The Emerald City, my home these last and wonderful 25 years, is in the grip of a false secular religion: identity politics and the Cult of Victimhood.
Adherents of this faith hold that there are too many black people in our jails and prisons. Never are these faith adherents troubled by the possibility that the disproportion may be traced to a commensurate commission of crime.
Thus can a noisy group affiliated with Black Lives Matter hold up traffic, including ambulances, and confront the Madison Common Council to demand the release of (pick your number) black jail inmates, only. Name the Madison alders who have denounced BLM. Or the mayor. (For the perplexed, the answer is None of the Above.)
Instead, majorities on both the city council and the county board devise ever more clever work-arounds to incarceration. Restorative justice, first-time offender programs, you name the diversion program, we’re doing it. No, when Madison city government studies a problem, it studies the police.
So it might be instructive to turn our gaze 90 miles to the east. Our friend, the essential Ms. Vicki McKenna, posits that Madison is well on the way to Milwaukee-style violence. Our largest city actually has a homicide rate greater than Chicago’s. Peculiar to Milwaukee is the phenomenon of car jacking.
The latest victim is a city building inspector named Greg “Ziggy” Zyszkiewicz, shot to death by three young men as they ′jacked his city-issued vehicle while he was on the job.
Deshaun Scott and Qhualun Shaw, both 17, and Eric J. Smiley Jr., 21, have been arrested. All three are frequent visitors to the cop shop — always to be released by guilty judges with a slap on the wrist, often with mere signature bonds. The Journal Sentinel reports:
- One of the teens charged in the fatal shooting of a city building inspector was free on bail after he was found in a stolen car.
- Another had been charged four times in the past three years for illegal gun possession — in addition to felony theft, carrying a concealed weapon, resisting arrest, and bail jumping.
- And the accused triggerman, a teenager, had violated juvenile probation numerous times, but nonetheless was no longer being supervised by the county, according to sources.
Legislators (yes, Republicans) introduced a bill to make it a felony for anyone who has had three misdemeanor convictions in five years to possess a gun. Please do not blame poverty. The father of one of them is quoted:
“It hurts bad because I didn’t raise him like that. He didn’t have to take nothing, he had everything he wanted: shoes, cable TV, Xbox, whatever, he had it.”
But did he work for what he had? That’s the problem, isn’t it, folks? Liberals, progressives, and socialists — chime in! (Dan B., Annoying Bob, stand and deliver!)
Next time at the Stately Manor, we’ll review a similar instance in Madison.