Black elected and top Black officials sell out the Black community in Wisconsin Recalls.
Aka …What Have You Done For Me Lately Tom Barrett?
Warning this is rated “T” for truth talk! You been warned.
Screw ideology, party politicking, Scott Walker love, and anything else people pin on me. This is about me “Citizen WW” of Milwaukee’s inner city and my disappointment with my mayor and some of my Black elected in which I entrusted to make ALL of Milwaukee a better place. I’m still waitin’!!
And now you want me to vote for you for governor so you can screw us statewide. Ah thanks, but no thanks!
My beloved Black community, no matter what, you must admit at one time or another you question, or have questioned where on the list of Tom Barrett’s priorities are we? We seem to be so loyal to the Democratic Party to the point we often forget that in these times when every vote counts, we need to put ourselves out there loudly and demand a little something, something for our vote!
We have waited 8 years for Tom Barrett to do something together with us and for us to move this inner city out of the doomed, desolate independent island it has become. If it were not for Milele Coggs, Willie Hines, the new youth movements, and others (whether you agree with them or not) have been the only ones to recognize our existence. To my disappointment Mr. Barrett you have not formed successfully any segregation task force, an inner city business coalition, an independent task force to study urban blight in Milwaukee as it is uniquely different from anything in any other state in the union despite the painstaking work put out there for you to use in the war against racism and segregation.
Tom Barrett has been all over the state in the last months meeting with labor unions, residents, business officials, all to secure their vote. He is now engaged in “Neighbor to Neighbor” campaigning all around the state but noticeably absent from his list of “neighbors” is the Black population of the entire state. Yes thanks to our eagerness to support continued failure, we are not on Tom Barrett’s “to do” list AT ALL.
Before even becoming the Democratic candidate in the recall race, some Black s bucked with unions supporting Kathleen Falk in favor of the more appeasing Barrett. They also bucked union loyalty and the very reasons for the recalls, but that’s for another blog! Before the primary elections, before Tom Barrett even dropped his name officially, many Blacks signed off on his candidacy without any promises to the Wisconsin Negro. NONE! WE just gave it up. Barrett didn’t even have to ask. Lena Taylor appeared on Ed Schultz’s MSNBC show the very next night putting it out there for free (“it” meaning our support).
Barrett checked us off the “to do” list before we even had a chance to gather or list our demands without a care in the world. He sent Maholn Mitchell and other Black elected to gather the “loose sheep” and kept it moving. Like the soulless people some of our Black elected have become they bowed down and kissed the ring. “All good here my Lord!!” “No problem here masa, we got your back!”
Hold the hell on one damn minute. Let’s take a look at what Tom Barrett has done, or rather not done for the Milwaukee Negro and his role in the lack of advancement of our people!
- Barrett is a non factor, non presence in this community. A couple of appearances in safe houses like Black churches or in Black media don’t count as being actively present in our community. We have allowed him to use these comfort zones tirelessly. We never demand he be at the countless homicide vigils, on the porches of those who have nothing to do all day because they have no jobs, or at the homeless shelters filled to the brink with our people standing in never ending lines that seem to grow each day. He is not in the schools reading books or sponsoring drives to collect needed items for those desperately in need of saving. A good mayor would be on the front lines, boots on the ground…like Cory Booker of New Jersey. It ain’t that hard, it’s your city. Let me see you walk down all North Avenue without a camera crew and talk to real rock from the rock about what’s really hood out here.
- Barrett has presided over 8 years of hyper segregation without saying a word about it. Milwaukee was in a measly third place pre-Barrett and now comfortably occupies the #1 spot under his regime. Makes you wonder if it was not his problem from jump as many claim, then why won’t he solve it or even address it? What does he have to loose? He didn’t create it. Agreed but he certainly has condoned its existence and growth by his consistent silence about it.
- Instead of creating jobs and attending to the most pressing issues of the day, Barrett has been chasing Mr. Roger’s trolley dreams, with no promising interests for us. The trolley, a federal funded program that was designed to support transit in the city that links to the central train system has been sitting around for years until now. See my blogs “Streetcar Named Segregation” or “Streetcar Named Debt” for the run down. The plan has no inclusion of Negro interaction until its last stages only if it is successful. Even now we see alder people arguing, almost fighting on this issue and its importance on Milwaukee’s list of priorities. Those for it refuse a referendum because they don’t want the truth to come out about its “lack of steam.” Not to mention the utility concerns, outrageous costs, and local business concerns about how the trolley plan will hurt businesses by clogging up streets and blocking access.
One must in good concious wonder exactly where on the “Barrett list” are Black Milwaukeeans? More importantly why did our Black pols sell out our most precious vote without a request, list of demands, any programming, a meeting, or attention to what matters most to us-JOBS!
Like a cheap —– we gave it up, our vote, our voice, without getting our cut off the top! Like the unions are doing, they are getting something for their partnership with Barrett. Believe that!
Adding Insult to Injury
Sending Mahlon Mitchell to the hood was another insult and slap in the face. He is not from our hood and does not understand our struggle to survive. Not even sure who he is, hard to get some background on the brother. All I know is he is a union boy with no ties to Milwaukee’s inner city. He came with no plans, no promises, no prosperity for Milwaukee Negros, just more party rhetoric which means nothing to us. We heard it all before brother! We still looking to get fed and words ain’t fillin’ the empty plates. Bring us something we can get behind, some numbers, some benefits, or some programs and tell me what you will do if you had access to state coiffeurs. Unlike some of my Black elected and despite what ya heard, I like steak and lobster not hope and change. I can’t feed my family on promises anymore. Do some damage and show me what ya got! Unveil the plan, lead the new revolution, and give us the same thing you give to unions and those whose votes you all are working so hard to get. Don’t tell me about debates, investigations, and what the other guy didn’t do, tell me what you will do FOR ME!
So I ask as I hope all Blacks will demand of their Black elected, leaders, and media outlets:
- What Black pol is going to dare tell Barrett to hold up a second and tell him we got some demands or we taking our ish back. No vote until we get some concessions!
- What Black pol is willing to shed the “D” burned on their chest and tell these people we hurtin’ and until we see some hope and change coming our way we won’t be givin’ it up like expected?
- What Black leader elected or otherwise is going to tell Barrett and the like that we dying out here and now the police are on us too? Come on somebody feel me out here!
- What media outlet will ask the hard questions, buck the Democratic rhetoric and go off script to have some real grown up discussion? Hello anybody? I know somebody other than me is sick of taking the same old ish every single election cycle.
I’m just sayin’ we can do better, go further, move FORWARD if we weren’t so damn cheap with our vote. Want to know why so much apathy? We sell out every chance we get! Stand in solidarity and demand our 40 acres and a mule before we give our vote!
Tom Barrett win or lose we still got him one way or another so if not now when things are tight and votes matter, when do we put us first? I know in these next few weeks if we make a concentrated effort we can gain his attention and make our vote worth more than it has ever been. Lord knows we been carrying him all the way to the unemployment lines and back faithfully. It is time for Tom Barrett to do some heavy lifting and court us in the Black community like the rest of this state. It is also past time to demand that our Black pols do us a solid and stop selling us out without getting something off the top like every other group. Stop jumping the gun and being a “yes” person and make some demands.
“You’re quite hostile,
I got a right to be hostile, man my people being persecuted!”
….Prophets of Rage
No Peace this time Family, we at war!