Susan
The Amazing Adventures of Sara Corel
A novel by Toomey


Chapter Thirty-one: Politics

       It was a hot Houston summer evening on Washington Avenue, a neighborhood undergoing the trauma of 'gentrification'. The area had been decaying for a long time, cheap but once-proud post-war housing inhabited by elderly retirees and low-rent immigrants who were now being forced out by rising property taxes engendered by the intense building spate of upwardly-mobile new homes, townhouses and condominiums. The trendy and successful coexisted uneasily with their urban-poor neighbors and the hodgepodge of illegals and minorities who frequented the low-end shops and cantinas that hung on along the area's main drag.
       A low-rider boogiemobile left the avenue to penetrate one of the hipper, tree-lined areas near T.C. Jester where yuppies walked their dogs and jogged dutifully spreading that amazingly penetrating mindless bass-boom like an obnoxious challenge to the unwelcome newcomers in their expensive designer perspiration attire and running shoes. The gentry gritted their teeth and stoically endured the offense, hands hovering over their cell phones ready to summon the gendarmes should the intruder decide to prolong his incursion long enough to constitute a public nuisance.
       He did. The car stopped, perched precariously on the edge of the street alongside the drainage ditch. The noise from the massive speakers got even louder, rattling double-paned windows along the entire block. The residents glared at the vehicle's occupants, who responded with expressive hand gestures, colorful phrases and a tossed beer can or two.
       The cell phones speed-dialed. It would be a long time before any response showed up, and nothing substantive would be done. As far as the cops were concerned, this kind of thing was not worth abandoning a donut over. Eventually, they'd chase the car away, and eventually it (or another one like it) would be back. It was a game.
       Damned annoying, though. Frustrating to the new homeowners who had invested so much in their inside-the-Loop swankiendas, only to have their expensive peace and quiet trashed at the whim of distasteful punks who evidently got off on being rude. Or just plain didn't give a shit.
       A rock bounced off the side of the car. Another struck the roof. More followed in deliberate succession, hitting the trunk, the rear window, the driver's side door and the hood. Amidst serious cursing, four intentionally ugly-looking characters got out of the car to confront the pitcher.
       He was a middle-aged new resident, wearing navy Everlast joggers and white Etonics. Some of the others on the street knew him vaguely as a slightly eccentric writer of some kind who occupied a newly-minted garage-apartment studio in the area. Close enough he was one of them. Somewhat to their own surprise, they rallied protectively to his side, cellular calls taking on a new urgency as the threats from the low-riders escalated. The thrower was undeterred, launching new salvos that struck home, doing considerable damage to the gaudy paint job and cheap chrome decorations of the cruiser. He didn't stop until a cop showed up and arrested him.
       The punks filed charges. The tosser insisted on a jury trial, refused to hire an attorney and claimed that he was defending himself from an assault, citing the Biblical precedent of stoning bad actors. Several jury members themselves no strangers to the pounding assault of unavoidably noxious noise from other shitheads bought it and browbeat the rest of the panel into acquitting him.
       Predictably, minority activists claimed it was racism and raised a stink. The whole mess became a cause celebre in the media, with the cranky stoner achieving something of a celebrity stautus among admirers who were tired of anti-nuisance enforcement apathy and overjoyed that somebody had finally stood up to low-life creeps and gotten away with it.
      Soon after, a car sped down that same street in the early morning, tires screeching, shots from the driveby pouring into houses on both sides, injuring a dog. Consequently, other jukemobiles were stoned by newly-defiant gangs of angry homeowners who were energized by how good it felt and outraged by the threats of violence. In an impromptu show of force, bassers paraded slowly down Washington in ear-splitting protest, and when they got to jogger-infested Memorial Park, there was a massive stone-spewing confrontation. There were more arrests and more trials, but citizens who answered jury summons seemed to have had enough of the kind of irresponsible and offensive behavior that provoked rock-throwing reactions in the first place.
       One thing led to another, and it eventually caused a lot of national public focus on the whole concept of Political Correctness, an abomination that showed every sign of having finally run its course in the mainstream of society. A lot of people had had quite enough of the obviously stupid blather about the supposed moral equivalency of alternative 'cultures' in their midst that celebrated illiteracy, illegitimacy, irresponsibility, rudeness, hatred, substance abuse, self-mutilation, dependence, impiety, ugliness, body odor and tasteless clothing. They were damned tired of enforced 'diversity', of having to put up with a bunch of crap from low-grade morons. As much as anything, it had to do with the utter exhaustion of public tolerance for the obvious dregs of society exercising their unearned license to be agressively inconsiderate.
       Yeah, that's it. Just plain inconsiderate. A long-rising tide of inconsiderate behavior threatened social order, destroying the quality of life for the majority of people who had had a decent upbringing and expected to treat and be treated with common courtesy. Not only did inconsiderate behavior go unpunished, the perpetrators seemed to revel in it and nobody dared to protest for fear of offending the offenders' sensibilities.
       Well, fuck that. The obvious truth is that some so-called 'cultures' are inferior. It was time to say so.
       "I consider your unwelcome noise to be a deliberate assault turn it off or I'll defend myself from further assault by whatever means are necessary."
       "I've never owned a slave in my life and I've never met anyone who's been one so get over it."
       "What the hell is wrong with Teachers' Union teachers who can't teach fundamental citizenship?"
       "If things were so bad you had to leave your country, then don't bring it with you to my country."
       "People who purposely dress to offend are not welcome here."
       "That kind of behavior is offensive to my values."
       "How dare you throw trash on my street?"
       "Get up off of your ass and get a job."
       "Your 'rights' end at my nose."
       "I don't owe you anything."
       "Make yourself useful."
       "Learn something."
       "Speak English."
       "Act civilized."
       "Clean it up."
       "Get in line."
       "Go away."
       "Shut up."
       "Stop it."
       "No."
       It wasn't racist. There was a traditional, mainstream culture in the heartland of America that had been abused, disrespected, laughed at, ripped-off, humiliated, scorned, ignored and made to feel guilty for achieving prosperity, for having children who excelled in school, for making things work, and for creating, defending and maintaining a damned fine nation despite rabid criticism of their philosophy, motivation, ancestry, politics, religion and way of life. You didn't have to be of European extraction to belong. There were plenty of people from ghettos who had found a way to become a part of the American melting pot, from Jews and Italians and Irish to Blacks and Hispanics and Asians and they were just as much a part of the new paradigm of resurgent pride as anyone whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower.
       The stoning incident may have been a spark, but the underlying resentment had been stewing for a long time, mostly on radio talk shows and the Internet, and around water coolers and bar stools. The ubiquitous PC censorship had kept it from spilling over because stating the obvious or telling the truth when it conflicted with the arrogant theories of social activists and sneering academics made the exercise of Constitutionally protected free speech a target for opportunistic lawsuits, bureaucratic harassment, media lynching and character assassination.
       Want a good example? How about the utterly forbidden topic of Arthur Jensen's heretical book, Bias In Mental Testing? According to one well-documented and scientifically rigorous study after another (carefully cited by the author), the only conclusion a truly unbiased observer can come to is that, for the most part, there isn't any. By golly, it turns out that there are some groups of people who, no matter how you slice it, do not test as well on standardized intelligence tests as others. That uncomfortable fact is unacceptable to the PC mafia so heaven help the unfortunate academician or commentator who publicly addresse