To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Don't Use the M-Word in Illinois

Hopefully there's something more to this story than sketchy details that are in this Sun-Times article, because if we go by what's written by the reporter, it looks an awful lot like a woman was ticketed for referring to some black kids as "monkeys". Bonus: She also happened to be an Obama delegate, but not anymore.

Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski, a Carpentersville village trustee, was elected as an Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention. She sports an Obama sign in her front yard.

On Saturday, two neighbor children were playing in the tree next-door to her house.

Ramirez-Sliwinski "came outside and told the children to quit playing in the tree like monkeys. The tree was not on Ramirez-Sliwinski's property," Carpentersville Police Commander Michael Kilbourne said.

Ramirez-Sliwinski admitted she used the word "monkeys," but said she did not intend racism. She said she was only trying to protect them from falling out of the tree.
Seems harmful enough. It doesn't even sound like she was trying to bring race into the mix. It doesn't even sound like an insult. More:

Ramirez-Sliwinski did not return messages seeking comment Monday. She told the Daily Herald she meant no racism with her comment but that "after this incident, I will not run again" for trustee.

The only Hispanic on the board, Ramirez-Sliwinski has been a strong voice for Carpentersville's 40 percent Hispanic population. She and Village President Bill Sarto opposed an English-only proposition and an ordinance to crack down on illegal immigrants.

Opposition leader Judy Sigwalt said, "We are elected officials. We are in a position where people look to us for leadership and professionalism. We have to be diplomatic at all times."

Sarto said he hopes Ramirez-Sliwinski will plead "not guilty" to the $75 charge and stay on the board: "Frankly, I don't see a law that was broken here. She's a good neighbor. She went over to caution the children to be careful not to fall out of a tree.
So Ramirez-Sliwinski was ticketed for what? For comparing children to monkeys? For using the word monkeys? For using the word monkey in reference to black children? For yelling at kids in a tree? I'm not sure how any one of those could possibly be construed as a crime, but maybe I'm missing something...

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