Obama Delegate Resigns After Remark
An Illinois delegate for Democratic Sen. Barack Obama resigned after using the word "monkeys" to describe black children playing in a tree, the Obama campaign said Tuesday.
Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski, a trustee in the Chicago suburb of Carpentersville, was issued a $75 ticket for disorderly conduct after neighbors complained to police. She says the word wasn't meant racially and she will fight the ticket.
"Given the incident, Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski is stepping down as a delegate and will be replaced," said Obama spokeswoman Amy Brundage.
The incident occurred Saturday, when two children were playing in a tree next door to Ramirez-Sliwinski's house.
She said the parents were outside supervising the children, but she went over and told them to get out of the tree because she was concerned about the boys' safety and because the small magnolia tree was being damaged.
The father of one of the boys told her it was none of her business, she told the Chicago Tribune, and "I calmly said the tree is not there for them to be climbing in there like monkeys."
The mother of one boy called police.
Cmdr. Michael Kilbourne said Tuesday a ticket was issued because the ordinance bans conduct that disturbs or alarms people. One of the boys told police he was scared by her comment and a mother said she was disturbed, he said.
I understand that the word "monkey" can be used in a derogatory way toward African Americans, but considering the context - children playing in TREES - that does not seem to be the intent. Unless there is way more to the story than is reported this hardly seems like "conduct that disturbs or alarms people." First of all, it's language, not conduct, and second of all, it seems like the woman could have called the police on the family because the safety of the children and the health of the tree disturbed and alarmed her.
On top of that, who the heck calls the POLICE after a brief verbal confrontation with a neighbor?! What kind of policeman actually issues a TICKET?! And what kind of a community allows the thought police to fine free speech?! INSANITY!!!