At about 5:30pm yesterday, a tourist trolley was waiting in a line of vehicles on State Street north of the traffic signal at Grand Avenue. The trolley was packed with clearly intoxicated, 20-something, white males who were hanging out the windows, loudly wuffing and chanting, USA! USA! USA! Why? Perhaps they were still smarting from the defeat by Belgium on Thursday, but chanting USA! USA! is also something young white males do when alcohol stokes their not-yet-done-with-adolescence grandiosity.
While the trolley waited in the line of vehicles, some of the young men held beers out the window, urging a middle-aged, homeless, black man at the curb to accept a beverage. When the homeless fellow approached and reached up toward the trolley windows, someone poured a beer all over him. He yelled, ASSHOLES, as the passengers in the trolley roared in hysterical laughter. Very funny, huh?
Near the intersection just ahead, there were at least fifteen CPD and CTA police vehicles parked on Grand Avenue, a cluster of CPD foot officers and, in the minute or two I was at the intersection, I saw at least three police vehicles pass by. Unfortunately, none were in a position to see what the jackass on the trolley did to the homeless man.
The cruel irony is that all those cops are positioned near the State and Grand underground station to monitor the comings and goings of black teens arriving in groups from the South and West Sides. In recent years past, hundreds if not thousands of these young people were using social media to organize mobs that wreaked havoc on the central city and Near North Side, rushing stores, cleaning out the shelves, and purposely intimidating and attacking both tourists and locals for amusement. There were also massive brawls between the mobs. If you've been reading my blog over the last few years, you may recall my reports of that disgraceful conduct. The heavy police presence seems for the most part to have put a stop to the mobs, for now.
If I had to bet, I'd say the young white men on the trolley were from the suburbs. The trolleys and that area of town are pretty touristy. Perhaps the police should simply monitor mobs of young males coming from outside the area, regardless of whether they're arriving from the South Side or DuPage County.