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Madison Police Need More Discerning Advocates

April 21, 2019

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I wrote recently about the quieter voices in this city who are liberal and vote Democratic, but also support our police and want to see common sense policies applied to issues impacting the school district.  As I stated there are many of these types of people who wish not to take stands about issues or personalities that can, at times, run counter to the prevailing views in Madison.

One of the reasons these citizens are hesitant to step forward regards not wishing to be viewed as being aligned with the local advocacy group in support of the Madison Police Department.  Time and again the political biases of The We Support The Madison Police Department proves to be stronger than any desire to promote or discuss local police matters.  This weekend a prime example of what I am talking about was posted on their Facebook page.

A link was posted concerning Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx “colluding with alleged assailant in a ‘punch and kick’ to his police victims”.   A photo of Foxx, along with an African -American male, made the link look most incriminating.   The link used for this gripping news story came not from the Chicago Sun-Times, WGN radio, or the Chicago Tribune.  It did not come from any credible news operation.  Instead the link which the Madison advocacy group chose came from PJmedia.   If you had to read that twice–well–join the rest of us.

When one starts to look at the content on this ‘stellar’ website it becomes clear that it is a bottom-feeder operation.  Riveting articles range from “How Long Before the Fate of Benedict’s Church Is the Fate of the West?” to “Transgender Privilege: Why Must We All Be Forced to Bow to It?” and of course “Watching Bernie at the Fox News Town Hall: Memories of the Soviet Union”.

This is why the quieter voices in Madison hunker down and stay silent when it comes to certain issues we face as a city.   If the choice is to stand with a local group that shows its true political colors with every posting, or stay muted so not to be confused with the far-right there really is no choice.

To read the pleadings and passion from this local advocacy group would make one believe they care about Madison police. At some level I believe they do. But the manner they operate, and the levels they stoop to when it comes to conservative rot, makes it clear the real intent is something other than lifting up the men and women who wear blue.  And that concerns me.

Following the Tony Robinson shooting in Madison those who oppose the police attempted to frame our force as akin to other departments nationwide which have landed in the headlines.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Madison Police Chief Mike Koval, in a number of national interviews, proved his communications skills while outlining why Madison is a department that is head and shoulders above others.  Statistics also make the case why Madison police can not be summed up in pointless rhetoric from the anti-police crowd.

But on the flip side the local pro-police advocacy group has jumped in bed with the far right and their agenda.  Never once thinking that putting all their eggs (it is Easter weekend, after all) in one political party is not just as wrong-headed as the anti-police zealots who paint all police with the same brush.  The tactics from the anti-police and pro-police groups are very similar.   And that is very disturbing.  Middle ground be damned—man the barricades!

Police officers are far too often used as pawns in political discourse.  We hear and read that from candidates for office, be it the school board or all the way up to the White House. That is shameful enough.   But when Madison police are used as political pawns by an advocacy group, which is supposed to be working to bridge difference with the department and the community, it leaves me shaking my head in bafflement.  

There is nothing to be gained for Madison police by using a conservative operation’s web site to poke at Chicago law and politics.  For what absurd end?  That low-brow linking may allow for the advocacy group to snicker among themselves.  But that does nothing to bring the larger Madison community together to support our police.  And was not that the goal of the pro-police group in the first place?

This is one reason why, dear readers, the quieter voices in Madison shy away from public statements and commitments when it comes to some matters impacting our city.   The anti-police crowd gain ground when incompetents run the show at We Support The Madison Police Department by getting their ‘news’ from an organization which has a headline reading“Who’s Worse—Julian Assange or the New York Times and Washington Post?

And so it goes.

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