Comment About Freedom Inc And Outreach Failing Our Local Police And Sheriff Departments

Earlier today I posted about Freedom Inc, which was featured in a news story this weekend in the Wisconsin State Journal, and how Chris Rickert’s work made me think of my dad.

Here is a comment from my Facebook page I wish for my readers to view.  My friend and school teacher wrote the comment which appears below in italics.  The comment regards Freedom Inc and tactics taken against law enforcement in last year’s Pride Parade.

Readers most likely do not need reminding that law enforcement were not allowed to march in the parade as all Dane County and Madison officers had their applications rescinded by OutReach.  That was absurd enough, but what happened later, as reported on this blog, was salt ground deeply into that wound.

OutReach allowed anti-law enforcement banners and chants in the parade.  And, they allowed on stage for their rally, T Banks, who spewed all kinds of hateful rhetoric against law enforcement and many of their allies, including our fire department.  It was pathetic.

With that as background here is the comment I wish my readers to take note of.

Thanks for sharing your blog on the value of parenting and of civil discourse. My brief experience with Freedom Inc. came just before the 2018 pride parade where I advocated for police who identify as LGBTQ to march in the parade as a compromise. Because the meeting that was called to order last minute at the Central Library there was little or no time for LGBTQ youth to digest, organize and give their opinion on what they’d like to see in the pride parade. Working with students who are marginalized in many ways, sometimes they are children of color who also identify as LGBTQ, I am always eager to find opportunities for them to experience a world where people like them are represented in the community. One of the most powerful ways I’ve seen that play out is at the Pride Parade here in Madison. Uniformed police, proud of their identities and who may have become police because of Stonewall, marching to show that this community trusts gays to police and wants them to be honored and recognized by all who are willing to walk down to the capital. Instead of building some discourse around my thoughts and about the importance of LGBTQ youth to witness such a display I was shouted down. There I was advocating for LGBTQ youth, especially those of color, and I was being shouted down specifically because of the color of my skin, my heterosexual status and my XYness. I attempted to stand in for my students but was judged by my outer appearance and my status, not by the content of my character. The devolution of discourse and Freedom Inc’s reliance on muffling even those who actively work for equality in our schools and community is a divisive path. It may get them what they want short term but ultimately will not create a more accepting society and it won’t help my students see themselves as public servants changing things from the inside. Representation through occupation!!

I am still most dismayed that Outreach was rolled by those who can only be described as  so far out of the ballpark they can not even see the stadium lights.  That loud, but clueless group, love to spin their bile that law enforcement are made up of villains and enemies of people of color.  That manure which gets piled, and then re-piled, by these malcontents is simply outrageous.

But what is perplexing to those with common-sense in Dane County is how Outreach was so utterly duped?

How could Outreach be so easily played?

That question remains unanswered by that local organization.

There is Karma however to this story.  This year due to city rules which went awry Pride will not be held due to a snafu in the process.   Hmmm……..good.

Freedom Inc And My Dad

While reading Sunday’s Wisconsin State Journal story about Freedom Inc. my mind went back to a scene in my small rural Wisconsin home.  My dad was a town board supervisor and for many years monthly meetings rotated at the homes of the elected community members.  When our home was the site mom made some baked treat for the evening, while I recall looking from my bedroom at the men seated around the kitchen table talking and doing what needed to be completed.  It was my first example of what governing looked like.  I obviously did not think about it in those terms at the time, but in hindsight it was a teaching moment.

So when I read the following lead paragraphs for the newspaper story about Freedom Inc. I must say, even though the facts of this group are well known, it still was disturbing to my sensibilities.

The May 20 appearance at a Madison School Board meeting by members of Freedom Inc. was typical.

“Take the damn cops out of schools,” said the group’s community power building coordinator, Mahnker Dahnweih, referring to the four police officers, known as school resource officers, stationed at Madison’s four main high schools.

“Anyone who calls, if he uses the police on children when there’s that, like, unbalanced power dynamic, hold they asses accountable,” she said.

