It’s late and I’m tired because I spent the morning at Hill talking history and then the afternoon slamming together a story on Everett Ruess that will grace your papers in the morning.
That and a 90 minute computer training had me pushing keys at work until 7 p.m. when the boss got word that some idiot had painted “Kill All Mexicans” on the lamp post at 28th and Washington, where a small memorial had been set up on the site of Wednesday’s tragedy. Trent Toone was down there watching it because we’d heard a rumor that the mayor was going to go clean the grafitti off and Channel 4 had a van there to film it so, of course, we had to go.
By the time I got there it was cold and raining and nobody but us and the TV van was around, certainly not the mayor, and Trent and a photographer were wondering what to do next. I took a picture of the sign — inch-tall letters — apperently the idiot who wrote them was a neat idiot — and then we watched as a second TV van pulled up, talked to the first, then both drove off.
It was still late, and still cold and still raining and Trent took off after them, I talked to the photog for a bit and said, well, I’ll go relieve Trent, you stay here in case the mayor does show up, although if the mayor were to show up I’d think he had even fewer brains than whoever it was wrote on the post, which is darn few.
After going to where Trent was, I could see that Trent was gone, the TV people were interviewing someone in a house up on Eccles and 27th, it was STILL raining and cold, I was starting to feel as if chasing other news people doesn’t really constitute covering a story, so I checked in and the boss said that was enough, go on home so I did.
It was just a little scenario in a larger bit of insanity that seems to have gripped the town over the fatal crash Wednesday involving two guys fleeing the cops and running their car into another car with two other guys, who were killed.
Two guys in a car run from the cops, run a light, hit a car with two others and now the story over on the web site has 79 comments arguing whether the hitters were Mexicans or whether the cops did the right thing, or what.
The families of the drivers of the car that did the running in to apologized at first, saying their boys are really good boys, but then said it was really the cops’ fault because they shouldn’t have chased the guys when their car took off. Gangs are being yelled about again. The situation has tapped into the anti-Hispanic feelings that simmer not-so-quietly in this town anyway, as if criminal tendencies, or stupid tendencies, have anything to do with culture, or ethnic background, or skin color, or anything.
What is clear is that absolutely everyone is being a bit stupid — the two guys in the car who ran from the cops, of course. Their parents and families for not having enough sense to say “I’m sorry” and let it go at that. Those who see themselves as friends and/or supporters of the two guys who died who seem to think that the best way to react to a tragic situation is to look beyond the two jerks who did it for scapegoats and somehow decided that everyone in the country their ancestors came from is at fault.
And me for standing in the rain thinking the mayor was going to be dumb enough to stand in the rain and scrub off a piece of grafitti from a lamp post which, let’s be honest, was too high up for him to reach, or nearly so.
My wife just made fun of me for even doing this blog, and she’s right. Time to go watch some more Twilight Zone episodes. The way things are looking, just doing nothing may make me the smartest guy in town tonight.
Not that that will be hard.