UPDATE: Racism claimed where none existed

The body cam video has not been released.  Rest assured, it will be!

By:  Diane Benjamin

When only one side of the story is flashed all over Facebook it’s easy to assume facts that aren’t facts.  Of course Mike Matejka of Not In Our Town jumped all over this claiming racism is real.  Here is part of his Facebook post:

matejka niot

You can see the entire story told by Art Taylor here:  BPD Incident – Art and Camille Taylor

People have forgotten that your “feelings” are controlled by you.  If you want to be offended you will be.  If you want to see racism you will.  If you want to believe Trump is a racist and therefore people with Trump signs in their yards are racists – those are your feelings with no basis in reality.  I could provide details but those who don’t want to know the truth won’t care.

The Taylor’s lived in the same neighborhood for 30 years and suddenly the neighbors are RACIST?

What you haven’t heard is the other side of the story as told by one of the neighbors with a Trump sign in their yard – Jon Boch.  He is the Executive Director of Guns Save Life Inc.  He gave me permission to print his version, the Police Body-Cam should be released today.

Prejudice happens in Bloomington-Normal

“In support of Art and Camille Taylor.”

Not In Our Town touts itself as a campaign to eliminate bigotry, bullying, and hate in the Twin Cities of Bloomington-Normal.  Ironically, this recent incident shows how at least one or two members of their leadership are so busy looking for prejudice in others that they completely overlook their own striking prejudices and bigotry.

Within the last few days, Not In Our Town released a statement “In support of Art and Camille Taylor” lamenting the treatment of Art and Camille by neighbors and Bloomington Police.  The Taylors claim their neighbor filed “a false police report” against “the only black family in this neighborhood” and because of that, the Taylors feel “threatened.”

In reality, here’s what happened:  Last Saturday, a newer silver sedan – either a Hyundai or a Ford – pulled in front of my residence near where the Taylor’s live.  With the windows open, the two occupants blared profane, anti-Trump “music” at maximum volume.  This happened in our neighborhood where children as young as toddlers routinely play outdoors.  Indeed, not only did we hear fragments of the “F… Trump” music within our home, but our neighbors’ 10-year-old boy was subjected to the crude and profane tune for the better part of six minutes while playing outdoors directly across the street.

When the boy’s mother came out to investigate, the occupants of the car saw her and drove away like two-bit cowardly bullies.

A short while later in a nearby “loop” street off Brookshire Green, the boy’s father found a sedan that seemed to perfectly match the surveillance camera image of the suspect vehicle.  The color, body style, the license plate format of three digits then four more – even the rims matched.  Not only that, but the rear windows were down, just as were the windows in the suspect vehicle blaring profane “music” minutes before.   Furthermore, an anti-Trump sign adorned the yard.

Given all of the similarities to the suspect vehicle in the video, he snapped a photo of the license plate and called police.  He told the dispatcher that he had located a possible suspect vehicle in the neighborhood and gave them the license plate information.

At no point did anyone send police to Art and Camille Taylor’s house.  **Police were sent to a car that perfectly matched a still image from the video of the incident.**  That car, we later found out, happened to be registered to Art and Camille Taylor.

Additionally, as you’ll see in the above bodycam video, the only persons injecting race into the call were Art and Camille Taylor.

And incredibly, minutes into the above video, the woman who claims to be the co-chair of the steering committee leadership team at Not In Our Town (NIOT) talked about her neighbors and Trump yard signs in their yards.  She noted that erecting a Trump sign was their right, but then said they (the Taylors) had a 13-year-old grandson.  And now, when he comes to visit, she said, “I can’t let him ride his bike past them because something might happen.”

So Camille Taylor says she can’t send her grandson riding his bike past a pair of homes with Trump signs?  Because “something” might happen?  Can you spell p-r-e-j-u-d-i-c-e?  Or b-i-g-o-t-r-y?  I can.  But you don’t have to know how to spell those words to live them.

And incredibly, she also said to the officer, “we’re the only black family in this neighborhood.  If anybody should be scared, we should.”  Really?  Nothing like disparaging the entire neighborhood of good and decent people, including the four or more black families living within two blocks of her home, which utterly destroys the baseless claims made by both her and her husband that they are the “only black family in this neighborhood.”  To say nothing of the same-sex couples and other people of color who also live in the neighborhood.  Frankly, the diversity of hard-working families in our neighborhood makes it a better place for all of us, including our children and grandchildren.

Now, admittedly Camille Taylor is battling health problems of her own which are taking their toll and maybe she’s not acting like her normal self.  But even with that, her own prejudices are shining through bright and clear for all to see in the above body-cam video.

After our discussions during the incident last Saturday, I thought the matter was behind us.  I felt a little irritated that a man who didn’t know me from Adam suggested I had a role in sending police to his house because of the color of his skin, as opposed to significant circumstantial evidence tied to that vehicle, but again, I moved on with life.

