What Tom Barrett Doesn’t Want You To Know…and My Top Ten Reasons I Won’t Be Voting For Him
Ladies and gentlemen, Wonder Woman’s “Fortress of Solitude” is located deep within the heart of Milwaukee’s inner city. From there I can reflect daily, whether I want to or not, about the changes I have seen since Mayor Barrett took office.
What I see is abandoned housing projects (collecting weeds, trash, dust, and unwelcome tenants), new housing projects that are not intended for low or middle class Milwaukeeans, urban blight, huge potholes, people walking aimlessly about with no jobs, few resources for those living in poverty, and the aftermath of a forgotten Bronzeville project which was supposed to give the black community a link back to its past and help reclaim our future. With this in mind, I cannot reasonably give this man the keys to the state and let him do to it what he has done to this city.
What Mayor Barrett does not want you to know is that his fortress of solitude is nestled in the heart of Milwaukee’s Washington Heights District. Flourishing with new businesses, homes that are being restored, and what I interpret as middle to upper class living. This neighborhood is governed by an association that keeps a watchful eye on who moves in, opens business, and communicates often with its members the goings on of the area. The police work with the association and it rids itself of the unwanted.
But what you need to know is the Washington Heights area has also been plagued by criticisms of racism and dirty dealings that are designed to keep the neighborhood free of what it considers undesirable.
For example, the WHNA prides itself on a great Halloween night time trick-or-treat extravaganza that is exclusive not inclusive. If you want in, you must belong to the association, or pay to join at their discretion. When the rest of the city has its trick-or-treating hours, these very residents who claim to be part of the city closes their doors and ignores us.
Another example is one reality agency that specializes in buying property and reselling it to those who the neighborhood sees fit as potential neighbors. Yes if you do not fit that criteria, you may not be getting that nice house in the Heights.
Of course WHNA will tell you it works hard to resolve these issues and it does have its “token” members and businesses, all is not good in that hood.
Another thing Mayor Barrett does not want you to know is that his children attend, attended an upscale Catholic grade school that itself is riddled with complaints of racism in how it “welcomes” non-Caucasian students. The parish attached to the school even went so far as to meet about School Choice and referred to Choice and non-Caucasian students as “them” and refused to allow more participants in the program in hopes to keep the school community representative of the WHN. Meaning they did not want “others” coming into the school and taking over. And you know what I mean. People left the parish and the school in protest to the deliberations and the references made by the entire community regarding School Choice and the direction the school was taking. And yet Barrett remained quiet and so did that blatant racism issue. Students of other races that attend the school or walk through the community are often treated to racial slurs and reminders of why they will never fit in this community, despite the fact the community becoming more progressive despite the efforts to make it an island unto itself.
With the lack of action this mayor has taken on these prominent issues, the record number of black unemployed, the utter disrespect to the black community until election time, only confirms there is something about Tom that does not sit well with me as a mixed-heritage person. That being said…
These are my top ten reasons why I do not support Tom Barrett for Governor of Wisconsin:
#10 Trains, Planes and Automobiles
What gives with trying to run trains into this state while we are still dealing with potholes and infrastructure in need of deep repair? Does anyone notice when streets are torn up, they are replaced with spotty patch jobs?
#9 His Horrible Campaign Strategy
Do you really want to talk about the fact that Scott Walker’s font size was bigger than yours and have us respect you in the morning?
Do you want to keep running the same old and tired attack ads that say republicans are for the rich, want to tax, are full of rich white people, hate poor and you live where you do?
Do you really want to air that commercial where you got beat up even though the family asked you not to capitalize off their painful traumatic event?
#8 The Teflon Mayor
Nothing sticks to this mayor. He promised to fix MMSD, they now have spilled several thousands more gallons of waste than BP did in the Gulf. Instead MMSD is still enjoying taxpayer sponsored luncheons and dinners with tabs that would feed the entire line at St. Ben’s steak dinners and all the fixins’ several times over.
He refuses to admit he was forewarned about SkyNet and the ongoing problems with the police and first responders open airwave communications.
