In a stunning development in the story we reported two days ago about a wireless network router broadcasting the name “NIGGER_DICK” in a mixed residential/business district in Niles, IL, our correspondent was told by an Officer Walczak of the Niles, IL Police Department that the racist router broadcast has been known to the police department for “more than” TWO YEARS! Officer Walczak and his supervisor, Sergeant Boba both claim that this racist provocation “is not a hate crime” and that “there’s nothing we can do about it”!
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Officer Walczak justified his and his department’s alleged incapacity to do anything in this way (this is an exact quote!): “What if we investigate this and we find out it’s a black guy who’s doing it? We tell him to turn it off and he says: ‘No! I can do anything I want!’ What do we do then?”
Niles, Illinois is a suburban bedroom community just a short distance north up the Edens Expressway from the city of Chicago. First “settled” in 1827 according to it’s racist Wikipedia entry…
[Let’s stop right here for a moment. How much longer are we going to read this kind of racist bullshit about every single town in the United States’ history only going back to the time at which white Europeans arrived? Hasn’t there been enough scientific inquiry, enough anthropological research, enough protest from the descendants of the Native Americans to put an end to these racist “dates of settlement”? The thousands of years previous to 1827 during which hundreds of thousands of Native Americans “originally settled” the land (which whites later stole from the aboriginal peoples and named “Niles”) – don’t count even in 2012! You would imagine that the genocide of the Native Americans was so complete that no one was left to complain about these racist “town histories”. Yet, at the end of the twentieth century, the Native American population in the Chicago area was nearly 40,000 people! That’s far more than the entire population of Niles, IL in 2010!
This robust population of Native American people in Chicago represent “close to one hundred different tribes from across the United States and Canada… Its multitribal nature makes Chicago’s Native American community a richly diverse one that crosses different cultural traditions and languages. This diversity makes the community a unique place to bring people together to learn about and address issues affecting Native people nationally”! [Source: “Encyclopedia of Chicago: Native Americans”]
This is no insignificant remnant population! So knock it off already with the racist Illinois and US “town histories” that pretend that history only begins with the first white Europeans’ arrival somewhere in the world!]
Where were we? Oh yes, Niles, IL demographics. Once again, from the racist Wikipedia article: “The racial makeup of the village [according to the 2000 census – IWP] was 83.22% White, 0.46% African American [our emphasis – IWP], 0.09% Native American, 12.68% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.67% from other races, and 1.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.03% of the population… median income for a household in the village was $48,627… the median income for a family was $58,215. Males had a median income of $40,131 versus $30,266 for females. The per capita income for the village was $23,543. About 3.2% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.2% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.” [Source: Wikipedia: “Niles, Illinois”]
In 2010 – at the same time that Officer Walczak stated that the racist router broadcast had long since been brought to his department’s inattention – BusinessWeek declared that Niles, Illinois was one of “America’s Best, Affordable Places to Raise Kids”!
When Officer Walczak of the Niles Police Department made his outrageous statement about the possibility of the owner of the racist router’s being a “black guy”, our correspondent, stunned, replied: “What do you think the odds of that are? How many African-Americans live here?” To which Officer Walczak replied: “There’s a few”! Our correspondent pointed out that the obvious intent of the racist bigot’s router broadcast was to ensure that it stays that way. To this, the officer responded that “I hate this as much as you do, but our hands are tied.” Our correspondent: “Well, sometimes our hands are tied and sometimes we tie our own hands.” Officer Walczak: “That is true.”
Our correspondent made his call to the 911 emergency number this morning (18 October 2012) to report a hate crime, having confirmed that the router broadcast has been continuous since he first noticed it several days ago. The 911 operator initially questioned whether or not our correspondent was actually in Niles, so close to the border between Niles and Morton Grove is the location of the Panera Bread franchise at 7023 Dempster Ave. . Our correspondent was put through to the Niles Police Department emergency number, where the officer there was so polite and attentive that our correspondent was impressed and initially thought that perhaps the Niles Police would take the issue seriously. The dispatcher told our correspondent to wait at the Panera Bread cafe and a fellow officer would arrive shortly.
In about ten minutes, Officer Walczak of the Niles Police Department (badge #168) arrived.
Our correspondent brought Officer Walczak to his table to look at our correspondent’s laptop, where the Windows XP’s “View Available Wireless Networks” window was open, displaying the racist router message yet again.
“There it is” our correspondent stated.
[The following quotes are very close approximations of the actual dialogue. Verbatim quotes in boldface type – our correspondent is identified as “IWP” for the sake of brevity – IWPCHI]
Officer Walczak: “Oh yeah. We know about it, and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s not a hate crime.”
IWP: “It obviously is a hate crime. It’s an intimidating racist message being broadcast to everyone here.”
Officer Walczak: “I hate it as much as you do, but there’s nothing we can do about it.”