Mr. Taylor apparently did not.  And now “Not in Our Town” is publishing pieces making not-so-subtle racial bigotry allegations against our families.  If this is what passes for hard-work advocacy on the part of NIOT, then maybe they’re more about creating divisiveness and name-calling instead of solving real problems.  Or maybe it’s just another hard-left political advocacy group masquerading as an “anti-bigotry” organization.

In this case, the Taylor’s claims that my neighbor and myself harbor racist beliefs and sent police to the home of the only black family in the neighborhood are all utterly baseless and without merit.  And now, with the release of the bodycam video, the whole wide world can see that the real sources of prejudice and bigotry in this instance are the Taylors.

Dictionary.com’s top three definitions of prejudice:

1.      an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.

2.      any preconceived opinion or feeling, either favorable or unfavorable.

3.      unreasonable feelings, opinions, or attitudes, especially of a hostile nature, regarding an ethnic, racial, social, or religious group.

I still believe Mr. Taylor is a good and decent man, as are most upstanding, law-abiding citizens.  Additionally, I’m sure Mrs. Taylor has done good things for the community and positively impacted people around her, much as so many good people have done in their lives.  We hear a lot of people singing their praises.  But this incident, where they have made baseless defamatory accusations of racism against us, our neighbors and the Bloomington Police is disappointing to say the least.

Not only that, but casting aspersions as NIOT has done based upon prejudice does not make for a warm and welcoming neighborhood or community.

Having seen this video now, and seeing what Mrs. Taylor really thinks about her neighbors in general (“We’re the only black family in this neighborhood.  If anyone should be scared, we should be”) and her neighbors who posted Trump signs in particular (“I can’t let [my grandson] ride his bike past them because something might happen”) I question whether that sort of prejudice has a place in the leadership of Not In Our Town.  Or if others share that sort of bigotry, maybe the entire organization’s leadership needs a gut check and should consider disbanding.  Or alternatively, if they really are just a hard-left advocacy group, to drop the anti-bigotry charade and come out of the closet as what they really are.

Either way, my wife and I could not be prouder of my neighbors.  And we could not be prouder of the Bloomington Police Department, from the street cops all the way up to the assistant chief and chief, for their professional conduct not only in this matter, but in general.

None of us are perfect, but I have yet to meet anyone who can walk on water.

Mike Matejka and his Not In Our Town just proved again who they are:  IMMATERIAL.  

17 thoughts on “UPDATE: Racism claimed where none existed

  1. I’ve dealt with Mike Matejka a few times years ago. That said, I have nothing good to say about him and will leave it there,,,this time.

  2. “Or maybe it’s (NIOT) just another hard-left political advocacy group masquerading as an “anti-bigotry” organization.”


  3. Is this the behavior that Camille Taylor taught all of our kids all of the years she was at NCHS? Wow! Disappointed.

  4. NIOT is a far left anti American political organization. NIOT has no problem with churches burning as long as they are predominately white members. NIOT has no problem with racism as long as its against white people. NIOT has no problem with black or white businesses being burned to the ground as long as they participate in capitalism. NIOT has no problem with bullying as long as communist revolutionaries are the bullies. NIOT is evil.

  5. Excellent article Diane. This could have been completely avoided by BOTH parties by merely keeping there political beliefs to themselves. In other words, NO SIGNS in their yards and none on their cars. There will always be some idiot with a differing opinion wanting to do damage. Just a thought. Jerry Gilbert

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Nobody his support for Obama, I don’t remember conservatives being terrified to drive by a house with a sign for him. We should not have to fear supporting any political candidate because somebody has hurt feelings

  6. Once AGAIN, good ole Mike can be depended on for running his mouth before his brain is engaged! I just WISH to GOD he’d find some communist state to move to and make us ALL HAPPY!

  7. Matjeka has made a life of making claims without merit. His existence is based on taking care of the unworthy and incompetent at the cost of the competent and those who truely contribute to society thru their acts and deeds. He at best is the leader of leeches on society.

  8. NIOT was/is a sham. It is one of the many tools left leaning democrats use to silence the rest of us. We all should be able to have any legal yard signs we wish.

    My dealings with BPD have always been positive. They do an amazing job.

  9. Let’s not forget that Matejka was also one of the idiot councilmen that voted to build the arena that has been an abject failure for the taxpayers.

  10. Matejka is a pot stirrer and a troublemaker, and he is lauded and praised for it by his far left fan base. Also, he likes being a big frog in a small pond and thinks nothing of bullying the smaller frogs, unless the little frogs are part of his fan base that is. There are a few more just like him too, and some little up and comers as well.

  11. NIOS is hosting a car parade with donations for books at the Taylor’s neighborhood on July 25, 2019. Looks like over a hundred will be attending. Hope it stays peaceful.

  12. A few years back I was at a few GSL functions where Jon Boch was in attendance. I would suggest to “Mike”, that it might be prudent to find another hill to die on.

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