walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

There Are Reasons People Overgeneralize

I hate to sound like I'm justifying stereotyping. I really do. So I'll just pre-emptively say, if you have negative thoughts about people who overgeneralize about a whole group of people based on an otherwise innocent characteristic, please, please, please: Just Start Hating Me Now. It'll make the rest of this much easier on you.

There was an Incident recently in NYC. It involved a large number of people riding motorcycles, quads and similar vehicles in a non-permitted group ride. Many of the vehicles violated basic rules of the road with respect to riding on the shoulder, sidewalks, speeding, lane changes and so forth. At some point, this turned into an altercation with a Range Rover and it got a whole lot worse from there. I have some suspicion that some member or members of the group may have thought it would be pretty awesome to hassle an SUV driver, just on general principles, but I have no strong commitment to that proposition.

I'm here to offend two _other_ groups of people instead.

(1) The most injured person as a result of the event is from Lawrence, and has an extensive criminal history, according to current news reports.

[My more reasonable side compels me to add: There are _wonderful_ people who live in Lawrence. Really. It's a city of over 70K. They are, in fact, overwhelmingly wonderful, in all likelihood. But a Lawrence blog (which hasn't been updated for a while) called What's Good in the Hood has the subtitled: Aiming to generate city pride despite a tarnished reputation. And that really says something.]

(2) There may have been several police officers and/or corrections officials participating in the ride. _One_ of those is reported as being an undercover cop who took a while to report his presence and pre-emptively consulted a lawyer. The rest -- if there are more -- are perhaps [ETA: also] members of a New Rochelle motorcycle club.

[My more reasonable side compels me to add: New Rochelle _also_ is a city of over 70K, and is quite proud that for a city of its size, it is quite safe, compared to others. I'm not sure what to think of this; what I do know is that New Rochelle has been fighting a dodgy reputation for twenty years that I have had any awareness of cities of its size near NYC.]


New Rochelle. And Lawrence.

I will now stop, because I'm fairly certain that the rest of it writes itself, if you are the kind of person who Overgeneralizes.

OK, one more comment, in case I haven't annoyed enough people already. My husband and I were discussing this while watching the kiddies have their swim lessons/play at the pool. He rattled through the various theories about a cop being on the scene and then taking a really long time to report their presence. I observed (not knowing about the additional law enforcement/corrections presence) that it would likely turn out to be the case that they were there on their own time, and this was really going to be a painful scandal.

ETA: Gloria Allred is already On the Case! Defending the man from Lawrence.
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