Take Back the Night

Dateline: Sun 18 Jul 2010

The phrase, "Take Back the Night," was used by the women's movement as early as 1976 to convey the message that women around the globe would no longer be silent victims of rape and other sexual violence.

It's a good expression; it cuts to the heart of women demanding "the right to move freely in their communities at day and night without harassment and sexual assault."

Now it's time for Indiana Black Expo and others -- whites and blacks -- who care about our city's youth to "take back the night." Take it back from those irresponsible parents who think it's OK for young kids to be out on the streets without supervision on the second Saturday night of every Expo, the day that traditionally features a concert geared to teens. "Take back the night" means eliminating that particular Expo event, permanently. Because it is covered in childrens' blood.

Ten young people between the ages of 10 and 18 were shot Saturday in Downtown Indianapolis. I love the disclaimers in the Indianapolis Star's first online version of this: "None of the shootings occurred at venues hosting Black Expo activities." That's like trying to pretend that Custer's Last Stand had nothing to do with the Indians' rage. Everyone knows those kids would not have been Downtown Saturday without the lure of Expo and its raucous concert, which must be in some minds the equivalent of a license to go "wilding" -- the term first used in the Central Park jogger assault, whether accurately or not.

The shootings -- fortunately, no one has died --  have certainly put Indianapolis on the media map: at last count, CNN, Fox News, Drudge Report, CBS and MSNBC have all carried accounts.

The irony, of course, is that Rev. Al Sharpton of New York was here a week ago, railing about how bad things are with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and its relations with the black community. Let's get real -- the kids who did these shootings (members of "low-level gangs" according to cops), are responsible for their actions, just as the parents of the children who were wounded are responsible for the safety of their offspring. The police are not the bad guys, nor are they the enemy of this city's black community.

I am all about the bennies of Black Expo...well, as much as a middle-aged white woman can be. This is not an anti-Expo rant. But those who lead Expo, and the parents who permit their kids to be out on the streets late, have to "take back the night." They must make the Downtown safe again on the second Saturday of the 40-year-old event.

Somebody has to take charge.  The nervous nelly media won't do it; God forbid that anyone at the Star or any local TV outlet would ever publicly criticize Expo. Years ago, I wrote a column about an older black woman in a wheelchair who used to go Downtown during Expo and other Downtown events to sing and sell flowers -- she was known as "the Flower Lady." She was always safe in her little corner at Maryland and Illinois -- until the night young people from Expo ran wild and knocked her down, wheelchair and all.

A year after that column ran, and during the next Expo, I wanted to revisit the incident -- give readers an update on how the Flower Lady was doing and again air her concerns and grievances about the out-of-control youth who swarmed Downtown and injured her. The newspaper's big cheeses nixed it; too much bad publicity for Expo, too negative, no longer releveant, etc.

That column would have been nothing compared to this CNN headline, complete with video: "10 injured in Indiana shootings."

Take back the night.

 

 

 

 

Comments

Matthew Stone [unverified] said:

You go, Ruth. I too found that disclaimer in the Star (who seemed to be the only one with the disclaimer) ridiculous.

Thanks for shedding light on years past as well. I'm still working on trying to find out past incidents in previous years.

2010-07-18 16:48:58

jersey [unverified] said:

Well said, Ruth. The leaders of Black Expo need to confront this situation head on. No excuses...no rationalizations...it needs to change.

2010-07-18 19:02:26

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

Excellent commentary, Ruth.

Good perspective on the problem (as I see it, anyway) where the local media is practicing cooperative image-building with the city rather than telling its readers/viewers, etc. the facts they deserve to know.

I hope the Flower Lady wasn't in the area Saturday night.

2010-07-18 20:05:07

hendy [Member] said:

We drove thru downtown Indy on my way home from the Middle Eastern Fest. At that fest, were burkhas, Egyptians, Syrians, Persians, Iraqis, Greeks a plenty, non-Middle Easterers all having a great time dancing and eating great food until the rains came.

Then we drove downtown on our way to Bloomington. It was near anarchy. At Market and Penn, there was a huge traffic jam. Young people traipsed through the intersection randomly, flipping their social fingers at anyone objecting.

