The Naperville city council is finding it easier and more enjoyable, to announce new resolutions, than to ‘enforce’ them. It wasn’t that long ago when one Naperville resident complained to the city council about a honey bee in her bird bath. Council members did a lot of huffing and puffing and pontificating, and shortly thereafter passed an ordinance against bee keepers and the bees they keep. Council members celebrated in their battle victory over beekeepers, only to lose the war, when beekeeping proliferated as more residents learned about honey bees and the benefit honey bees provide to our environment.
Fast-forward to now when the city council adopted a resolution denouncing racism, in response to recent events including a resident making a comment which was considered as offensive and derogatory during the April 17 city council meeting. This followed other events including an offensive comment by a high school student on social media, an insensitive comment by a gas station attendant towards a group of Latino girls, and an ill-advised comment towards a group of African Americans by a patron at Buffalo Wild Wings.
If one woman with a bee in her bird bath can cause the Naperville city council to swarm into action, imagine what four individuals making insensitive comments, can cause the council to do, and they did it. They approved a resolution stating:
“The city of Naperville denounces all acts of racism, intolerance and unlawful discrimination and will not tolerate them of any kind, and expresses its disapproval and condemnation of any racist , intolerant and unlawful discriminatory acts, including the recent attacks on Asian Americans in Naperville.” It went on to state that residents should be respectful to each other in order to “advance equity and inclusion to achieve a truly diverse, inclusive, and tolerant environment for all residents.”
Wow, you have to admit that’s a lofty goal with impressive wording. The resolution provides a firm decision to do something. But to do what?
It was less than one week later, over Memorial Day weekend, when racist remarks were spray painted on Naperville Park District property just east of Rt. 59 on Leverenz Road near Cantore Park. Park district executive director Ray McGury, denounced the vandalism and stated he has “no tolerance” for this. Other groups chimed in by saying they “will not tolerate acts of hate or racism”.
Huffing and puffing and muscle-flexing is great, but to what end?
Unless you can come up with a way to police peoples thought their real is very little that can be done proactively to prevent this kind of events.
If there is none thing 90 years of cannabis prohibition, 75 years of civil rights laws and 12 years of alcohol prohibition should have taught us, is that we can not prevent people from doing what they believe is okay no matter how many laws it violates.
This is not a problem that can be fixed by statue, laws, ordinances, resolutions, declarations,rallies, riots, etc. This is a problem that can only be fixed though education, compassion and time. Hopefully in my time but most likely not.
Jim, if it can only be fixed “through education, compassion, and time”, then I guess we’re really in trouble and likely doomed.