Chicago: Parks worker overhears woman spanking her nephew in bathroom

by Walter Olson on March 24, 2009

Before you click the link, guess: who wins the $200,000? Was your guess right? Were other guesses just as plausible? And where does race fit in?

More: Coyote (“Here is a real journalistic triumph — the story of a multi-party conflict in which I immediately dislike absolutely everyone in the story on all sides of the conflict, up to and including the jury and the third parties quoted.”) And Scott Greenfield.

{ 9 comments }

1 Matt 03.24.09 at 12:59 pm

“I feel sad that the public has to pay for someone’s mistake,” Schandelmeier-Bartels said during a telephone interview.

And yet she acts powerless to prevent this.

2 VMS 03.24.09 at 2:29 pm

Walter, you gave it away by posing the question.

3 KC 03.24.09 at 3:06 pm

When did spanking become a black thing? I was spanked, growing up, and we’re not black.

Very strange.

4 Bob Lipton 03.24.09 at 3:30 pm

Then your parents were sadists. Or maybe you’re Black and don’t know it.

Bob

5 Todd Rogers 03.24.09 at 4:02 pm

Bob, why did you capitalize black?

As a caucasian Anglo-American, I too was spanked while stepping afoul of authority. Of course, the characters in this fact-pattern were clearly trying to make the circumstance esoteric. As such, the class would be immune to judgment from those not among them and also play the racial trump card, so any dissent could be questioned prima facie. Easily paraded as a cultural-colloquialism, the whole “it’s a black thing…you wouldn’t understand” mentality simply holds no water, and to answer Walter’s question, has no merit in this story at all.

6 SSFC 03.24.09 at 8:27 pm

Easily paraded as a cultural-colloquialism, the whole “it’s a black thing…you wouldn’t understand” mentality simply holds no water, and to answer Walter’s question, has no merit in this story at all.

Yet it does. It was a federal non-diversity case, and without downloading the pleadings from PACER we can still be sure that means the plaintiff (whom I dislike intensely from reading the story) claimed discrimination on the basis of a protected class, of which the only class that makes sense in the context of this story is race.

She claimed she was discriminated against for her race. She convinced 12 suckers that was true.

Most likely she was fired for being the sort of person who calls the police when another woman spanks a six-year-old. You can draw a lot of inferences about her character from that. I’ll bet she was a joy to work with.

7 Common Reader 03.25.09 at 12:42 am

Most likely she was fired for being the sort of person who calls the police when another woman spanks a six-year-old. You can draw a lot of inferences about her character from that. I’ll bet she was a joy to work with.

That woman was almost certainly a mandated reporter.

https://www.dcfstraining.org/manrep/

8 The Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk 03.25.09 at 1:04 pm

Common Reader:

Even if she was a “mandated reporter,” she is required to report “excessive corporal punishment,” not any corporal punishment whatsoever.

https://www.dcfstraining.org/manrep/docs/Signs%20of%20Child%20Abuse%20Neglect.pdf

Yet her n0-spanking-under-any-circumstances comments give the impression that all she encountered was run-of the-mill corporal punishment. Indeed, she is quoted in the article as acknowledging that, “‘If someone else other than me had been outside that bathroom that day, I doubt that the incident would have been reported.'”

9 Anonymous Attorney 03.25.09 at 3:46 pm

So, would this absurd episode argue in favor of a multicultural society, or against? Because, if a society is to have uniform standards of reasonableness, you can’t have co-existing but clashing cultural norms. Especially with a wrenching legal system screwed on top. It just turns life into a huge, expensive, time-consuming mess that frustrates everyone. Is this how “diversity is our greatest strength”?

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