First Published in Blasting News
Koch Brothers written Scott Walker and the GOP’s Jim Crow laws have turned Milwaukee into an open air prison for minorities.
The violence erupting in Milwaukee is the result of six years of Walker and the GOP’s assault on Wisconsin’s largest city. Milwaukee has been the oligarchs’ laboratory since Walker assumed office. The GOP has passed a series of egregious and insidious of laws designed to re-segregate Milwaukee. When the laws are found to be overtly racist by lower courts, those rulings are overruled by the most racist GOP dominated State Supreme Court in Wisconsin’s history.
In 2011 incumbent Justice David Prosser, was defeated by JoAnne Kloppenburg. Twenty-four hours later, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nicklaus declared Prosser the victor claiming she accidentally didn’t count 14,315 votes when she saved the results on her personal computer. Nicklaus was Walker’s assistant before he became governor and is the only person with access to the computer that tallies Waukesha’s votes.
WI Supreme Court restores segregation in Milwaukee
The oligarchs’ laboratory Milwaukee and its suburbs are more segregated than most of the nation. It has been reported the chairman of one county’s Republican Party still refers to one mostly African-American neighborhood in Milwaukee as “the colored section.” One of the most devastating of Walker’s “reforms” has been to remove Milwaukee’s residency requirement for police and fire fighters.
The 75 year-old requirement ensured the police and fire fighters were invested in the community they served. The resulting white flight has tripled the population of three rural counties around Milwaukee, where the percentage of African-Americans is under 2 percent. The black poverty rate within the city is the second-highest in the country. Walker has a history of slashing of programs that benefit inner-city African-Americans, such as public transportation. Governor Walker rejected Fed. Funds for Amtrak's Hiawatha high speed rail line between Milwaukee and Chicago.
Walker’s war on public education
Milwaukee’s public schools have become intensely segregated, like Lloyd Barbee Montessori School whose enrollment is 92% black. Walker’s expansion of charter schools and school vouchers is expected to strip $800 million from public schools over a decade. Walker’s $250 million cut in funding from the U-W budget has been awarded to his wealthy hedge fund managers to build an arena for the Milwaukee Bucks. One of the owners, Jon Hammes’ son donated $150,000 to a pro-Walker super PAC.
Walker replaced the state’s nonpartisan Government Accountability Board with two commissions made up of partisan appointees. The board was responsible for election oversight and enforcing ethics codes. Walker replaced the Civil Service’s anonymous employment exams with résumés, enabling racial bias, impossible to detect because personnel files are not part of the public record.
A Republican three judge panel has stayed a judges’ to issue ID cards to those who want one, declaring ID law disenfranchises Milwaukee’s black and Hispanic population. The law will remain as written for the November presidential election. In the April primary when the law was in effect over 300,000 voters lost the right to vote.
Governor Walker has called in the National Guard to beat Milwaukee’s residents into submission after violent clashes have erupted over the weekend. Is it any wonder the oligarch’s laboratory has turned Milwaukee into a powder keg?
By Patricia Baeten