The Circle was closed at 12 o'clock, the N side. West St was closed; we could see plenty of cops down by the convention center. People were getting OUT. By White River State Park, the exit was wholesale, traffic mindless, and we finally headed south.

It's not a black thing, it's not a white thing. It's youth out of control. Police presence didn't seem to help, and there's been negative criticism of police actions before. Something happened.

Sharpton was right when he came here. Something different than that went wrong. Bad planning, but also ineptly broadcast standards of behavior were present. This isn't to rationalize, but I, too, believe that violence has no place on the streets of any city. I hope they take this seriously. Ten shootings is like Oakland on a good day.

2010-07-18 20:29:12

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Youth out of control indeed, Hendy. And who in our community DIDN'T know that IBE Second Saturday was prone to these activities?

So the brilliant leaders at IBE planned, on this difficult night--a teen event, aimed specifically at young teenagers, which adjourned at 10-10;30 PM, and which, they had to know, would draw thousands of hangers-on to downtown.

The planning alone was nearly criminal. And this morning, I see that Ms. Bell, president of IBE, lashes out at those who blame IBE for some part of last night's shootings.

How dare her.

Last year, after the violence, I reached out to her, and offered to help with scheduling or organization. She acted as if I'd asked her to French-kiss her sister. And I called into Amos Brown's radio show to suggest the schedule is at least half to blame. Same response. As if a white citizen dared to intrude on the suggestion box.

The very clear message? It's our event. Butt out.

IBE is a nationally-prominent event. It's now becoming a local disgrace, because of one night that spoils the rest of the ten-day event. It's expensive, too...one TV station said we had 300 officers downtown last night. Well I officially object to the necessity of that expense.

And a potential side effect, which isn't pretty: events like last night stoke the fires of the very, very few racist, bad IMPD officers. They're out there, and we get a civil lawsuit every few months to remind us. We don't need to feed their anger and hate.

Second Saturday is a troublesome evening for IBE. And their answer? After last year's violence? Schedule a teen-bling event that stokes the fires of distrust, hatred, nonsense and carousing.

A lot of parents haver a lot of 'splaining to do. So does IBE.

Hey, IBE, try this on for size: next year, let history be the guide, and schedule nothing, or schedule a family event Second Saturday evening.

Rev. Charles is spinning in his grave right about now. Justifiably.

Fix it, Ms. Bell. Now.





2010-07-18 21:15:57

ruthholl [Member] said:

On the Flower Lady: she died a couple years back. She had numerous health problems, but a lot of strengths, too. I will do some searching and find her name.
Thanks for asking about her status, Whitebeard. I am sure she would be appalled by all this.

2010-07-18 21:40:17

Marycatherine Barton [unverified] said:

Last I heard from the telly, was that there was just one shooter, fourteen years old, who the police promised to arrest within forty-eight hours, or disclose his identity. This depressed economy is hurting Black people most of all, and in particular, the young, elderly, and most vulnerable. Thank you for your concern.

2010-07-19 02:27:09

Robert [unverified] said:

Has anyone noticed the Star has turned off and erased all comments for stories related to the IBE shootings? Also, they buried the shooting story in the Sunday paper.

2010-07-19 07:05:54

ruthholl [Member] said:

I did not even see it in my Sunday paper. As to comments: wow. The bottom feeders must be going bananas. Thanks, Robert; I gotta check it out....

2010-07-19 07:20:04

Pete [unverified] said:

Robert, if you are wondering what the Star comments said, I'll venture a guess that they are about 700 variations of "why isn't there a White Expo" or some such jive.

I agree that adjourning the event earlier might be a good idea, but since NONE of these incidents actually occurred at IBE events, it seems problematic to place the blame squarely at IBE's feet. Is the Indy 500 directly responsible for the drunk who hits someone with his car two hours after the race is over?

2010-07-19 07:28:38

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

There have been many stories about IBE disrupting downtown business over the years...but less reporting of this in recent times.

Restaurants wanting to close during IBE for "remodeling" were threatened with sanctions (if memory serves) by city admins. Restaurants claimed they were losing money during IBE because of walkouts, disruptive behavior and because servers did not want to work for non-tippers. The damage and cleanup costs were not borne by IBE, nor the cost of extra security.

