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Nov 4, 201308:50 AMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Dane County’s latest social experiment: race-based justice?

(page 1 of 2)

Dane County’s progressives are more afraid of being called racist than of being mugged. The Wisconsin State Journal, an honest source of news, led off its story this way:

Some of Dane County’s troubling problems with inequality in the criminal justice system could be offset by new initiatives to funnel more African-American suspects into special courts aimed at rehabilitation, officials say.

“Community courts” would take 17- to 25-year-olds from neighborhoods with high concentrations of racial minorities and place them in a restorative justice program where they can make amends for minor offenses without getting criminal records that would hurt them when looking for jobs and housing.

Those officials are people like County Executive Joe Parisi, a very nice man; County Board Chairman John Hendrick, Progressive Dane; and District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, D-Jim Doyle.

Race-based courts? Have we lifted the blindfold from Lady Justice? (No fair peeking.) Benevolent apartheid? Are we asking sociologists from the Havens Center to redistribute justice — taking from those who presumably have too much to give to those whom the “experts” decide don’t have enough? Madison progs are troubled that 40% of county jail inmates are black compared to 6% of the total population. Of course, that doesn’t tell us what percentage of the crime was committed by race. But does that really matter?

Crime is crime. A mugging committed by a white person is no less onerous. Are second-generation Asian kids less deserving of a chance to avoid the criminal record that would hurt them when looking for jobs and housing?

The progressive obsession with race is, of course, outdated. Barack Obama “identifies” as black. The late, great John Patrick Hunter of The Capital Times specified that his driver’s license list “Negro” under race. What constitutes a “high concentration of racial minorities”?

It must be said that Madison — run by liberals the last 40 years — has skewed its own numbers by virtually inviting a disproportionate admixture of violent Chicago-based gang bangers.

Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke responds:

The only racism that exists in the Dane County criminal justice system is towards victims of crime who are typically poor and black. They are victimized twice, first by the crook and again when the system’s revolving door justice rewards criminals by placing them back into black neighborhoods to re-offend.

This proposed policy is sheer lunacy. ... It is a social engineering experiment that has failed before with devastating effects on poor and black neighborhoods that are already under siege by the criminal element. Criminals repeat their anti-social behavior when they experience no negative effects or consequences to their criminality. Criminal behavior will only change when offenders are punished for their unwanted behavior. This is why the caseload in the Dane County Court system is backlogged. The same criminals keep passing through the revolving door with new criminal cases.

Corporate news bias

Could this be any more biased? A supposed news story at The Capital Times (The Corporation That speaks as if it were a person):

Corporate education reform foe Diane Ravitch will visit Madison next month and activists are using the occasion to inform local citizens about the movement to privatize schools.

“Corporate-education reform?” (It should be hyphenated.) Are Geoffrey Canada, Joel Klein, Davis Guggenheim, Howard Fuller, Kaleem Caire, Michelle Rhee, and a couple thousand low-income Wisconsin families closet Koch Brothers? What about the clear majority of state residents (51% to 45%) who support expanding vouchers statewide?

Corporatist Koch whores, the lot of them, if you buy into the conspiracy mongering from the progressives. Nothing wrong with our schools, says Mizz Ravitch, that a few more billion dollars wouldn’t fix.


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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Nov 4, 2013 11:03 am
 Posted by  Leo

Couldn't we just sentence minority offenders to several nights of incarceration at Madison's forthcoming "Snuggle House?" On the assumption that they just need more hugging?

Nov 4, 2013 11:44 am
 Posted by  Meade

That's a pretty good idea, Leo. Hug the meanness right out of those mean offenders.

And since progressives seem to believe Republicans and conservatives are so mean, how about Dane County pay for the snuggle treatment of anyone who voted for Governor Walker?

Nov 4, 2013 12:30 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

I think Snuggle House is covered under Obamacare.

Nov 4, 2013 04:13 pm
 Posted by  Leo

Better yet, why not sentence any minority offender to a room with a computer and not let them out until they have signed up for Obamacare.

That should keep them off the streets for months or years.

Nov 4, 2013 10:52 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

David, please share with us the proof that the majority of Wisconsin residence support vouchers.

If this was the case, why only 27 percent of the new vouchers used by those in public schools while 73 percent were already in private schools before?

Nov 4, 2013 11:00 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I agree with you if you do the crime, do the time. The question I have for you Dave, is it possible that a middle class white young adult will have the financial backing (ie parents) to get a decent lawyer to get them reduced charges, whereas a poor black young adult has to take a public offender, who are usually not as experienced lawyer and they end up not negotiating the charges?

Nov 5, 2013 07:39 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

Anonymous at 10:52 p.m. Nov. 4 wants proof that Wisconsin residents support vouchers. It's called the Marquette Law School [public opinion] Poll released on 10-29-2013.

Anonymous at 11:00 p.m. asks if it is possible a middle class parent could afford a better lawyer than a public defender. Yes, it is possible.

Nov 5, 2013 10:06 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

So you state the majority of Wisconsin support vouchers, yet only 400 to 800 residents were even surveyed out of nearly 6 million residents. Seems like you are "stretching" the truth here.

Who benefits from private schools are those who can afford the schools. As shown this year, the people who are taking advantage of the vouchers are already affording to pay for private schools (73 percent of those taking advantage of the new vouchers already were attending the private school according to the DPI stats)

What I find interesting, is that Walker states he is lowering taxes (savings of 13 dollars) while the other taxes are going up (local, school, etc). Doesn't look like we are saving anything in my mind.

Nov 5, 2013 10:39 am
 Posted by  David Blaska

I doubt anything can be saved in your mind.

Nov 5, 2013 12:19 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Great response to 1006, Dave. Well thought out and insightful.

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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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