The tough talk, delivered with Dahnweih’s assurance that “radical queer black feminism has the answer,” garnered cheers from supporters in the audience. When School Board President Gloria Reyes told Dahnweih her three minutes for speaking were up, Dahnweih wasn’t having it. “I don’t give a damn about your timer,” she said.

I have posted many responses over the years on this blog to those who shout and rant.  I have wondered what comprises the type of person which links themselves with  Freedom Inc.  I have questioned what must have gone so dreadfully wrong to allow people a sense that only the most rude, crass, and bombastic public antics can fill the void of their lives?  I have often tried to wrap my mind around how a person comes to view the entire political and governing process in such a way that their only response is one of explosive stupidity.

And then in one well-written newspaper article from Chris Rickert the answer came to me.  I had a dad who demonstrated in real ways what government work entailed and how process mattered; from winning an election to passing local budgets for town business.   The work of a local supervisor is not sexy.   No grand headlines in the local paper but the phone often rings with questions and requests.

Because education in civics and governing is not stressed enough, nor taught in the fashion it was in my formative years, means there are a lot of people with anger about issues but without a foundation of how to move forward constructively to seek remedies.  Now that in no way gives those same people license to act in such low-brow and demeaning ways when at local meetings, as we see all too often in Madison and Dane County.  That lack of civility is just due to poor parenting.  Period.

The lack of having someone along the way in their life to show why voting matters, why compromise in public meetings is a way for all to move forward, and why structured proceedings benefits all participants is most telling.

My husband could always tell in his college classrooms which students had parents who read to them and valued books.  There were tell-tale signs in how they studied and dealt with printed material.  The same can be said for those who present themselves at public meetings in our city.  It is easy to see who was taught about history, government and civics.  And those who were not.

Last weekend on Father’s Day I was a bit glum as my dad passed away years back.  One week later I was reminded, while reading the Rickert story, about why dad is always with me.  I sincerely wish each young person had that same type of person to know and learn from.

Jesus Loves The Little Children, All The Children Of The World….

Many supporters of Donald Trump were probably in church on Sunday.  Some may have sat in the front pew.  Others no doubt shouted praise and lifted their hands skyward.  They may have even spoken out about abortion, the hottest topic for culture warriors since gay people are now just another average part of the landscape.

But what many of these ‘followers of Christ’ failed to do leading up to their pew sitting was exercise their power as a citizen and contact the White House demanding that the horrific conditions of children at the southern border be stopped.  And now!  What the Trump Administration has created on the border is a stain seen by the world community.  When Russia, Turkey, and others are admonished by our State Department they can correctly say ‘at least we do not house children in concentration camp conditions’.

Too many otherwise kind and considerate people have fallen to the dark side, which Trump uses for his political spin and gain.  Otherwise tender-hearted people, when it comes to children, now use harsh tones and unforgiving language when speaking of the sweet, frightened, and fragile brown-skinned boys and girls.  Because Trump has hate at his foundation a larger and growing number of others in this land are following his cues.

Which has led our nation to look awful, as the following was described, from Clint, Texas.

And so what we did then was we looked at the ages of the children, and we were shocked by just how many young children there were. There were over a hundred young children when we first arrived. And there were child-mothers who were also there, and so we started to pull the child-mothers and their babies, we started to make sure their needs were being met. We started to pull the youngest children to see who was taking care of them.

And then we started to pull the children who had been there the longest to find out just how long children are being kept there. Children described to us that they’ve been there for three weeks or longer. And so, immediately from that population that we were trying to triage, they were filthy dirty, there was mucus on their shirts, the shirts were dirty. We saw breast milk on the shirts. There was food on the shirts, and the pants as well. They told us that they were hungry. They told us that some of them had not showered or had not showered until the day or two days before we arrived. Many of them described that they only brushed their teeth once. This facility knew last week that we were coming. The government knew three weeks ago that we were coming.

