When the WI State Journal’s remarkable cartoonist, Phil Hands, draws the prototypical Madison liberal, it sure looks like Stu Levitan.
Which is only fair because Stu IS the prototypical Madison liberal. A reliable Democrat, progressive propagandist, city government insider, and occasional candidate. He’s also abrasive, caustic and irascible. He makes Paul Soglin look like a warm puppy, which is why I like old Stu. I really do.
But he is such a blockhead!
Stu is all in a dither because I wrote that Jennifer Cheatham “broke down in tears” at the March 30 Downtown Madison Rotary. Stu insists, over at the BlaskaforSaferSchools Facebook page (come on over!), that “She did not ‘break down in tears.’ She got emotional and took a few seconds to compose herself.”
This issue has been weighing on Stu because 15 hours later he revisits the subject: “You ever going to acknowledge you misrepresented the facts about whether Cheatham “broke down in tears”?
Stu, the woman cried. Did she sob? No. She broke down in tears, albeit briefly. O.K.? As I wrote at the time, “Jen Cheatham broke down a little bit, as she warned her audience she would.” Part of her act included screening cloying pictures of little Jennifer Can-Do (thanks to “white privilege”). But nice attempt at sidetracking the real issue, Stu.
I wrote that:
Jen told how her Chicago-born father “came from nothing.” How her parents instilled in her a love for reading, how she drove 2,000 miles cross country to take her first teaching job in the racially mixed East Bay area of California. Inspiring stuff, and I can believe Jen Cheatham was a wonderful teacher. She is a great speaker, with a sprinkling of humor.
Then she spoiled it. Supt. Cheatham attributed her success to “white privilege.” Not “hard work” or “perseverance”? Not grit and determination? Did her working class parents pay off an admissions coach to get her into college? No. Then why the guilt?
Stu, it’s up to you
Are you ever going to acknowledge that Madison’s superintendent of schools blamed her success on white privilege? (Read those words again: the superintendent of schools BLAMED HER SUCCESS …!)
- Are you ever going to acknowledge how destructive that message is?
- That she is telling black kids, in so many words, she’s got white privilege and you ain’t. So there’s your built-in excuse for failure. You can Blame Someone Else.
- You didn’t do your homework because … white privilege. You’re trashing Lakeview Library because … white privilege. 60% functionally illiterate because …?
- You don’t want four minority-race cops in our troubled high schools because … white privilege.
Stu Levitan, do you even get the point? Isn’t this whole identity politics, institutional racism thing THE issue in this school board election? That all this to-do about race is hurting, not helping? While we’re at it, I received this e-mail from an educator whose name I am sworn to protect:
“One thing I encourage all parent to do,
is to go shadow their child for one day.
They will learn a lot.”
Isn’t that a bit more important than whether Jen Cheatham turned on the waterworks at Rotary full-bore or just a trickle?
Stop being a blockhead, Stu Levitan. But maybe you can blame it on your white privilege.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Stu, I don’t see your name on my campaign donors list.