Monday, February 22, 2010

Parking Tickets, anti semitic?

I was browsing vosisneias.com, when I found the following article: Brooklyn, NY - Council Candidates Fire Off Letter To NYC Officials To Stop Ticket Blitz Erev Shabbos.

The article said that:

New York City Council Candidates in the 44th District Joe Lazar, And David Greenfiled have fired off a letter to NYC officials, asking them to halt the mass parking ticket blitz that has been targeted unfairly in the Brooklyn Orthodox community Erev Shabbos.

The Parking meters throughout Boro Park and Brooklyn areas are in effect until 7pm on Friday, even though in the winter months, Shabbos goes into effect as early as 4pm. Once the 25 hour Shabbos goes into effect, observant drivers are prohibited by Jewish Law from feeding the meter. Even if they feed the meter at 5pm (the approximate current start of Shabbos), they are only allowed to pay for one hour, resulting in parking tickets that they are unable to prevent.


I’m curious how meters “unfairly” target the Brooklyn Orthodox Community? I don’t live in a super frummy neighborhood, and I see parking patrol cops *all* over the place, giving tickets to people who do *not* feed their meters… they’re *not* necessarily Jewish.

I also fail to see how the time that shabbos begins is a factor in parking regulation? My husband *knows* shabbos starts early, and therefore *doesn’t* park by a meter on a Friday, knowing full well he’ll be unable to feed it. So no matter what time shabbos starts, a meter still needs to be fed, and a FRUM person *knows* that, because it’s the LAW!

If anyone comes on the comments defending this wacko letter, claiming that cops target orthodox Jews in general when it comes to ticketing, I’ll just laugh. Think about the last time you drove on ave J or in Boro Park and you didn’t think you were going to die in a crash? SUPER FRUMMIES CAN’T DRIVE!!!!! They TRIPPLE PARK IN BORO PARK, and the U-TURN ON 13th ave!!!

THEY DESERVE THE TICKETS!!!!! Its *not* anti-Semitism!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just because it's the law doesn't mean it *should* be the law.

Usually a law is written to solve a problem.

Here, the law *is* the problem.

It's an unjust law because it causes a bigger problem than it solves.

That bigger problem hits Jews harder than non-Jews, so, whether by design or not, the law is unfair / due to disparate impact / and immoral because the harm of the tickets is greater than any problem the law was intended to solve.

2. If, normally, laws are enforced in proportion to need, meaning, if important laws are more enforced than unimportant laws (laws that serve no great purpose), then to enforce a law that hits one group more than others is arbitrary. A body of laws that permits arbitrary enforcement to the the detriment of a particular group is unjust.

And I write all of the above assuming that no nefarious secret intent exists. It's all the more on point if these particular meters are being enforced because someone or some group is doing so just to hurt Jews.

frumskeptic said...

Anonymous:
“Usually a law is written to solve a problem.”
Actually law is written for various reasons… Sometimes to protect tradition, sometimes to raise funds, sometimes to solve problems (usually only making them worse- Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid…etc).
A parking meter is pretty much law to enable decent traffic flow, and to raise money for the town/city.

“Here, the law *is* the problem.”

How so? Traffic flows decently in the areas, people are able to find parking because timed parking causes a turn-over rate, and the city benefits by making money.

“It's an unjust law because it causes a bigger problem than it solves.”
It doesn’t cause problems. It does what it is supposed to do = allow for turnover in parking spots, and raises money for the city.

“That bigger problem hits Jews harder than non-Jews, so, whether by design or not, the law is unfair / due to disparate impact / and immoral because the harm of the tickets is greater than any problem the law was intended to solve.”
If Jews followed the law, it wouldn’t hit them hard. IF you know shabbos starts at a certain time, then YOU are stupid for still parking there. Parking laws didn’t come into effect suddenly one Friday morning, that the city decided “Hey, Lets target Boro Park!” Parking laws were in effect for quite sometime, *EVERY* Jew knows and sees the meters standing there infront/behind their car as they park… and knows 100% what they represent ($.25/20 minutes)
- plus there are parking signs with the rules every few feet.

