Kane Watch: Cruisin for a Bruisin
Since Eugene decided to weigh in on the recent cruising debacle, in a boldly titled "Cruising is getting harder to defend," I decided to take a look into Kane's past to see exactly how his feelings on cruising have changed.
In an article from 2000, Kane compared cruisers to the Harley crowd that had just visited Milwaukee for the reunion.
Of the Harley enthusiasts, Kane had this to say, "Sure, they were loud and in some cases, pretty boisterous....but they won over most residents with their overall friendliness and easy-going ways."
Not surprisingly, Kane attributed the dislike for cruisers to a matter of race.
"The crackdown on cruising...is another reaction to the stereotypical perception of young black men looking for trouble..."
He concluded by pondering, "Makes you wonder how those bikers managed to break out of their own stereotype, because they certainly didn't don suits and ties just to make the rest of us feel comfortable...What they did do - they forced people to see past the stereotype and accept them on their own terms."
Here we are, 6 years later, and what have the cruisers done to "force people to see past the stereotype"? In case you missed it you can watch the news footage here. Or if that wasn't enough, here's another.
A stereotype is a perception that is often an exaggeration of an original and sometimes no longer relevant fact. And the fact of the matter is, as the video shows, these cruisers are far from good kids portrayed in a bad light.
There is nothing false in saying that these cruisers are obnoxious, rude, loud, vulgar, destructive, inconsiderate and dangerous. Just the kind of image we want in Milwaukee.
Makes me wonder why Kane says it's getting harder to defend. Seems to me that any rational person would have trouble defending it in the first place. But then, there's the catch.
Even in his alleged condemnation of cruising the best he can do is to say that,
"The single best argument against cruising, which is the potential for tragedy by blocking life-saving emergency vehicles, seems to have fallen on deaf ears. That's understandable when you consider how loud these folks play their music. It's also hard to defend many cruisers who fall into the category of being show-offs with fancy cars or the kind of mindless followers who feel compelled to do what everybody else does, despite the consequences."
To be sure, it's not the gunfire or the driving on lawns. It's not even the dancing in the street or on the cars, or the hanging out of windows and fights. It's the "showing off" that we've really gotta worry about.
Yeah, he's really changed his tune on this one.
For another blogger's take, you can read Elliot's opinion on the matter here.