In a van, down by the lake...
Via Shark and Shepherd, an interesting post from Renee Crawford of Crawford's Take on the police crack-down of cruisers on Lincoln Memorial Drive and the potential racial motivation behind it, including comments from a police officer.
I'm torn on this one. Frankly, I don't have much appreciation for cruisers, be they the white guys on Highway 100 some years back, my 19-year-old Mequon-raised brother and his buddies, or the predominantly black cruisers on LMD today. It seems that cruising somehow always leads to trouble, something that's just a constant with the activity (see American Graffiti). And to be totally honest, when I drive down LMD after work every day, I don't want there to be anymore traffic then there needs to be.
At the same time, Renee makes a lot of good points related to profiling, not just of cruisers on the lakefront, but of pretty much anyone of color whether they're in a car or not. She also points out how it seems the lake is being "controlled" more and more by the rich homeowners on the hill above rather than by all the taxpayers who subsidize it. Seriously...why can't I be down there after 10pm?
What it comes right down to is that the relationship between police and Milwaukee's blacks is so poor that even when they try to enforce the law there's always a risk of it being considered racially motivated, but that doesn't mean the law shouldn't be enforced.
It's an uphill battle.
As an aside, before today I hadn't heard of Crawford's Take. The strange thing is that Renee and I know one another.
It really is a small blog world, isn't it?