“If, normally, laws are enforced in proportion to need, meaning, if important laws are more enforced than unimportant laws (laws that serve no great purpose), then to enforce a law that hits one group more than others is arbitrary.”

The importance of a law is relative to the observer. Law is Law. Controlling parking law at this time in the economy IMO is super important. The city makes a *ton* of money doing so, and will hopefully therefore keep it from going deeper in the red.

“ A body of laws that permits arbitrary enforcement to the the detriment of a particular group is unjust.”

Agreed. But Jews, just like EVERYONE else in the city, know that parking meter laws are from a certain time to a certain time each the days they are in effect. If parking meter laws were from 9-3Monday thru Thrusday, and on Friday was 9-7 ONLY in JEWISH neighborhoods, you’d have a point. But the fact that the meters are in effect, on a daily basis and have been for years, in *every* neighborhood in the city, just goes to show that Jews tend to cry anti-semitism at their convenience, when its really *THEIR* problem. IF you’re stupid, and park at a meter, and get a ticket, its YOUR fault for being stupid. Don’t blame the city.

“And I write all of the above assuming that no nefarious secret intent exists. It's all the more on point if these particular meters are being enforced because someone or some group is doing so just to hurt Jews.”

These meters are being enforced because the cars are there. Some traffic cops are given neighborhood A and some traffic cops are given neighborhood B, If neighborhood B happens to be full of Jews who think that shabbos has holy powers that will make their unfed meters get bypassed, then you see right there why neighborhood B cop gives out more tickets… its because the people in neighborhood B are breaking the Law, whereas in neighborhood A, not as many of them are.
-

Moshe said...

What's next? Installing fire hydrants next to shuls is anti-semitic because they take away parking spots?

Mystery Woman said...

In many frum neighborhoods, the meters do not need to be fed on Shabbos or Yom Tov. This is ONLY in frum neighborhoods. So it would only make sense to extend that so it begins when Shabbos starts...for the same reasons.

frumskeptic said...

Mystery Woman- yes...that would make sense. So it would be smart if the klal presents that idea to the city, as opposed to cry antisemitism.

Anonymous said...

1. It could be unintentional anti-semitism if the enforcement was totally proper.

For instance, suppose, quite by accident, a law was passed that everyone must light a candle at noon on Saturdays to show support for the government.

That would be a case where, in ignorance, the government accidentally passed an anti-semetic law. Perhaps such an anti-semetic law would be morally good, that depends on whether it's any moral good for Jews to keep their Sabbath outweighs the negatives. Being anti-semetic is not the same as being "immoral".

On the other hand,
2. If whoever directed the ticket writers knew that these tickets hit Jews and directed these tickets to be written because the person didn't like Jews, then it's intentional anti-semitism. Once again, perhaps intentional anti-semitism is morally good or neutral or bad, that depends on whether the moral goodness of the tickets outweighs the alternative.

3. (or 1b + 2b) Suppose there are 100 laws which are not heavily enforced. Then someone decides to enforce the odd numbered laws, and accidentally = 1b or intentionally = 2b the arbitrary enforcement impacted a group.

If so, the result is anti-that group 1b unintentional or 2b intentional.

I think an existential argument is being suggested: That legalistic cultures should not complain when other legalistic cultures enforce laws just for the sake of enforcing them.

Such a complaint suggests hypocrisy.

The argument could have been made in reverse, "See how you don't like laws being enforced all the time? So, too, you should be more flexible on your halacha."

For me, I think that the city should lighten up, even if the victim culture is too legalistic.

As for the argument that 'anti-semitism' is a complaint that should be saved for serious matters, I would agree, but I don't have a strong commitment to my agreement.

I would rather see traffic tickets in general have a different nature.

I saw someone arrested for not paying a ticket. That's absurd. The man (who happened to be Black) was taken away in handcuffs.

