These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

an angry place

i decided to steal a blog title from a friend's blog because i can find no other way than that to describe what's going on in our community.

wednesday night a motorcyclist was struck and then run over by a mimivan in a busy area on the north side of town. he died at the scene. we reported it that night for the following day's paper. we did a follow up and then we did a third follow, where we learned the driver of the minivan didn't have a driver's license and was an illegal immigrant recently moved to the holland area.

well, the phone calls, e-mails and voice-mails started coming in the next day, in addition to online comments to the articles. we've gotten calls from the people who were there when he died to others calling about why we used a former co-worker of the deceased in our second article.

at first the attacks were aimed at the reporter who wrote the articles, calling her a bad journalist and insensative. then comments were aimed at the driver's illegal status, attacking illegals and the person's place of employment.

i'm a little surprised by all of the attention this has received. it's not the first time a motorcyclist gets killed when being run down. i'm sure it's not even the bloodiest crash or most neinous. hell, not even the recent murder trial received this much exchanges.

i can't even say that the anger started when people found out that the driver was illegal. the phone calls started before then. it's the community has banded together and stir the pot on this one.

i'm baffled by it. it was a tragic event.
let's hope the community heals quickly and moves on to happier things.