Bluebell Park, on the city's south side, may have lost its basketball court forever because of a violent incident over the weekend involving players and residents whose property border the park, according to Lansing officials.
And then Saturday, a Sunrose Avenue couple were assaulted in their backyard, inciting conversations over whether basketball courts in city parks are magnets for trouble.Murdock Jemerson, the city's parks and recreation director, said news that 57-year-old Larry Ruble was beaten by several players Saturday evening was the clincher.
And why is that?
WAUKESHA - There are no more basketball hoops at Roberta Park in Waukesha, and some people are wondering if that was a racist move.
The hoops were pulled from the asphalt last month, much to the disappointment of several children in the area. But moms like Angelique Byrne are glad the hoops are gone, and she hopes the park will be more "kid friendly" now. "I know a lot of people in the neighborhood were a bit intimidated by the teenagers just due to the foul language and the large number of kids that were here," said Byrne.
But one community worker says it wasn't just the age of the kids, but their race. "Most of the kids were black, yes," said DJ Webb from nearby New Beginnings Church.
Webb worries the hoops disappeared in the hopes black people in the park would too. "I hope it would not be racial but from some of the things that we've seen that kind of appears to be the issue, but I know there are a lot of great people out here in Waukesha so I would hope that would not be the case."
Maureen Ruble said she and her husband were attacked after he asked the men to stop using foul language. She estimated the men were in their 20s. They were not from the neighborhood, she said.
The backyard of the couple's home on Sunrose Avenue, just south of Jolly Road, is separated from Bluebell Park by a fence. A man standing near the fence was shouting obscenities to the others on the basketball court, Ruble said.
"My husband just went to the fence and asked him very respectfully, 'This is a family neighborhood here, can you cut the language?' " she said. "He didn't even get it out of his mouth, and this guy jumped the fence."
Then, she said, about five others from the basketball court jumped the fence into their backyard, where moments before the couple had been grilling chicken. Ruble said she was pushed to the ground.As others on the basketball court cheered them on, the men beat and kicked her husband until he was nearly unconscious, she said.
Basically six blacks attack an older White man because he asked them to act like human beings.
The problem, rather obviously, is not the presence of basketball courts but the presence of blacks.
It seems to be a recurrent theme whether its at parks, parking lots or the street nearest you.
The bigger problem though is that Whites continue to publicly pretend its something other than what it is.
In this case the White fellow expected the blacks to act like White men would. He learned otherwise.
It's an unsustainable solution to a problem that is only growing worse by the moment.
Denial ain't a river in Egypt...