The sound of gunshots shut down a local festival on Saturday. Five people have been arrested; one charged with trying to grab an officer’s gun.
Sure, you say, probably just another sad story from some ironically-titled "Jam for Peace" rap-fest at the Ampitheater or the Rave or something. And this, after the shocking aftermath of the Juneteenth celebration. What is wrong with these people? Let’s get Charlie Sykes to run another e-mail from David Clarke so we can get on with the solution to this vexing problem.
But, no. It happened at the Country USA Music Festival in Oshkosh. Violence at the whitest music event in Wisconsin in one of the many whitest parts of the state.
I have searched high and (really) low on the wing-nut blogs to find any reference to this outrageous criminal behavior. No sanctimonious clucking about values and broken homes. No call for action to Stop the Violence and save the broken community. No lashing out at Journal Sentinel columnists who are insufficiently demanding of family values, reform and tough law enforcement in their constituent community. Mike Nichols – come out, come out, wherever you are!
But, nothing. Not from Sykes, McBride, Robinson – even the often-thoughtful Esenberg. Forget the weekend – if this had happened with black people in Milwaukee on Saturday, they would have all left their Sunday picnics to wring their hands over their keyboards about the sad community in which they don’t live. All of the above had a field day over the attack on a motorist by stupid kids after the Juneteenth celebration on Thursday. That unfortunate event played right into their – yes – racist tripe about how bad things are in the City and how only Clarence Thomas wannabees like Sheriff Clarke and the newly-anointed OK-black-guy James Harris can save us, er, them.
But white gun-play outside the City? If they talk about the Oshkosh violence at all this week, the radio and blog wing-nuts will make excuses for the landowner next-door to the festival, talk about Second Amendment "rights", blame the concert promoter for not making peace with the guy before the event. It will be portrayed as an isolated incident in an otherwise law-abiding community. The only Milwaukee TV cameras pointed that way will be those looking to see if the corn really is knee-high this July 4th.
Both the Juneteenth and the country music festival had this in common: Both were overwhelmingly positive and peaceful. Both were marred by unfortunate violent events by bad actors. The vast majority of those attending both events were law-abiding and meant nobody any harm.
But, there is a double-standard for the agenda-driven wing-nuts, who will pretend to get hysterical about violence in one place and ignore even worse violence (there were no guns fired in the Juneteenth incident) in another. Remember Mayfair? Last I heard, there were just as many police calls to Bayshore and Brookfield Square. But that doesn’t fit in their small box, so, never mind.
The fact is that much more of society is broken-down besides Milwaukee’s Inner City. Jobs have been lost, the health care system is broken and rural frustration is as real as any other kind. As long as we fall into the phony Us v. Them mentality of the right-wing crisis-mongers, nothing will be solved. But they’re not looking for solutions. The wing-nuts thrive by division. They could care less about what is really going on in the Inner City. It is just something they drive by. Talk about your "drive-by" media...