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Mar 1, 201308:48 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Minority reaction to the Manski gambit: ‘That anger is growing louder. Believe it!’

Minority reaction to the Manski gambit: ‘That anger is growing louder. Believe it!’

(page 1 of 2)

Madison’s minority race community is at full boil over the Sarah Manski scandal and they are not going to take it anymore. Blaska’s Bring It! revealed the smoking gun Wednesday of the Manskis’ high-tech slander campaign to block Latina candidate Ananda Mirilli in the low-turnout Madison School Board primary.

We excerpt here a scathing editorial written by the editor-in-chief of The Madison Times, a weekly newspaper that caters to the minority community. This appears in its Feb. 27 edition.

Sarah Manski dropping out of the Madison Metropolitan School District school board race less than 48 hours after winning the primary was another swift kick in the gut to Madison’s minority population.

The unfortunate consequence of this was the silencing and the marginalization of a woman of color – Ananda Mirilli – in a city that frequently and consistently silences its people of color ... because another one of Madison’s liberal power elites treated her school board race as a back-up plan. That’s a special kind of entitlement. It’s the manifestation of blatant white privilege.

It all started with some far-fetched fiction from a Manski letter blasted out to listservs as she launched her campaign:

“One of Sarah’s opponents in this 3-way race is a supporter of using public tax dollars to fund private schools. She was recruited by the former head of a Bradley Foundation-funded group that promotes the corporate takeover of public education.”

... I asked Ananda about all of the allegations and illicit ties she was supposed to have had and she just looked at me sadly and said, “I have no idea. I don’t know any of these people. ... I’m just a working-class single mother who lives on Rimrock Road who is passionate about education and wants to see something better for our children. It’s really sad that they have to do this to me.”

And so the MMSD School Board race that came crashing down pretty much typifies the status of race relations ... White elite liberals dictating to, condescending to, and manipulating Madison’s communities of color. ... As the Editor in Chief of The Madison Times Weekly Newspaper and the Vice President of ... Centro Hispano ..., I have attended just about every major minority event, forum, scholarship fund-raiser, reading day, conference, gala, educational awards ceremony, and more over the last decade. And most of the minor ones. Not once have I ever seen Mrs. Manski or Mr. [T.J.] Mertz at any of them. Not once. ...

... While our discussion of the horrendous achievement gap that has existed in Madison for 40-plus years was finally started by a black guy, it’s only allowed to be discussed and solved by a small group of whites who have no feel for, connection to, or dialogue with the minority communities they want to save. ... Madison’s minority population has always felt disrespected, ignored, talked down to, condescended, misunderstood, and lied about by the greater white liberal elite power structure. 

... that anger is growing louder. Believe it.

Wayne Strong, Ananda Mirilli, James Howard – not acceptable to the Madison Machine

Community leader Derrell Connor writes:

... I’m glad that Ananda Mirilli decided not to run as a write in candidate. By doing so, it would make her supporters pretend that nothing shady happened here, and that Mirilli DIDN’T get screwed over. And by the way, where are all the high-powered liberal establishment Manski supporters at? Where are the calls for an investigation into what happened and who else was involved in this scheme? Your silence is deafening.

This was about Kaleem Caire, the Urban League of Greater Madison, and Madison Prep. Almost anyone that supported the idea of Madison Prep has been labeled as a right wing operative that’s determined to destroy public schools. Ananda Mirilli spoke in support of Madison Prep. So they already knew that she was running at least partly to make sure that Mirilli didn’t make it past the primary, and the other reason was to stop Scott Walker (but nothing about the actual students though, or the achievement gap).

A Facebook comment from the ubiquitous Stu Levitan:

[Sarah Manski] has embarrassed the entire progressive community, and needs to apologize. ... all the high powered libs I know (except the ones who work at The Cap Times) are mightily steamed about this, too, and feel they’ve been played by Manski's. No one I know is defending her/them.

School board members Ed Hughes and Mary Burke, who are not up for election this year, are making a statement by backing retired police officer and community leader Wayne Strong for Seat 3 on the school board.

Hughes and Burke write: “Wayne’s opponent, Dean Loumos, has been endorsed by Madison Teachers Inc. (MTI), Progressive Dane, the Teaching Assistants’ Association, the South Central Federation of Labor AFL-CIO and the Four Lakes Green Party. [And the Dane County Democratic Party – Blaska.] To counter the resources of these organizations, Wayne is counting on the financial support of individuals like you to help him bring his message of positive change to the voters. We’ll be blunt: Given recent events, we believe that the outcome of Wayne’s School Board race is critical to the future of our Madison schools and to the efforts we must undertake to ensure that we have the kind of school district our community wants and expects.”

Burke and Hughes are hosting a fundraiser for Strong from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at the Brink Lounge.

Old to new | New to old
Mar 1, 2013 07:05 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

So Blaska you may have forgotten that Kaleem Caire stood up at the board meeting after Madison Prep was voted down and said he was going to encourage supporters of Madison Prep to run for School Board. You have forgotten that here in your own Blog, Derrick Connor states that Ananda Mirilla supports Madison Prep. Kaleem Caire also has an article in American Lawyer Association Journal that hoping to have Madison Prep open in 2014. And finally, you have forgotten that Madison is a very educated town where people can put the dots together to see Caire is trying to stack the board to push his school down everyone's throught. Get over it, Madison would like to find a solution for the achievement gap, but a Tea Party solution of a Charter School which segregates and steals public school funds (and use vouchers) is not what Madison wants. Get over it.

Mar 2, 2013 02:33 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

I want to assure readers than I have no access to the identity of those who choose to post anonymously. Nonetheless, I can smell Matt Logan here, the loyal tribune of Progressive Dane, the Bicycle Lobby, the teachers union, and the Manski clan. "Kaleem Caire is trying to ... push his school down everyone's throught (sic)?" !!!!

Isn't it the other way around? Madison Teachers Inc. is pushing ITS way down throats. It's the MTI way or the highway. Ask them to pay toward their generous retirement pension and they shut down school for a week. Ask them to help minority kids and they slap you with their collective bargaining agreement.

Madison Metropolitan School District has over 50 schools. It can't afford to have one (1) school that is demanded by, literally, thousands of Madisonians? That would serve an under-served or mis-served population? At least, Kaleem Caire has come up with a program to address the minority achievement gap. No one else has. (Anyone bite on the Daniel Nerad cut & paste job? Has anyone even READ the Nerad report, written shortly before he skedaddled?)

You are a shameless, skulking miserable toad, Logan.

Mar 4, 2013 11:21 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Resorting to name calling once again, eh Dave? Shameless, skulking miserable toad must have taken you all day to do spell check.

Toad, meet Bufo.


Mar 27, 2013 02:11 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

It's politics. If you run, you may be labeled or categorized by previous actions, words, or deeds. Doesn't matter what your color is. Union supporter, progressive, conservative, charter advocate, finance expert, etc. No one is entitled a clear path to election. This is why I commend all who choose to run.

If she had more votes, she would still be on the ballot. But, she did not, so someone must have cheated. Threaten a lawsuit, immediately. Immediately.

Come on. Madison is smarter than this. It doesn't take a conspiracy to vote against an idea.

Dave, your "smoking gun" would be a picture of "the white establishment" in a dark room smoking cigars strategizing how to get Manski to run and win. What we have here editorial.

"The minority community" is at full boil. Really? What a sick generalization. As if they all think alike. All would support a minority candidate... because she's a minority candidate. Maybe some of them see through self promotion and want a candidate who does also.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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