashamed of the local NAACP for condoning this.

For the Journal Star to then say "For those who disdain the tactics in preventing that, well, get used to them." Well, I personally "disdain these tactics" and I refuse to "get used to them."

This existence is not normal, so folks shouldn't be surprised when you get abnormal results... like oh say a riot (see Taft Homes July 4th, 2012).

Randall said...

Me too!

Randall said...

I tend to agree with you on all of this but what the publics sees is like a few years ago when a young black woman was pulled over by police and claimed the officer called her names and told her child to shut up and generally scared the crap out of her and her family. The media went nuts and people were lining up to see who the big bad cop was. Then the police released the video of the actual traffic stop and it showed the young woman was the one out of line screaming and yelling.. Nothing like she said. Then there was the chase down Western and onto Kettelle (I think) when the guy was stopped. Again the guy, black, accused the police of pulling him from the car and beating him or roughing him up before handcuffing him. A rather routy large crowd formed around the police shouting disrespectful things to the police. After all was said and done, the police released the video from more than one police car which indeed showed the guy was fighting all the way. Nothing like his story. You see, people sitting in their 4 bedroom tri-levels with the fine trimmed lawn read and see these things and guess what? They claim that when blacks have problems, it's always the race card and crying wolf. Now you and I know this isn't always so and many hard working people do live in the Taft, but it is the black community that shoots itself in the foot time after time.

Rixblix said...

Well, you know, Emerge...if you're not doing anything wrong a simple traffic stop won't bother you. This is how far we've fallen. So long as people make it an "us vs. them" issue it will not be resolved. If you're white, the "them" are Black. If you're Black, the "them" are white...and really? I think there are segments of this community who thrive on widening that divide.

Emerge Peoria said...

That doesn't mean that it has not happened before...

I posted about about a cop who pulled me over because I was confused about one side of a street being closed and got loud with me for no reason with my children present in my minivan. And then there was time driving down Galena road when a cop pulled me and my children over for moving from the right lane to behind him in the left lane, so I could turn left at the next light. And yes, I used my blinker.

Emerge Peoria said...

Agreed Rix.

Anonymous said...

The reality is that when a particular group of people, In this case, young black men, continue to make the news for criminal behavior such as armed robbery, breaking and entering, and murder, you kind of start thinking that hey maybe cops "might" be profiling them. Go figure. Read the paper, its a daily event in Peoria. The people of this community are sick of picking up the mess. Police yourselves, which means call the police, give names, and tell the truth

Emerge Peoria said...

No, my reality is I know "a particular group of people, In this case, young black men," who are graduating college, working as engineers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, firemen, teachers, preachers, husbands, fathers, lovers, and brothers, I "kind of start thinking that hey maybe cops "might" be profiling them." That's when I become concerned every time they leave the house.

Stop with the over simplification of this issue, the police state is a violation of ones civil rights.

I want to be safe just like you, but I shouldn't have to forfeit my rights as a law abiding, tax paying citizen, just because I happen to reside in an area that has been designated a "hot spot."

The PPD should/could do better than casting such a wide net. Hopefully Peoria gets a handle on the problems soon.

Anonymous said...

And what if someone is down and out and unemployed, that doesn't make them a criminal either.

Emerge Peoria said...

Agreed.

Emerge Peoria said...

To put the blame for not solving crimes back on the community that is being victimized is ridiculous.

Victim Blaming: Victim blaming occurs when the victim(s) of a crime, an accident, or any type of abusive maltreatment are held entirely or partially responsible for the transgressions committed against them (regardless of whether the victim actually had any responsibility for the incident). Blaming the victim has traditionally emerged especially in racist, sexist and classist forms. However, this attitude may exist independently from these radical views.

Rixblix said...

My boy headed out to meet some friends "at the bottom of the hill" (to EP kids, that's Main street - McDonalds, A&W, WalMart, BassPro). He's a white kid in a car with other kids from school. How sad is it that the river isn't that wide but if we lived 1/4 mile to the West and my boy had dark skin, it would be o.k. to pull the car over and violate everyone in car.

Randall said...

I got pulled over after taking my wife to work last winter on Main by a Bradley cop because he said I changed lanes "funny". I asked him what he meant by "funny" and he said I didn't do it sharply enough. I told him that the idiot city recently made Main 2 lanes and they don't match up when you cross University. He let me go but getting stopped sucked. I later thought about it and maybe he thought I was drinking so....

Anonymous said...

Yet follow peoria police scanner. Close to 80% of calls from Peoria proper are caused by young, black men. This is a proven fact. Sometimes people fall into the old adage; if it walks like a duck...

Emerge Peoria said...

... And as a result you deduce that 80% of all young, black men in Peoria are ducks?

It doesn't compute.

Anonymous said...

Emerge: I live it daily. The "victims" know who their attackers are. They CHOOSE not to identify them, for whatever reason. How many children have to die before someone steps up and POINTS the finger and the perps?

Anonymous said...

i wouldnt snitch..then i would be the next victim.

Emerge Peoria said...

It's a very small segment of the Peoria community who live by the so called "don't snitch" rule.

You all constantly refer to what you see in the newspaper, have you noticed that the people not "snitching" are all a part of maybe 2-3 large families?

By the way, also notice how when Caucasians commit crimes the Journal Star won't run their mug shots, but they run mug shots of every African-American that is arrested? This article right here is an example of the double standard the newspaper has: http://www.pjstar.com/news/x1975584684/Judge-sentences-three-men-in-meth-ring

This too, is a part of the perception problem the black community is dealing with. No thanks to the local newspaper.

Dennis in Peoria said...

Emerge, I have to respectfully disagree about PJS not publishing mug shots of white criminals. I have seen them recently. I know NEWS 25 shows mug shots as well.

On other issues of commenters, either on PJSstar.com or blogs:

The same people that constantly stereotype 1-5% of the African-American population (the ones that commit crimes) and assume the entire A-A population are criminals, don't even think ONCE about stereotyping the 1-5% of the white population (you know, the ones making, selling meth, pot, heroin, causing overdoses; sex offending, or child killing) assume the entire white population is like that.

Why don't I ever see people clamoring to tear down Pekin because of all the meth problems?? (btw, I was born, raised in Pekin)

Randall said...

Wrong the wanted fugitive of the week is a white guy. They ran his mug shot. Trouble is, there isn't many white guys on the fugitive of the week.

Randall said...

And Emerge, Caucasians? I am an American. Not Irish or anything because to be Irish or German or whatever, you need do nothing but be born into it. Why does everything have to be Afro this and Afro that? I mean I can tell a person is black or brown or white.

Randall said...

Dennis: Ding!

Anonymous said...

The Malcolm X quote, to the right, rings true daily.