Sunday, August 14, 2016

A tale of two different Wisconsin cities in August

Had a great time at Great Taste of the Midwest with friends of mine from in and out of town. At the event, I noticed a sizable amount of Madison cops observing and being jovial with Fest-goers, including Madison Police Chief Mike Koval. I didn't notice any incidents (other than some silly debauchery), and I kept it surprisingly on the level for the evening, feeling reasonably decent (but not wasted or incoherent) as I got dropped off at home last night.

As I got into bed, my wife informed me of a "Ferguson-type" incident in Milwaukee, and the rioting that followed. I suppose the body cameras on the officer and outside investigation by the Wisconsin DOJ will tell us more over time, but Burning businesses in your own neighborhood (especially a neighborhood in need of jobs and positive influences) is an unacceptable and the absolutely wrong answer. Oactions injure the wrong people and objects, and all it'll cause is more crackdowns and worsening of the situation you already find intolerable.

On the flip side, many won't like last night's ominous words from Milwaukee Alder Khalif Rainey (especially scared right trash in the burbs), but I think he's mostly correct.
This entire community has sat back and witnessed how Milwaukee, Wis. has become the worst place to live for African-Americans in the entire country," Rainey said. "Now this is a warning cry. Where do we go from here? Where do we as a community go from here?

Do we continue - continue with the inequities, the injustices, the unemployment, the under-education, that creates these byproducts that we see this evening?...The black people of Milwaukee are tired. They're tired of living under this oppression. This is their existence. This is their life. This is the life of their children.

Now what happened tonight may not have been right; I'm not justifying that. But no one can deny there there are problems, racial problems, here in Milwaukee, Wis., that have to be closely, not examined, but rectified. Rectify this immediately. Because if you don't, this vision of downtown, all of that, you're on day away. You're one day away.
Sadly, I worry if that's what it takes- for the problems to come to the doorsteps of people outside the inner city. It's why I feel a sadness and disgust at a situation that never seems to improve. Largely because a lot of policymakers don't want it to improve - the politics of this state are so screwed up that "sticking it to Milwaukee" is a winning strategy in WisGOP World, and it drives ratings for the racist tripe that pollutes AM620 and AM1130 every weekday. On the flip side, the hopelessness, anger, and resentment and destructive behavior that results from the ghettoizing of poverty in the state leads to lashing out like we have seen, and the downward cycle starts all over again.

Already we are seeing bad signs from Governor Walker, as he was scheduled to attend a "Blue Lives Matter" rally in the suburbs with Bob Donovan and other righties today (an obvious dog-whistle heard loud and clear in the inner city), and now is threatening to send in the National Guard to control the situation in Milwaukee, instead of working with officials in Milwaukee to deal with the underlying problems that lead to the powder keg that exploded last night.

I'll have more thoughts on this later, as I get it together and events develop.


  1. I have posted three times at the WISN website, and every time my post, which presents a viewpoint differing from the dog whistlers who are otherwise commenting, gets scrubbed quickly. The right talks to the right, and on and on. Now some of the commenters are calling me out by name as being "afraid of the truth." Sticking it to Milwaukee is the mantra of a huge swath of the population in SE Wisconsin, to the state's great detriment.

    1. They really are in a Bubble in WisGOP World. And they think the problems in inner-city Milwaukee are "their problem", and that they are somehow immune from the economic and fiscal problems that result from such a high concentration of poverty.

      They are very wrong to think this way, but as Rainey alludes to, these dickheads won't care about the desperate circumstances their selfish, racist votes have caused until it comes to their doorstep.

  2. Sticking it to Milwaukee is the mantra of a lot of people in this state - not just the SE part of it.

  3. You'll probably find it eventually, but I wanted to share the almost-could've-been-but-not-quite-level-headed commentary from the JS's Schneider:

    He started out and finished with some salient points, but couldn't resist a few jabs at the left to please the 262.