I encourage you to read today’s Voice of OC article on last night’s forum organized by the East Street Community Renewal Initiative (ESCRI), a project of former (and potentially future) Councilwoman Lorri Galloway.
It contains many jewels. Let’s start with this one:
“The consensus from the forum attendees was clear – the police department is still racist, and city government still can’t be depended on for services.”
What a shock that would be the “consensus” at a forum organized by this group.
If the Republican Party of Orange County organized a community forum on “Obamacare: Three Years Later,” the consensus of forum attendees would be that it’s an unconstitutional monstrosity that ought to be repealed. If the Democratic Party of OC organized a form on the same question, the “consensus” would be that at long last, the Americans’ right to access to health care is guaranteed for all.
In other words, the “consensus” is virtually pre-determined, given the nature of the organizing group and who it consequently invites.
Look at the VOC headline:
“Anaheim Residents Still Frustrated Nearly A Year After Unrest.”
Really? All Anaheim residents are frustrated? It’s a fair bet that the 50 or so rounded up by ESCRI feel that way, but a headline claiming that is a widespread feeling? “Some Anaheim Residents…” would be accurate.
I liked this one:
“Tensions continued to escalate until three days later when about 1,000 demonstrators were denied access to a City Council meeting.”
“Denied access”? The council chambers were already full – there was no way to fit them in. That’s like someone trying to buy a ticket to a sold-out movie and then complaining about being “denied access” to the show.
I know some people who were at that council meeting and were subsequently chased into and through the city parking structure by “demonstrators” who were “denied access.”
“Protesters were driven into the streets outside City Hall, where they clashed with police officers, tossed bottles and rocks in exchange for volleys of beanbags and pepper spray pellets from police officers in riot gear, and damaged 20 downtown businesses.”
“Driven”? As if the police left them no choice but to vent their frustration at over being “denied access” and the absence of a bona fide Hispanic on the city council to riot and destroy property. According to witnesses with whom I have spoken, a more accurate term would be “incited” by organizers.
Monday, Anna Drive resident Yesenia Rojas asked whether the officer who lost control of the dog – which was seen on news footage toppling a baby stroller — had been disciplined. She said that police officers during the day hand out stickers to children but return at night to profile young men.
With all due respect to Mrs. Rojas, how are police supposed to identify gang members and combat criminal gangs (which is in the best interest of everyone)? Are Anna Street residents volunteering the information to law enforcement? And where is the contradiction between being kind to children and vigilant about gang activity?
As for the K-9 police officer, by all accounts I’ve heard, the dog’s escape from the car was an accident, taking place in a chaotic environment. And frankly, I think one of the last places I would take a baby in a stroller is a crime scene abounding with angry people, in the confusing, immediate aftermath of shooting. I’m crazy that way.
I think this was my favorite:
“Another resident – who said the city’s Latinos can’t afford access to Disneyland – called on the city’s business community to invest in community centers.”
Really? Is that the new measure of deprivation? Lots of people can’t afford to go to Disneyland — yours truly among them. Even the use of the word “access” in this context makes it sound like Disneyland is a social service.
Here’s an idea: the usual suspects can call on the City Council to impose a “fair share” gate tax on One Percenters visiting the park, and direct the revenue into a special fund to buy Park Hopper Passes for those who can’t afford “access” to Disneyland.
Here’s a final thought: did ESCRI invite any those whose property and businesses were damaged or destroyed in last summer’s rioting? Perhaps the next community forum could be a symposium on how respect for the law and the property of others are pillars of the ordered liberty that has been the basis of America’s success.