So, in any event, the children told us that nobody’s taking care of them, so that basically the older children are trying to take care of the younger children. The guards are asking the younger children or the older children, “Who wants to take care of this little boy? Who wants to take of this little girl?” and they’ll bring in a two-year-old, a three-year-old, a four-year-old. And then the littlest kids are expected to be taken care of by the older kids, but then some of the oldest children lose interest in it, and little children get handed off to other children. And sometimes we hear about the littlest children being alone by themselves on the floor.

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Why The Limited Coverage Of E. Jean Carroll?

My interest in how news stories are covered leads me to ponder what the reason is for the lack of front page stories about E. Jean Carroll, a longtime advice columnist for Elle magazine, who claimed Donald Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the mid-1990s.  I put this into a historical framework as Republicans were furious with outrage when Juanita Broaddrick’s claimed Bill Clinton had raped her 21 years earlier.  So why the subdued coverage from the press now?  We know why the GOP is lingering in the deep grass and staying quiet.  They have a master who does not allow them wiggle room.  They have been neutered.   President Reagan kept jelly beans in a jar on his Oval Office desk.  We know what Trump keeps in his jar.

To my question about the press I sought out the Columbia Journalism Review, a perfect course for issues of this type.  And they had a theory already posted on their site for inquiring minds.

Why the low play? It could be a case of fatigue. We are hit so often with claims of Trump’s misconduct—and liberals, at least, have such low expectations of him—that horrifying allegations lose their shock value and slide off. Deeper forces are likely at work, too: as the writer Molly Jong-Fast asked on Twitter, “Is the misogyny so baked in that we no longer treat allegations of rape seriously?” It’s not a new question. Ahead of the 2016 election, CJR’s Pete Vernon interviewed Lucia Graves, a reporter with The Guardian, about the muted reaction to her interview with Jill Harth, who accused Trump of groping. Graves, who was “extremely frustrated” that other outlets did not pick up Harth’s claim, said it took the Access Hollywood tape for the allegations against Trump to dominate the news cycle. “I think it’s so remarkable that Trump had to literally say every single one of those things to another man, and people had to hear it recorded before people believed the story that has been out there for months,” Graves said

Whatever the reason, it’s astonishing that Carroll’s allegation isn’t ubiquitous in our news media this morning. Its relative absence is doubly surprising when you consider that the #MeToo moment—with its brilliant reporting on Harvey Weinstein and so many other abusive men—has arguably been the biggest story of the Trump era not to centrally feature Trump. Somehow, Trump escaped accountability at the height of that moment. It looks like that’s happening again.

Hunt Hunts Boris In Britain

Before you get too far into this post a quick note about why I take such interest in this matter.  I have been opposed to Brexit from the start, shocked at the short-sighted nature of Brits with the referendum, and confounded that parliament seems unable to see the light in finding the way forward regarding working with the EU.  I am also opposed to the tone, style, and substance of nearly every aspect of Boris Johnson’s political career.  But I do love politics and frothy stories are most engaging….so with that as an introduction……

As his personal troubles dominate the front pages for another day, the concerned expression of Boris Johnson – clasping his hand against his mouth – appears on the cover of the Metro.  The paper says pressure is mounting on the Conservative leadership challenger to “come clean” about the argument that saw police officers called to the flat he shares with his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds.

The Sun claims the couple were on the verge of splitting up earlier this month and have had four “explosive” rows in recent weeks, including what it calls a “huge spat” when Mr Johnson apparently got home late after a night out.

The Mirror goes further – suggesting that he’s mulling over a reconciliation with his estranged wife, Marina Wheeler.

An unnamed source tells the paper: “This is a classic example of Boris wanting to have his cake and eat it”.

And the week is just starting.  This political storm is rough.  For the sake of Britain and the mess with Brexit Hunt needs to prevail. 

Just this morning Johnson was writing to his faithful regarding Brexit that “we can, we must and we will” leave on the promised date.

Hunt, meanwhile, has been less enthusiastic about an October 31 deal or no-deal departure.