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David Blaska Correct About Young, Gifted And Black

March 19, 2015

I must say I was pleased with this post on fellow-blogger David Blaska’s site.  Blaska and I often differ over politics. But at THIS time concerning THIS issue when it comes to OUR city I can say with pleasure that we agree.  I was also humbled by his words about me.

Have she and her ragtag Young, Gifted and Black group encouraged even:

One mother to read to her children?

One teenaged boy to respect women?

One gangbanger to quit banging?

One biological father to support his child, financially and emotionally?

One potential dropout to buckle down and study?

One low achiever to go to night school?

One ex-con to mentor a younger brother?

I would say that even if Blaska had not added this in his post.

Silence of the cowed

Where is the profile in courage? So far, I detect only Greg Humphrey, champion of gay marriage and former Democratic legislative staffer, who writes the Caffeinated Politics blog. Greg lives in the Willy Street area. (He takes on his Progressive Dane alder, Marsha Rummell, here.) In a message he authorized for Bring It!, he wrote:

We should ask ourselves when was the last time we had to have police break down our door — or that of our neighbor? What happened recently in this city was not racial that caused police to take action but instead a reaction based on the need for public safety. The silence of too many mature voices — and that includes the city council and other leaders across Madison needs to end concerning this matter.

Well, it’s a start.

  1. Solly permalink
    March 20, 2015 12:21 PM

    I feel certain that if only we could have a couple more Dane Dances each summer or maybe another swimming pool we could solve this dang race problem. Maybe JoePa can find and pull another $500,000 out of his ass and fund them

  2. Skip permalink
    March 20, 2015 12:20 PM

    Ms. Grayson seems to have the aging-white-male-approved bona fides:

    “I’ve been in Madison since the age of ten. I came here with my [biological] mom, who at the time was addicted to drugs. I had my first baby at the age of thirteen and was placed in foster care until I aged out at seventeen, then graduated from high school and attended UW–Madison, all while being a mom. UW–Madison is where I first took part in activism and organizing. I joined Black student unions, ran a campaign to get more students of color to take part in student government and was elected to a diversity liaison position for Associated Students of Madison. Now I’m thirty-five and have two biological kids, an adopted daughter and a foster daughter. I was assistant social worker for Joining Forces for Families, I was a case worker for W2 and my full-time job currently is a budget and program analyst for a nonprofit.”

    It is really sad to read this on your blog. Instead of taking the plight of minorities in Madison seriously, all you can do is throw things back in their face. See here:

    When this happens:

    “A close friend who is pharmacist living in Baraboo gets pulled over often enough that he should really just ask them to set appointments. Never a charge, besides daring to be young successful and black.”

    or this:

    “Two years ago while working for large company in Middleton, I came back from lunch and was reminded that even at work I’m always a suspect. Walking into the elevator behind a guy in his late 30s I asked him to hit my number since he’d just slid his floor-access card and taking mine out my back pocket would be silly, he stared at me with the same look any POC who’s been invited to a party and been asked ‘who do you know’ immediately knows.

    Without a word I took my card out, slid it, and quietly rode the longest and heaviest four stories I have ever ridden. His face was bright red and all he could do was give a half hearted chuckle and mutter, ‘Y you never know who’s here, right?'”

    Or this incident from Alex Gee (

    “A couple of years ago I was pulled over and interrogated by police in my own church parking lot as I arrived for my standing Saturday evening meeting.

    How could I not be angry when the officer told me he was looking for a red car that had been driving down the wrong side of the road (my car is clearly black, evident even in a dimly lit church parking lot)?

    I was questioned (albeit politely) about what I was doing there, in a public space, at 9 p.m.

    As questioning continued, my associate pastor, a white male, was already parked in the church lot and came to investigate. The officers never asked to see his identification, never asked his name nor ascertained why he was parked in the parking lot waiting for me to arrive.”

    …and your response is to lovingly quote David Blaska and endorse remedies like “black women just need to read to their children” and “blacks need to get educated”? The best you can do is to put the onus back on black people for racial discrimination? Do you think that if that black pharmacist who is constantly being pulled over got just a bit more education – another degree – the police would stop harassing him? White people don’t have to take responsibility for their actions?

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