I think, instead, the man's truck should have been taken instead of sending the man to jail.

I know another Black man who is the father of four who was sent to jail for outstanding tickets. He lost his job, car, for a monetary debt.

Better would have been to take his car, he could have kept his job and fed his family. Who knows what this trauma did to his marriage.

The whole idea of having men with guns going around collecting debts or kidnapping non-violent adults is backward and barbaric.

Moshe said...

My friend, who's white, was also sent to jail for unpaid parking tickets. What's your point?

Why is it wrong to put a person in jail overnight, for unpaid tickets? This is not done for 1 ticket that's a month late, this is done for numerous tickets which are months overdue.

Anonymous said...

Frum skeptic, I love your posts, they are so interesting to read... I've recently read all your past posts.... I'm sure I could speak for a majority of your readers in saying- PLEASE POST MORE OFTEN (if you could)

frumskeptic said...

ANONYMOUS- you just stuck in a long response in hopes that something you say would prove your point. But it doesnt. Because here are the facts
1- parking meter laws are in effect regularly. they aren't sporadically enforced. They're always enforced in *all* neighborhoods.

2- People in Jewish neighborhoods regularly break the law (by not feeding the meters on friday), and therefore regularly get tickets-

3- Until s/t happens similar to what Mystery WOman thinks should happen (only in Jewish neighborhoods friday evening meters lose effect)... the law is still the law, and I don't care what race/creed/color you are, you PAY the freaking meter. If you cant, deal with the ticket.

4- the city is in the red, they gonna patrol EVERYWHERE until they get money back. I personally think its great. I like meter parking.

abotu what moshe said... you dont get arrested for ONE parking ticket. The guy who happened to be black that you saw, probably had a few up his sleeve that were never paid.

Get this throuh your head - Jews can't park/drive.

Bklyn Jew said...

Just because one practices a certain religion doesn’t make them exempt from laws the legislators enacted, unless these laws only target certain individual group then one can say it is unjust. In this case FrumSkeptic discusses where a community feels that they are above the law even though they are not. They feel that based on their religious observance they should be exempt from abiding by the law. Why? Meters in most neighborhoods start around at 8:30 or 9:00am and end at 7:00pm Monday thru Saturday. Why do some feel that once their Sabbath starts they shouldn’t be obligated to follow these traffic laws like everyone else who drives in the city? Just because one neighborhood happens to be mostly of one religious group than another group doesn’t mean that they don’t need to follow these traffic laws that they feel hinder them while other neighborhoods have to obey them. Like FrumSkeptic said in an earlier comment “A parking meter is pretty much law to enable decent traffic flow, and to raise money for the town/city.” So if one neighborhood is mostly Jewish than the city won’t make that much on meters on the Sabbath but if you park there than you need to feed the meters or be subjected to any fines levied on breaking the law. Traffic agents and police officers do not only patrol in Jewish communities they patrol the entire city. If one breaks the traffic laws in Harlem, Astoria, Richmond Hill or Park Slope where Jews are not in the majority they are subjected to the same fines.

It seems that frummies tend to think that being Jewish the government should not do anything to hinder them, but if it hinders other religious groups who cares. Laws are made to keep civility in the city. If a Jew breaks the law like a non-Jew then they both should get the same penalty. One religious group should not be above the law by receiving a reduced punishment or no punishment at all.

FRUMMIES FEED THE METERS AND YOU WON’T HAVE THIS PROBLEM OR PARK IN ANOTHER SPOT WITHOUT A METER!!!

I WOULD NOT FEEL GULITY IN GIVING YOU A TICKET IF I WAS A TRAFFIC AGENT. IF YOU BREAK THE LAW A PUNISHMENT WILL FOLLOW IF CAUGHT!!!

AztecQueen2000 said...

As far as I know, NYC is one of the few cities that suspend any laws at all for Jewish holidays (alternate-side parking rules are suspended on all Yomim Tovim). SO, to all those who cry "anti-Semitism," I don't want to hear it.