IWP: “How long has this been going on? I spoke with the manager here [at Panera – IWPCHI] and she said it has been going on for weeks. I also spoke with the manager of Chase Bank and she has known about it for some time.”
Officer Walczak: “It’s been going on for at least two years.” It’s been here longer but I know for at least two years.”
IWP: “Two YEARS?”
Officer Walczak: “It’s been here longer but I know for at least two years.”
IWP: “And all this time, you couldn’t do anything about it?”
Officer Walczak: “It’s not a hate crime. Look, if the bank doesn’t want to do anything about it and these guys [meaning Panera Bread – IWP] don’t want to do anything about it, what are we supposed to do? I hate it as much as you do…”
IWP: “Obviously, that’s not the case or you would have done something about it by now.”
Officer Walczak: “Well, that’s your opinion. It’s not a hate crime.”
IWP: “Are you a lawyer? How do you know this isn’t a hate crime?”
Officer Walczak: “If you’d like, you can call my supervisor and talk to him but there’s nothing we can do about it.”
IWP: “What we need to do is talk to a civil rights lawyer who knows the law…”
Officer Walczak: “You can call a lawyer if you want…”
IWP: “…or talk to the Cook County Prosecutor or the Attorney General.”
Officer Walczak: “OK… just wait here for a minute”. [He gets on his cell phone and calls someone. He speaks to them for about 3 minutes – IWP]
Officer Walczak: “I just spoke to my sergeant and he says that he’s aware of it, but there’s nothing we can do since it’s not a hate crime. I can give you his phone number and you can go down and talk to him yourself if you like.”
IWP: “Yes, what is his name? And first, what is your name?”
Officer Walczak: “Walczak – w, a, l, c, z, a, k. Badge number one-sixty-eight.”
IWP: “Walczak. [Spells it back] Got it. And your supervisor’s name?”
Officer Walczak: “Boba, Sergeant Boba. B,o,b,a.”
IWP: “Good. Yeah I need to talk to someone because this is unacceptable. Two years! Neither of us are lawyers, we need to speak with someone who is an expert in these things. Civil rights law.”
Officer Walczak: “Well I know it’s not a hate crime. A hate crime is like when I’m beating you up [makes motion with his right fist as if beating on someone] and I’m saying: ‘you [softly] nigger…’ “
IWP: “Yeah, I get it. You know, I looked this up yesterday on Google – ‘racist router broadcast’ – and all I came up with was one other case, in New Jersey, and the police there did a full investigation.”
Officer Walczak: “Well, that’s New Jersey. Different laws, maybe.”
IWP: “In that case there was someone who set up a racist router broadcast in a community center.”
Officer Walczak: “Right, that’s different.
IWP: “But they did an investigation.”
Officer Walczak: “I hate this as much as you do. But sometimes it’s like our hands our tied and we can’t do anything.”
IWP: “And sometimes we just tie our own hands.”
Officer Walczak: “That is true. But a hate crime is like when you put swastikas on a building. This is a free country, people can say what they want. What if we did an investigation and it turned out it was a black guy who did it?”
IWP: “What would be the odds of that? How many African-Americans even live in this town?”
Officer Walczak: “There’s a few.”
IWP: “Well, whoever is doing this wants to keep it that way.”
Officer Walczak: “You can go on Google and look up pictures of swastikas, right? Is that a hate crime?”
IWP: “It depends on who’s putting up the swastikas. If it’s a company doing it, then yes, it could be a civil rights violation. I mean, a swastika alone doesn’t mean anything, they’ve been around for thousands of years on Indian temples, in Greek temples…”
Officer Walczak: “You’ve gone on Google and seen swastikas, right? They’re on there, right? Now is that a crime or is that freedom of speech?”
IWP: “It depends on who’s doing the posting. If you put some racist thing on Facebook, they can pull your account because it goes against their “Terms of Service”. Some ISP providers will cancel an account if it’s being used to spread slanderous or racist material – it’s not allowed under their “Terms of Service”.
Officer Walczak: “Well you can’t just go around telling people what to say and do. We have freedom here.”
IWP: “There are all kinds of limits on freedom. I can’t just take all my clothes off and walk down Main St.”
Officer Walczak: “Well in this case we can’t do anything about it.
IWP: “There are lots of things that can be done about it. The neighbors can get together and go to the house or whoever has the router and talk with him and try to get him to turn it off. Maybe he has no idea that the broadcast is going so far as it is. People don’t realize how far their routers broadcast – they think they might only go as far as their driveway or something, not 500 feet…”
Officer Walczak: “That’s true.”
IWP: “It’s a question of what you want to do about it. And what you should do… you know, if you called out a tech guy from AT&T, he could locate that router in about 15 minutes. Then all you’d have to do is go knock on their door and let them know that their router is broadcasting this message to the whole neighborhood and ask them to stop.”
Officer Walczak: “Well, like I said before: what if we find out it’s a black guy who’s doing it, and we go to his house and ask him to turn it off and he refuses