A grab bag of issues this Friday.
Still lots of unanswered questions. Back in February a small army of law enforcement personnel from a half dozen agencies, including the DNR, descended on one man. They were on the far east side of Madison to arrest Quadren Wilson on a drug charge. They ended up shooting him several times. Wilson survived and was ultimately sentenced to three years in prison for his crimes. Now one of the officers involved, a DOJ investigator named Mark Wagner, has been charged with second degree reckless endangerment. But the criminal complaint against him still doesn’t answer some fundamental questions. Why all that fire power to arrest one guy on a drug charge as opposed to, say, murder? Why was the DNR involved? Since he had a scheduled meeting with his parole officer the next day, why didn’t they arrest him then? Wilson is a drug dealer. He’s not innocent. But did he really need to be shot? The public deserves more answers.
Where is Carlton Jenkins? Police report that yet another spate of melees occurred this week at Madison’s East High School. A student was attacked by two others who were not even students at East, but were apparently students at other Madison schools, and there were two off campus disturbances. And yet, the Madison School District won’t say if it supports Chief Shon Barnes’ proposal to assign neighborhood cops to the areas surrounding the schools. And where is Superintendent Carlton Jenkins on all this? Jenkins almost never appears in a news story to make direct comment. Instead, spokesperson Tim LeMonds speaks for the district and he’s not even portrayed as speaking for Jenkins himself. Jenkins did find his way onto the PBS News Hour a few weeks ago. He needs to be the face of the district here at home because right now it feels like there’s no leadership at all.
How to insult your voters. There’s a reason Democrats are spending record amounts on advertising hitting the abortion issue. It’s because it’s the only one of the top five issues that voters care about on which they have the upper hand. Those issues that rank ahead of abortion include inflation, crime, accurate vote count and schools. So, why Democrats would want to highlight any of those top four issues is a mystery to me. But State Superintendent Jill Underly did just that in her production of a state of the schools speech in the cavernous Capitol rotunda yesterday. Among her comments was this: “The only way to teach the complete story of the United States is to include the history of racism,” Underly said. “Grappling with difficult concepts, including discrimination, is essential, it is culturally relevant, and it is accurate teaching. Saying otherwise is problematic — and racist.” She had me until her last two words. Democrats simply have to stop calling everyone who disagrees with them a racist. Of course, schools should teach about racism and other flaws in our country. What they should not do is teach that America was founded on racism. But that’s just exactly what the New York Times’ awful and offensive 1619 Project — which comes complete with a lesson guide for teachers — would do. Parents have every right to be concerned about that and Underly had no reason to go out of her way to stick a thumb in their eyes. Glenn Youngkin won an upset victory in Virginia’s governor’s race to a large extent on this very issue. Underly’s comments, coming just weeks before Tony Evers’ own reelection bid, were utterly senseless.
That’s all of I’ve got. Have a good weekend. (To have a better one, I recommend skipping the Badger game tomorrow.)