I was wrong about those 15 minutes …
A week ago your humble squire stated, with the self-assurance of an MSNBC talking head, that Young and Foolish had experienced its 15 minutes of fame. The opinion was formed after gang shootings off Raymond Road injured one man and more shots closed down West Towne Mall.
Now, of course, Tony Robinson lies dead, a mixed-race young man shot by a white Madison police officer. There is Young, Gifted and Black’s Brandi Grayson doing the Al Sharpton thing, embracing the grieving mother. Students and other non-workers are marching and Madison is apologizing — even Police Chief Mike Koval, with unseeming haste.
Are we sorry that the 19-year-old is dead? Yes. Do we apologize for the 12-year veteran officer firing his weapon? Not yet. Can we not await the results of the required state Department of Justice investigation?
Are Madison police in the habit of shooting unarmed black people dead? Paul Heenan comes to mind — he was white. For that matter, why not march over the black men shot by other black men in Madison? Perhaps those lives don’t matter as much.
What explains Robinson’s erratic behavior the night he was killed? Was he experiencing a drug reaction? Is it possible his impaired judgment contributed to the tragedy? Was he attempting to strangle someone in the Willy Street location, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel asks? I wasn’t there, neither were you. Neither was Brandi Grayson.
I don’t know many young people — he was an adult — who have been convicted of felony armed robbery in a home invasion. Was it a “crime of poverty”? Perhaps, poverty of spirit? Can you make sense of the social media tweets and Facebook posts this website reports? I didn’t know Anthony T. Robinson and neither did you. Neither did Brandi Grayson.
We learned something from Ferguson, Mo. We learned that the entire “hands up, don’t shoot” meme was as bogus as the Tawana Brawley hoax. Another Al Sharpton Incorporated production. The state grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice both cleared police officer Darren Wilson. But the feds have indicted that border state police department for what amounts to institutional racism. Do we believe Madison police are racist?
The panderers like to cite statistics showing that the number of racial minorities in the county jail is upside down from their representation in the population at large, but those stats are meaningless. What matters is the relationship to crimes committed. Is it possible that the recent (to say, within the last 15 years) influx from high-crime areas like Chicago are skewing those numbers?
In any event, it seems prudent to withhold judgment, to exercise restraint. Isn’t that what we ask of the police?
But that’s not Brandi Grayson’s game. Some people see racism where they want to see it. It’s part of their franchise.
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