THE LOCAL NORM: LB TRANSIT’S FAST & SPURIOUS RACE WITH THE TRUTHBy Norm de Ploom
The Long Beach Transit officials who announced last week that bus service to Seal Beach will be discontinued in August because residents of the small, predominantly Caucasian town are racists unworthy of riding in buses—even in the back—were acting according to a recently adopted set of decision-making guidelines known as “Fast & Spurious.”
The revelation that Long Beach Transit has bought in to the “Fast & Spurious” approach—devised through a public-private partnership between Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) and nationally known neighborhood watch guy George Zimmerman—may change the widespread perception that the transportation agency’s officials reacted suddenly and out of all proportion to “colorful” remarks by a handful of speakers at a May 8 public outreach meeting in Seal Beach.
On the other hand, that is pretty much the essence of the “Fast & Spurious” approach. Its simple and straightforward guidelines—there are two, both cited in the title—are intended to enable government officials to make the decisions they want to make, while also saving time and money … and in this case, saving Long Beach Transit the hassle of dealing openly with financial pressures that are requiring reductions in bus routes.
In other examples of the “Fast & Spurious” impact on the culture of Long Beach Transit, bus drivers have been instructed to order all passengers off their their buses whenever a single rider causes a problem. Similarly, they have been encouraged by transit managers to simplify their responsibilities at home by always tossing their babies out with the bathwater.
“Management by groundless mass demonization is not something most dysfunctional transit organizations would attempt,” said a prominent expert in executive wackiness. “It’s not an honorable or honest way to do business, but it gets the job done quickly, and cowards aren’t known for that.”
Long Beach Transit’s human-relations-trashing gambit was outlined in a whiny letter by the agency’s CEO. Consultants from “Fast & Spurious,” who are on site at Long Beach Transit to ease the company’s transition into the program, noted that the CEO’s letter failed to offer any concrete evidence of citywide racism in Seal Beach, much less any examples of racial hatred severe enough to eliminate bus service to all inhabitants of the city. They said that was perfect.
“That’swhat you’d expect their CEO to do if he’s trying to pull this kind of nonsense,” added a local nonsense scholar. “He’s counting on the support of haters in Long Beach who eat it up whenever you call Seal Beach racist.”
However, Seal Beach officials grudgingly admitted this morning that their city is, in fact, deeply racist, though not in the way the pouting transit CEO is pretending.
“People here hate living next to white people,” said a Seal Beach resident. “You wouldn’t believe the kind of petty crap people call the cops about in this town, just to get the police to harass their uppity white neighbors.”
But cooler heads are hoping that bus service between the two cities can be resumed once a simple misunderstanding is cleared up.
“We didn’t mean to say that Long Beach Transit riders are not welcome here,” said one Seal Beach homeowner. “What we meant to say was that Long Beach Transit board members and executives are not welcome here.”
Putting such a ban in place would be challenging, however, as the two cities are now called upon to deal thoughtfully with those who unjustly portray others as racist to further their own agenda.
“We’d want to use the kind of judgment that Long Beach Transit leaders seem to lack,” said one casual observer. “Even if only some of those sitting on the Long Beach Transit board are closet racists who call others racist to deflect attention from themselves, that’s no reason to kick them all off the bus.”