Samantha Sunne had an authentically gritty New York City experience during a recent visit. She “spent four hours curled in a ball, balancing on a narrow wooden bench...trying to avoid the freezing cinderblock walls and the cold cement floor, splattered with cigarette butts and rotten food.”
This is just the kind of first-hand experience writers used to crave, but Sunne is not too happy about her brush with the NYC justice system.
Maybe it’s because they refused her request for a gluten-free cell.
Samantha doesn’t contend she was innocent - the Hillary defense - her contention is the offense is guilty.
Sunne writes in the Washington Post that in the wee hours she was riding the A-train and propped her feet up on the seat in front of her. The next thing she knew it was Eric Garner all over again.
Only Sunne was arrested by a woman, didn’t resist the arrest and, except for exposure to second-hand tobacco products, she was none the worse for wear. But that’s not how she sees it: “I became one more victim of ‘nuisance laws,’ regulations that criminalize small misbehaviors that don’t hurt anyone.”
The left characterizes these ordinances as “nuisance laws” when the statutes only inconvenience lawbreakers. A better term would be “respect your neighbor” laws, but leftists are completely unwilling to make any contribution to public order if doing so has even the slightest influence on their personal preference at that particular moment.
Instead Sunne takes a law designed to keep seats in the NY subway clean and ready for tired behinds and morphs it into yet another sinister plot to keep the black man down.
She explains, “On its face, this might not seem like a big deal - everyone wants clean subways and orderly cities. But criminalizing small acts can have major consequences for nonwhite and low-income people, who are disproportionately arrested and convicted for these infractions.”
How is Samantha’s viewpoint regarding the “nonwhite” population’s adherence to the law any different from that of the Klan? The Klan thinks “people of color” can’t control their sexual urges and Sunne evidently believes minorities lack the self-control necessary to resist the urge to break the law.
If you ask me Sunne and her fellow traveler’s mindset is the real bigotry. These laws aren’t designed to inflict discrimination on minorities; they are designed to establish a baseline for public behavior.
Besides, even folks at the Post don’t agree that enduring a gritty nonchalance toward behavior norms is worth it because the resulting atmosphere makes visits to the big city so much more authentic for leftist tourists.
Natalie De Vincenzi writes, “We need security cameras on all Metro cars...[cameras] could hold accountable the teenagers who threw objects at me on the train.” Now I’m sure Samantha would object and saying throwing objects, as opposed to throwing curses, is assault and not a nuisance.
But that’s the big problem with disorder. It has a tendency to escalate.
Samantha’s delicate feet on the seat are quite a bit different from Michael Brown’s. I’m sure Samantha would be happy to remove hers when the little old white lady asked, but I’m not sure grandma would even bother to ask Brown.
Public order laws are designed to protect the elderly, the infirm, the young, the female and the wimpy, while restraining the unruly. Politely asking the impolite to behave puts a burden on people that most are too timid to assume. That’s when the government acts.
“Nuisance” laws aren’t like Obamacare. Obamacare makes you buy health insurance or the government penalizes you. “Nuisance” laws don’t require you to polish seats on the subway with anything other than your behind.
Rather than acknowledging how much better city life has been since the implementation of the “Broken Windows” theory of policing, people like Sunne delight in attempting to reverse the major gains made in public safety over the past two decades, by attributing the progress to “flawed and unfair” police tactics.
And by flawed I mean racially-biased, for as patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, racism is the first refuge for the leftist. What’s more, the critics offer no alternatives for replacing police tactics that have saved lives and rescued communities.
Instead these “journalists” are like Tom and Daisy Buchannan in The Great Gatsby, “...careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author of “A Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times.” He can be reached at email@example.com