Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Good and Bad

I'm feeling feisty today. Most of it comes from a rather icky showdown that'll take place later in the week. But, today I got a practice run.

A couple weeks ago, a road crew showed up and cut some lines in the road in front of my home. They disappeared. Well, this morning they showed up at 7:30am and started ringing doorbells on my street to ask all of us to move our cars. At the moment they rang my doorbell, I was midway through the morning dressing ritual, and was pretty sure they didn't want to see me sans clothing. But, I was out front within 5 minutes (in all likelihood, less than) and moving our cars. As I was moving Phenom's car, a cop pulled up. THOSE BASTARDS CALLED THE COPS?!!!

Now, if we'd gotten advance notice that the road would need to be cleared for work today, I know that the whole street would have easily complied. But, no such notice was given, and at 7:30 am, most folks are either in the shower or still dressing.

But, the brunt of the harassment seemed to be directed towards our new neighbors. Our new neighbors are Muslim. They have done a tremendous amount of work on a home that was falling into disrepair. They have two playful and cute little girls. And, likely, they were either (as I was) still getting dressed or engaged in morning prayer. I tried to explain this to the officer who was repeatedly banging on their door. The officer actually said that they should have interrupted their prayers to answer the door. I told him that if he continued to bang on their door, understanding that they may be in the midst of religious ritual, he would be culturally insensitive, bordering on religious discrimination. (And, the word "moron" may have been muttered as I drove off.)

I called the city works office and spoke to their director. He was taken aback that the police were called so quickly. He even told me that our street wasn't even on the list for work that day. He was completely reasonable and understood my frustration. So, while I didn't really get to exercise the feisty muscle fully, at least I found a person at city hall who at least knows enough to act like callers with complaints aren't just wing nuts.

Now, to contact the police chief to suggest some cultural sensitivity training for his officers.

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