Parents bring their underage kids to town, even from out of state (as in the 15 year old boy who had cop problems a few years ago and was from Illinois, and was the subject of predictible hue and cry over his "mistreatment" after he declined to obey a cop), and drop them off until- the next morning?

In previous years IBE cars parked wherever they chose--maybe they still do-- often blocking traffic, and were towed by IMPD; the usual complaints about harrassment followed .

White people have complained about harrassment and threatening behavior from thugs and thugettes, if they make the mistake of being downtown during IBE.

What, exactly, does IBE bring to the party? Certainly not good PR for Indianapolis.

On a good note, the considerable praise given to IMPD's quick response and protective behavior makes Sharpton look like the opportunistic and dangerous gasbag he is (google "Tawana Brawley" for more on the Rev.).

2010-07-19 07:54:30

Pete [unverified] said:

Tom,

Care to provide any documentation for your "white people have complained about harassment from thugs and thugettes" comment? I'd like to see some police report numbers, some Indy Star stories, magazine reporting, etc.

Over the years, opportunistic gasbags like yourself have carefully fostered this notion that white people aren't welcome at IBE, when that is the furthest thing from the truth.

Your move.

2010-07-19 08:35:12

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Pete,
Gonna have to go back to the Star archives for some of this, and I am not going to bother. Some of it is verbatim: I was PR honcho for a downtown developer who owned a hotel and restaurant and other businesses, and heard many complaints from restauranteurs and businesses about the negative effect of IBE on their businesses. I also am close to a downtown business which realizes no benefit from IBE.

The parking kerfluffel was widely reported in the Star and on TV 2 or 3 years ago: cars were towed per city regulations, and much whining followed.

Ii didn't say white folks are not welcome at IBE. I did say the overt thuggery which is associated with the event discourages white attendance. I know this from friends and family who see no reason to subject themselves to intimidation and profanities on the street. Race is incidental to civil behavior: if a bunch of white dudes wearing "Sons Of" jackets, riding choppers and swilling beer decided to have their annual membership drive downtown, I'd steer clear of them too.

The Star has gone AWOL on reporting on IBE problems over the past couple years.

Events like this will always have apologists like yourself, who refuse to admit the dog bites. How do you account for parents who drop off 10 year olds kids late at night? Bad behavior is bad behavior, no matter the occasion. If the snake pit got cleaned up, this event be made more civil. Establishing "safe zones" and using metal detectors won't correct the malaise. The discouragement of single-mother parenting will be a step in the right direction.

(Apparently the shooter was aiming for legs when he shot up downtown...and a good thing, too, because if there'd been a couple corpses on the street, the IBE would be history, like Freaknik in Atlanta.)

2010-07-19 09:41:23

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

You think any rational non-black person would go downtown during the second weekend of Black Expo knowing its history of violence?

What confuses me is why Black Expo schedules events (such as Teen Bling) on that Saturday, knowing that it's guaranteed to attract the thugs and gang bangers.

Of course it's Black Expo's fault. This assemblage isn't a random Saturday night in Indy!

And, on a side note: there weren't any police helicopters in the sky because...the police are selling three of their four helicopters (according to today's Star). Sheesh!

No wonder the shooters thought they could get away clean!

2010-07-19 10:23:31

Pete [unverified] said:

Tom, you said "white people have complained about harassment from thugs and thugettes". I simply asked you to provide some proof. You failed to do so.

I only ask for proof because I remember during one of the Tea Bagger rallies in DC, Rep. John Lewis complained that N-bombs were directed towards him. Tea Bagger apologists demanded videotape evidence. Without out, they claimed that Lewis must be lying.

When asked to document your charges that "white people were harassed and threatened" at IBE, you simply responded with anecdote. I guess you feel your word is more trustworthy than John Lewis', huh?

2010-07-19 10:29:41

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"I guess you feel your word is more trustworthy than John Lewis', huh? "

Indeed I do.

BTW, I am not a Tea Bagger. They are inchoate idiots.