Willie Hines has been the one to save the mayor with creative solutions for flood victims and other city government management concerns.
Remember those commercials where he bragged about selling foreclosed homes which many thought were in poor taste since they were their homes and he did little to help?
He did nothing as the police chief submitted ridiculous numbers that showed crime was down, only to find that the murder rate is way up! Not to mention the police chiefs torrid love affair.
He refuses to admit to any mistake and passes on the blame…
Why isn’t this mayor outraged and speaking out about the lack of jobs and call to action for Milwaukee’s forgotten inner city? Why did he follow lock step with this sitting duck governor and not branch out on his own and create a new path for the biggest metropolis in the state. Instead we followed the path too commonly traveled and let Jim Doyle sell us out along with his soul. Barrett did not depart from Doyle on much of anything and we all are paying the price.
As a proud Catholic, he stayed quiet about the foolishness of the church and the sex abuse scandal. A scandal that I can guarantee you affected more Milwaukee black young men than any other race, as most of those priests have one thing in common; service in the inner city directly.
Milwaukee continually ranks from 1-3 in being the most racist place to live. Reading the “What Tom Barrett doesn’t want you to know?” are you surprised?
Bronzeville was supposed to be for the northside what Cesar Chavez is to the southside. It is plagued with abandoned properties and failed business. Now to add insult to injury many key spots are being taken over and becoming white owned, deemphasizing the “Bronze” in Bronzeville.
#4 Promises Promises….
This mayor was going to rename historic venues, streets, and city landmarks that bear the names of known racists and replace them with names and concepts that would help give the city a new, more welcoming image. One thing was renamed after a questionable Jeanetta Robinson passed away. We still have the Hoan Bridge, named after Mayor Hoan who helped construct I-94 which led to a division in the city segregation-wise and helped start the downfall of what is known as the Bronzeville District, also affectionately known as “Little Africa” for its vast array of black history and businesses.
If Mayor Barrett could not fulfill the city’s needs, what would happen with an even bigger plate of issues and problems? If I felt he did little to change my quality of life as a mayor, why would I let it happen statewide were he could do more of nothing or worse.
You used to accept the teachers union backing, now you want to have the city run it, and then….fade to black. You talked a lot but in the end, not one thing was done on your watch. Those expensive staplers that were purchased, the board member who went to conventions and ran up tabs and fines, nothing happened. Our kids are reading below the level they were when you came into office and violence has increased within the schools.
As I stated in #8 the Teflon Mayor, this rogue organization still is accountable to no one, does as it sees fit, and pays fines with taxpayer money. This was your #1 promise to Milwaukee and NOT ONE THING did you do. We are literally swimming in ish and it seems to be a non issue.
#1 Let’s Take A Long “Drive”
Just drive the streets of Milwaukee. If your car makes it from point “A” to point “B” in one piece, then consider yourself lucky! Very lucky!
Can you honestly say that we are better off now than when Mayor Barrett took office? Disregard the poor economy, the trials we are facing as a nation, and ask yourself, has this man shown real leadership in his tenure? In this city do I see promise and potential? Do you see growth and the promise of a better day for all residents of Milwaukee, for healing the segregation and poverty?
I admire Mayor Barrett for stepping into this position. He is by all purposes a good man and stood up for potential victims of domestic violence. He is a good human being and someone I would not accuse of hating blacks nor did anything out of racism. I just think in the end he doesn’t get it. Maybe he is naive and fundamentally optimistic! Many are called but few are chosen and with that I will respect his willingness to answer that call. Now however I think it is time for him to make the time to reintroduce himself to the Milwaukee he helped create and then start helping as a private citizen, not as a politician or elected official. We truly need a new day in Milwaukee for our youth so they can have hope and not systemic racism inbred into them, for our elders who worked so hard to restore our past so we can sankofa (reach back and fetch to fulfill our future destiny), for our middle class who have become the working poor.
My vote will be for the mayor-in-waiting Willie Hines and for what is best for Wisconsin; for equality, for freedom, for economic growth and for the audacity of hope.