The Chainlink

'Biking while black': Chicago minority areas see the most bike tickets

Okay as the article points out there are lots of potential explanations for this but not a single North side area listed in the top ticked areas?

As Chicago police ramp up their ticketing of bicyclists, more than twice as many citations are being written in African-American communities than in white or Latino areas, a Tribune review of police statistics has found.

The top 10 community areas for bike tickets from 2008 to Sept. 22, 2016, include seven that are majority African-American and three that are majority Latino. From the areas with the most tickets written to the least, they are Austin, North Lawndale, Humboldt Park, South Lawndale, Chicago Lawn, West Englewood, Roseland, West Garfield Park, New City and South Chicago.

Not a single majority-white area ranked in the top 10, despite biking's popularity in white areas such as West Town and Lincoln Park."

Read full article at the Tribune site...

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"Do you feel that this replaces the "stop and frisk" policy that the City of Chicago had in effect until they were sued by the ACLU? "

Yes.

A class action suit might be an effective way to respond to this institutionalized racism.

The Chicago Tribune stated that all bicyclists who break the law should be ticketed and I agree. During my rides across the city I see cyclists on the north side breaking numerous traffic laws while the police just watch.


I don't agree. I certainly think CPD should enforce traffic laws but discretion must be used. A cyclist going through a red light at an intersection where there are no other humans should not be ticketed. A rider on  a sidewalk carefully moving at about 5 mph to lock her bike should not be ticketed.  There are hundreds of other discretionary situations where a ticket is silly when we know the cyclists is riding in a safe manner. That being said, unsafe riding cyclists deserve the ticket. All that being said, the problem is that ticket writing, as with most use of discretion, is not uniformly distributed across the city. Some communities( name them what you wish) and some citizens( label them per your discretion) seem to be disproportionately ticketed or arrested or stopped. This is a problem.   The solution is not to treat everybody rotten but to treat everybody with respect. The solution to seeing  a rider of any color in any community is not to summarily issue a ticket but to use the same judgement  as to whether that rider is unsafe; to judge the actions rather than to judge based on assumptions made based on  the way that person looks, what kind of machine is being ridden or the neighborhood where the perceived infraction takes place.  

I write this as a white guy who owns up to his privilege, who refuses to give it up, and who insists that the privilege become one of all humans rather than any subset of them.

VERY Interesting! you state "I write this as a white guy who owns up to his privilege, who refuses to give it up, and who insists that the privilege become one of all humans rather than any subset of them."

But what are YOU doing personally to "insist" that everyone enjoys the same privilege? 

It seems (to me) that to benefit from a "privilege is a form of inequality, am I wrong in this perspective? To me enjoying a "privilege" is a form of separation (us vs them).

I realize that this in not the proper forum for this discussion, however we are writing about biking. Not willing to give up your "white privilege" is a thinly veiled form of racism (oh no! The "R" word!).

Wow! Very interesting!

VERY Interesting! you state "I write this as a white guy who owns up to his privilege, who refuses to give it up, and who insists that the privilege become one of all humans rather than any subset of them."

But what are YOU doing personally to "insist" that everyone enjoys the same privilege? 

I am not doing enough.

Acknowledging that privilege exists is one thing. Taking action to see that all have the same privilege is another.  No question.  

It seems (to me) that to benefit from a "privilege is a form of inequality, am I wrong in this perspective? To me enjoying a "privilege" is a form of separation (us vs them).

In the sense that a person wants things to remain inequitable and wants to have privilege denied to others you are correct.  That is not my intent. I refuse to be treated poorly by the authorities. I don't want to have a special privilege for myself. I want this for ALL people.  I don't want separation. I want the day when we are all treated as humans.  When I say I am not giving  it back I am saying that further regression makes no sense to me. I want to push forward for all.

I realize that this in not the proper forum for this discussion, however we are writing about biking. Not willing to give up your "white privilege" is a thinly veiled form of racism (oh no! The "R" word!).

This is a biking forum and we all share that. However, this thread is about disparate treatment of people and communities in our city and who is kidding who, race is a big part of it. I acknowledge my privilege.  I say I don't want to give it up. I do not say I refuse to give up "white" privilege but the so-called privilege of being treated well by the police.  I go on  to say I want this for all. I do not say I want to continue having this privilege because I am white. If I did that would indeed be a form of racisim and it wouldn't be thinly veiled. it would be very clear. I may be a pollyanna but I await the day when the treatment I enjoy and others seek will be seen as a fact of life rather than a privilege.

Wow! Very interesting!

Going back to you first question about what I am doing, I again acknowledge that my efforts are insufficient so I will accept any criticism that opening  my mouth or writing words doesn't really help. I am glad I got your attention as that was my intention.  The issue is important and I hope some eyes were opened by our dialogue.

I think where it get's sticky is by the nature and definition of "privilege" it is a benefit that gives you an advantage over others. I understand what you are trying to say - you wish all could be treated as well as you are (and that we truly are treated as equal). 

Thanks for catching that.

As a long-time resident of Albany Park, and frequent rider between there and Ravenswood/Lincoln Square, I can absolutely say I've never seen an officer pulling bikers over for ticketing. Never. I've heard about it a lot, but just assumed they must be targeting younger folks in areas that are heavy traffic for bikes, pedestrians, and motor vehicles, like Wicker Park or Logan Square. This doesn't surprise me, though, as this is just an extension of law enforcement bias for policing areas of color more than any other. Which isn't to say it is acceptable or right. Not to mention, this city has some major problems, and I don't think policing bikers of color will do anything to solve anything. It's frankly, a bit idiotic. I could see ticketing a biker in the loop for riding through pedestrians in a dangerous manner, but most bike infractions put no one but the biker themselves at risk. 

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