I lived downtown. I worked downtown. I've read The Star for decades and followed local news that long. My "proof" is that I was there, talked to people, worked there, listened and paid attention.

You might want to pay attention.

And for the record, there has never been any proof in any video reviewed that Carson or Lewis were called the N word. Their asertions simply did not pass the smell test. (Well, many of Danny Burton's don't either; it is equal opportunity prevarication.)

2010-07-19 10:58:49

Pete [unverified] said:

Sorry Tom, but if you are going to say publicly that white people are threatened or harassed by black people attending IBE, you're going to need to do better than anecdotes.


Frankly, it's been my experience that the only people who say "whitey" or variations of that are actually white people projecting their racial hangups onto black people. Since you already referred to IBE attendees as "thugs and thugettes" I can't help but wonder if your authoritative anecdotes are being filtered through your own biases, wether you realize it or not.

2010-07-19 11:10:35

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"I can't help but wonder if your authoritative anecdotes are being filtered through your own biases, wether you realize it or not."

I freely admit that my opinions are filted through my biases against incivility, public profanity, boorish behavior and wankers in general. My work in public events has exposed me to plenty of them, of all races, and representing the best argument for birth control.

You are carelessly parsing words and thoughts when you assume I described IBE attendees as thugs and thugettes: I don't think anyone would disagree that a contingent of T&Ts use IBE activities as an excuse to act up. That doesn't mean, nor did I say, that everyone who attends is a T or T.

Years ago the US Nationals at IRP, surely one of the whitest major events held in the Indy area, got out of control with too much drinking and too many T&Ts-- white ones-- ruining the event. This bad behavior was the result of years of benign neglect by security. The behavior was stopped, mainly through efforts by the ISP in cooperation with IRP (where I was employed).

Bad behavior needs to be nipped in the bud...not overlooked, excused or unpunished.

2010-07-19 11:21:22

Pete [unverified] said:

Tom, your words:

"White people have complained about harrassment and threatening behavior from thugs and thugettes, if they make the mistake of being downtown during IBE."

Leaving aside the fact that you have yet to be able to PROVE this assertion, your words appear to imply that IBE and the thugs and thugettes as you so artlessly describe them are one in the same.





2010-07-19 11:46:08

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

Pete, you consistently miss the point through digression.

Does IBE add to the community value of Indianapolis? Should it do more to discourage the bad behavior that accompanies the event?

My experience is both anecdotal, personal and observational.

I have a hunch you are a shill for the event. That's ok; having been a flack myself, I recognize the ad hominem rejoinder as the only option when the facts are agaisnt you.

2010-07-19 12:52:34

Pete [unverified] said:

Tom, your hunch about me being a "shill for the event" is wrong. Do you want to know how wrong? Ask Ruth, she'll tell you who I am and explain a pretty basic reason why I'm not "shill" (hint: think geography). Should wipe that smirk right off your face.

As for IBE, by and large it most certainly adds value to the community(even a cursory examination of their two week schedule of events will show this). Yes, it's time to either eliminate or severely curtail the final Saturday youth events, or at least to schedule them in the afternoon only. In America, we have freedom of movement, and I'm not sure how exactly IBE is going to restrict the movements of free Americans on public streets not even attending IBE events.

2010-07-19 13:07:53

hendy [Member] said:

Pete, with all due respect, I was there, and witnessed the anarchy. Lots of young people, some behaving badly.

You can have freedom of movement, that of association, but there's also a need for civility.

2010-07-19 14:36:41

Pete [unverified] said:

Hendy, with all due respect, what exactly can IBE do when the incidents going on are a) not actually occurring at IBE events and b) not occurring during the time the IBE events were scheduled.

When I lived near the Speedway on race days there were drunks stopping their cars in the middle of traffic to get out and urinate or vomit in the middle of the street a few hours after the race had completed. Is it the Speedway's primary responsibility to prevent that from happening or is it the responsibility of the people in question?

I already said that the IBE probably needs to explicity not schedule any youth events for the second Saturday.

I agree that there is always a need for civility, but I think that the "B" in IBE has a tendency to inflame some people in Indy.

2010-07-19 14:49:19

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"Is it the Speedway's primary responsibility to prevent that from happening or is it the responsibility of the people in question?"

