So you might have heard Wisconsin has an election coming up on April 4th.
Besides the very significant Supreme Court election, which determines the direction of the court for the next decade, Wisconsin voters will be offered two resolutions and one advisory resolution. Two of the resolutions, if passed, will indicate our desire to maintain our high ratios of Black and low-income individuals in prison. The other is a call out to people stuck in the 70’s, when then President Reagan erroneously labeled a Black woman a “welfare queen”.
This label set in motion some of the most racist tropes still haunting us and is being used to drive a certain segment of our populace to the polls.
So why are Wisconsinites being fractured by such blatant ignorance? Simply put: because we can be. Christian radio blasts Justice Janet Protasiewicz as not tough enough on crime and it’s chomping at the bit to ensure taxpayer benefits do not go to the “un-deserving”. Love thy neighbor no longer applies. We opt for high cost prisons and overworked prison guards instead of doing the Christian thing and helping underserved communities get a leg up. Which is well within our reach to do.
It’s a sad state of affairs when ridiculous amounts of out of state monies come into a nonpartisan election and steer our thinking. The puppeteers are pulling strings and not only do we not notice, we don’t seem to really care. We wait for the buzzwords to hook us and then get reeled in. Fish fight harder for their independence than some of us are willing to do.
Three cheers for the fighters, for the thinkers, for the lovers.
However hard, it’s worth it.
Top photo: Replica of Forward an 1893 bronze statue by American sculptor Jean Pond Miner Coburn depicting an embodiment of Wisconsin’s “Forward” motto.