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The Feds are Dangerous to the Rights of Minorities

October 26, 2012
Mike Maharrey
10/24/2012

Jose owns a little market on a big-city street corner. Business is pretty good, but he has a problem with neighborhood thugs coming in – shoplifting, harassing customers and basically making a nuisance of themselves. Jose deals with them as best he can, shooing off troublemakers with a little intimidation of his own manufactured by Louisville Slugger. Every once in a while he calls the cops.

Business continues to grow.

Then one day, Bruno walks into the store. Bruno serves as muscle for the largest gang in the city. He suggests that his syndicate can provide “protection” for a nominal fee. Bruno strongly suggests Jose accept the generous offer.

Of course, Jose ponies up the cash. Sure enough, the neighborhood thugs disappear. No more petty theft. No more loitering. No more customer harassment. But every so often, Bruno makes a visit. Jose knows that a visit from Bruno means the cost of protection is about to rise. On top of that, Bruno’s associates eventually begin dropping in frequently at the store. They help themselves to merchandise, intimidate customers and basically create a nuisance.

But unlike the neighborhood thugs who used to cause problems, Jose can’t merely shoo Bruno’s people away with a baseball bat. He tried it once. They quickly reminded him that they work for Bruno. Bruno runs the neighborhood for the syndicate. Jose can’t even call the cops. They won’t come. Bruno’s boss has them under his thumb. Jose knows he stands powerless to halt the mischief.

And now… the rest of the story. …..

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