It is the responsibility of event organizers to not create conditions that encourage riotous behavior. For example, serving too much alcohol; failing to have sufficient security; failure to restrain inciteful behavior; keeping an activity going too late into the nightl promoting inappropriate entertainment. It is law enforcement's responsibility to enforce code and keep the peace.

Not IBE nor any organization, Colts included, can wash its hands and say they have no control over what happens on the streets as peripheral activities. If you drink beer during a Colts game and crash into a school bus on your way home, I assure you the Colts, severally and all, vendors included, would be sued.

You have to apply the "But For" standard: But for IBE, there would not have been 10 persons wounded by gunfire.

I am strongly biased against bad behavior, particularly group bad behavior, and when such behavior is predominately conducted by black youth, I will draw some conclusions. Profiling? Heck yes. May keep me from being mugged.

2010-07-19 15:13:22

Pete [unverified] said:

Again, the incidents did not occur at IBE events, nor has it been established that the suspect in the shooting actually ATTENDED IBE events that night. So in the absence of establishing even those facts, your "But for" construct isn't that strong.

However, let's look at your little blast at the end, Tom..

"...when such behavior is predominately conducted by black youth, I will draw some conclusions. Profiling? Heck yes. May keep me from being mugged"

I certainly don't want to "parse", but Tom, how often do you come to such a judgement when a black face is in your field of vision? Yet you have the unmitigated gall to have complained about white people being the victims of harassment at IBE (while neglecting to actually PROVE that charge I might add)

2010-07-19 15:31:38

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

I'm no expert on any of this because, being disabled, I try to stay out of downtown Indianapolis unless I have to go there for some reason. I don't want to end up like "the flower lady" Ruth mentioned.

But, like Tom mentioned, it would seem logical to me to end these events (that get the kids all worked up) prior to nightfall.

When I was a kid 100 years ago, I did all kinds of crazy things after dark, too.

You get this combination of the "fight-or-flight"adrenal mechanism going from the stimulation of this youth-oriented entertainment. Add to that the possibility for anonymity in the dark and.....

I remember the first recreation of Woodstock turned out to be quite a mess and I am of the impression an awfully lot of white, middle-class kids were responsible for a majority of the nastiness at that event.

Start the IBE youth events earlier and I would think that this could at least lessen the number of incidents.

Just my two cents' worth. Probably not worth any more than that.

2010-07-19 15:34:04

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Excellent give-and-take; however, Tom, you stepped out on the plank. You made a couple of observations which I think are either too broad-brush or not true.

For instance, if some businesses were threatened by sanctions if they closed early--who threatened them? What governmental agency had the power to sanction?

The answer is none.

The scheduling was lousy. IBE must answer for that--again. The shootings were horrific. We have a suspect now, and he's 17. His life is basically over, and he hurt a lot of folks.

I hope something changes from all this. It cannot change is we engage in dialogue that is too full of hyperbole. Facts will help us get through this and hopefully, plan for the future, so these kinds of situations are eliminated.





2010-07-19 17:01:11

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"For instance, if some businesses were threatened by sanctions if they closed early--who threatened them? What governmental agency had the power to sanction?"

T3, it's been awhile, but the threats were those without the force of law. Like, IDI or ICVA saying "we will strike you from the published list of places to visit if you close." I know from personal experience this happens.

The City can suggest an unfriendly visit from the Board of Health will occur if a business doesn't stay open.

2010-07-19 18:52:41

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

I'll insert myself into this debate, again (with a revision to my initial assertion).

Given the history of violence year after year on the streets of Indy during IBE, what sane person of any age, sex, race or ethnicity would willingly go downtown on the second Saturday night of IBE?

And, the corollary: what sane parent would allow his/her teen or tween child to go downtown on the second Saturday night of IBE?

Are these people devoid of common sense?

Teenage boys have always acted stupid in every culture in every era. Get a critical mass of 'em together, add a few guns ... and mayhem often is the result.

There's no way you'd get me anywhere near downtown on the second Saturday night of IBE!

