This story hit the national news today. Read it, but the gist is that an office registering Iraqi voters (or the headquarters) was asked to leave north suburban Niles because of "security concerns."
First off, what does anyone in politics in this area have any business saying the first word about how to run a safe and fair election? We, as Mike Royko said, are the most theatrically corrupt city in America. People always say that the machine is dead in Chicago; the Duff family might tell you different.
Secondly, this makes this whole area in general and the suburbs in particular look really bad. We in the 'burbs have to constantly fight tooth and nail to prove that all of us are not provincial, prosaic, backward, bigoted lawnmower jockeys who are as out of touch as tribes in Micronesia. There is life and thought and great people in the suburbs and they are not the same as they were in the 1950's (not that they were ever really like that anyway). Read Kenneth Jackson's Crabgrass Frontier for more on this issue.
Lastly, no one made a big deal about all of the registration and polling places for the Ukranian election in December. Chicagoland has a large Ukranian population (we have a neighborhood called "Ukranian Village" for chrissakes), and there was no one worried about outbreaks of dioxin poisoning at the polls.
This is a horridly racist move made by a few intolerant people. There are no two ways about it.
On this great day of national ceremony, we should be ashamed.
Or maybe no one cares.
Or maybe these bigots are right and there would have been a problem.
It is a risk that we must be willing to accept so that all can live in this "freedom" that GWB paid considerable lip service this morning.
Year in review
4 months ago