2010-07-19 19:35:08

nicmart [Member] said:

For the record, the incidence of rape has dropped by about 80 percent in the past 35 years, a fact that you are not likely to find printed in your daily paper or acknowledged by feminists.

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/glance/tables/viortrdtab.cfm

2010-07-19 20:19:03

hendy [Member] said:

Why would you want to go to IBE?

To be with people of your own groove, to hear music you thrive on, to be in the culture with people that fit into your social scene. You get to meet new people, find new thrills and trends, maybe find some friends, or find some love.

These are the same reasons lots of young people go places, and this event was ostensibly designed with young people in mind. People that want to get ahead, listen to some good music, be themselves, and be treated like a brother, or a sister.

This world in America is largely a white world. Look on TV-- some place besides BET. It's a hetero world. It's a young world-- that's what media says. Maybe you're a minority. Maybe you didn't wake up living on Geist, or even N Penn. Maybe your skin color is different. Maybe you're of a mixed skin color, not quite white, not quite something else. Or maybe the language spoken at home isn't English. Perhaps you're attracted to the same sex.

You're a minority. Maybe for a magic evening in Downtown Indy, you'll be with your homies, people like you. Wouldn't that attract you, Ms Cynical?

2010-07-19 20:54:50

CrossedWires [unverified] said:

Quite simply do away with the second Saturday night all togeather. Shorten the entire event to 6 days.
If they must have a concert, move it to the State fairgrounds where access can be better controlled. The "green zone" downtown is only a test run for the Super Bowl.. It wont work altogeather.

2010-07-19 21:34:18

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

They need the money, Crossed. Very little of IBE is free. In fact, it's downright expensive.

2010-07-20 04:42:55

ruthholl [Member] said:

This has been fascinating and invigorating.
I don't have much to add, either, except to say that a friend who has to pass thru downtown on Saturday nights (via bus) says the Circle Centre mall area is out of control on that particular night of the week -- lots of fighting going on, very young kids out fairly late, etc.
I also remember when Monument Circle all of a sudden became hot with kids -- do any of you recall that it was "the" place for cars to troll, to be seen, etc? And then opening up Circle Centre, adding good restaurants to the mix, etc., only increased the downtown nightlife. I do think the original Monument Circle lure was not race-based. Kids of all color were driving downtown to show off. And I do think there were some shootings...
I also recall that several downtown restaurants, a few years ago, either closed during IBE or limited hours because they claimed patrons were stiffing servers -- simply not paying the bill, let alone not tipping. Again, as Tom says, this is all in the Star archives.
If this makes me sound like a hater, to quote my friend Amos Brown, I am sorry; I think IBE has a rich history and a place in the community.
But back to square one: get rid of that teen bling thing -- as one (black) parent said on Amos' radio show yesterday, even the name is not right, it sends the wrong message to young kids...
Next topic: the mayor and Frank Straub and the cops...

2010-07-20 07:09:52

Pasquale [unverified] said:

The larger issue is, of course, the long-standing problem of young black males as both perpetrators and victims of violent crime. IBE, and our society at large, needs to address that, because it's not getting any better.

2010-07-20 07:38:18

kevin [unverified] said:

Pete,
I am white and worked at Circle Centre for many years during IBE and I was harrassed, called "faggot" and other things. I also have two white friends who were downtown once during the festivities and had things thrown at them, so they immediately left.

We did not report this to the police or talk to any reporters, therefore it is not "documented" but it happened. I guess since there is nothing in writing and only my word for it, it never happened in your eyes?

2010-07-20 07:51:17

Pete [unverified] said:

Kevin,

If you and your friends were threatened, then they should have reported it to the police.

It is interesting to see that when Rep. John Lewis stated that racial invectives were hurled at him by Tea Baggers, demands that videotapes be produced were shrieked.

Again, when it comes to IBE, all it takes is an anecdote that doesn't appear to have actually occurred at an IBE event, that's all the proof you guys need.

Tell you what, produce for me evidence that a white person was not allowed to attend an IBE event by an official representative of the event, and then we'll talk.

2010-07-20 08:42:32

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"Tell you what, produce for me evidence that a white person was not allowed to attend an IBE event by an official representative of the event, and then we'll talk."

??
Pete, I don't recall anyone in any of these posts making such an assertion.




2010-07-20 11:30:23

IndyTodd [unverified] said:

Pete-

I have also been harrassed during the Expo multiple times. Usually, I try to avoid the area as much as possible the second Saturday night but sometimes you cross paths.

Being flipped off, called names, threatened, attempts at intimidation, etc.

You must have your head buried in the sand if you can't acknowledge this stuff routinely goes on.

I've got no problems at all with the IBE job fairs, health screenings, etc. I've even worked a booth for my employer there. Lots of good things going on in the daytime at those events.

Unfortunately, the last Saturday night is a much different story and just flat out needs to go away. As others have said, end things early, don't book events that draw the wrong crowd, etc. Sure, Expo can't completely control what happens when people leave their venues but they absolutely can influence it through their decisions on when and what to put on that day under their name.

Lets be honest...if this was some other convention and had these issues year after year the city would just get rid of it. The fact that cancelling it would create a massive racial problem is the only reason it can continue to cause massive problems year after and city leaders don't even think about not having it.

2010-07-20 22:21:31

Pete [unverified] said:

IndyTodd,

If you were threatened, harassesed, and/or intimidated, then why didn't you report it to the police? Or is that too hard compared to keeping the anecdote in your hip pocket?

You appear to be contradicting yourself with your last few points, though. You admit that Expo can't completely control what happens when people leave their venues but then you plagarize a point Gary Welsh made and call for the entire event to be cancelled despite the Expo's admitted inability to control what happens.

Which specific event "drew the wrong crowd", apart from the poorly named and ill conceived Teen Bling event.

2010-07-21 08:31:38

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I've attended multiple IBE events over the years. I'm a middle-aged WASP and have always been treated with the utmost respect. The health fair last week was particularly helpful--tons of free or low-cost screenings.

But the IBE isn't cheap. By a long shot.

And, I don't go at night. Except the free Legon Mall concert. I stopped attending that a few years ago only because of schedule conflicts.

Pete: Teen Bling should be cancelled, mvoed to daytime or altered. The Second Saturday evening event should be a family event.

2010-07-21 12:43:13

Pete [unverified] said:

Tell,

I agree wholeheartedly about the Second Saturday. However, even if those events were scrubbed and such incidents eradicated, you'd still have thousands of yayhoos in Indy peeing their pants in fear at the sight of all those black faces in Downtown Indy. Again, it's the "B" in IBE that upsets these people more than Second Saturday.

2010-07-21 14:17:03

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

At last, Pete hits one out of the park. Spot-on.

2010-07-22 04:53:38

Old Grouch [unverified] said:

"you'd still have thousands of yayhoos in Indy peeing their pants in fear at the sight of all those black faces in Downtown Indy"

Sorry Pete, you need to do better than anecdotes.

2010-07-22 09:27:29

Pete [unverified] said:

No, Old Grouch what I said there was "speculation". Speculation based on the fact that literally ANY story on the Indy Star that involves a black person either committing a crime or being lauded for a positive community achievement, the comments thread is brimming over with the most chilling racist drivel this side of a George Wallace rally.

Hell, the Circle City Classic football game, an event that simply hasn't had the issues that IBE has had, gets condemned by Star readers with almost equal intensity as IBE.

I know, comments on a website aren't indictive, but you should see how people like Gary Welsh react to black Hoosiers on his blog. Frankly, he's become more and more unhinged as the months go by since the 2008 election.
Like a good little Breitbart lapdog, he's deftly pivoted from trumpeting the USDA/NAACP edited videotape to screaming about a 14 year old class action settlement the USDA made to black farmers.

Sorry, but Hoosiers by and large seem to have a problem with black people. IBE could scrub Second Saturday and put on an event incident free and it wouldn't make a damn bit of difference to the losers in Indianapolis screaming about the event now.

2010-07-22 14:47:36

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"IBE could scrub Second Saturday and put on an event incident free and it wouldn't make a damn bit of difference to the losers in Indianapolis screaming about the event now."

Pete, please offer facts to support your assertions. (He said with an alleged "smirk" on his face.)

2010-07-22 19:24:36

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