Editorial

Michael Brown and the politics of racism

Thursday, 21 August 2014 12:15
hands_up_dont_shoot_michael_brown

When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, progressives were overcome with optimism. Finally it seemed as if America was entering a post-racial era. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of an America where people are not judged by the color of their skin felt within reach. 

Milwaukee County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic. — PHOTO: Courtesy

On June 6, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced to a cheering crowd at PrideFest that he was keeping the courthouse open that evening for same-sex couples to get married. Abele didn’t want lesbian and gay couples who’d been waiting for years to have to wait any longer after a federal judge overturned Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban earlier that day.

Two unspeakably cruel incidents that recently occurred half a world apart are terrifying reminders of the world’s growing misogyny. 

While we don’t agree with them on reproductive rights, we know there are many opponents of choice who are caring, rational beings. They prove it’s possible to disagree over an issue that touches on deep, personal feelings without calling out the National Guard.

Raise the minimum wage now

Thursday, 07 August 2014 07:34

The minimum wage reached its peak value in 1968 and has been falling ever since. If it had kept pace with inflation, the minimum wage would now stand at $10.74 per hour instead of $7.25.

-PHOTO: rocknetroots.blogspot.com

Gov. Scott Walker and his tea party acolytes despise government (even though Walker’s worked in it nearly his entire career). They preach that government is inherently tyrannical, wasteful, inefficient and corrupt. Their overriding agenda is to eliminate as many government agencies and regulations as possible and turn public functions — from school systems to prison systems to sewage systems — over to for-profit corporations.

Share your Pride

Friday, 30 May 2014 14:37

Share your Pride. Show your Pride.

LGBT Pride month is about far more than the word “pride” suggests. Just as the 1960s “black is beautiful” cultural movement sought to challenge white paradigms of beauty, LGBT Pride seeks to counter the myth that people whose sexual orientations and gender identities do not conform are damaged or evil. LGBT Pride is not about boasting or “flaunting” ourselves, as our critics on the religious right say. It’s about celebrating the very characteristics for which they’ve persecuted us for centuries. It’s about claiming our right to equality and to celebrating the disproportionate number of achievements people like us have contributed to science, industry, socio-political reform and the arts, despite our relatively small numbers and the discrimination we’ve endured.

Mozilla CEO a victim of evolution

Thursday, 17 April 2014 15:59

Brendan Eich

After less than a month on the job, Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich resigned when an outcry erupted over his 2008 contribution of $1,000 to California’s anti-gay Proposition 8 campaign. The incident was a touchstone moment that divided equality supporters and prompted homophobes to claim that straight, white traditional marriage advocates are “the real bullying victims.”

Determined to protect their fossil-fuel backers from the financial consequences of the environmental policies put forward under President Barack Obama’s green energy agenda, House Republicans on July 11 attached a bevy of amendments to the fiscal 2015 energy and water spending bill. 

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen finds himself on the wrong side of history. - PHOTO: Courtesy

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen vigorously sought — and obtained — a stay of U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb’s decision finding the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional. A joyous week in Wisconsin that saw more than 550 same-sex couples marry came to an abrupt halt, and Van Hollen asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Crabb’s decision.

Cronyism has consequences

Thursday, 15 May 2014 17:28

The message is …

Unfortunately, as we saw in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it’s disastrous when our leaders assign friends or financial supporters to key positions for which they’re wholly unqualified. Remember Michael D. Brown, who served as under secretary of emergency preparedness and response in George W. Bush’s administration? A Bush crony, he wasn’t even prepared to handle a traffic jam. His faltering response to Katrina amplified its devastation. Bush’s frat-boy shoutout to Brown as alligators swam the streets of New Orleans feasting on the bloated corpses of Katrina’s victims  — “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job” — ensured Brown a prominent place in crony history. 

Reform tax code

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 02:35

This issue of Wisconsin Gazette hits the streets as the nation prepares to mark one of its annual milestones: Federal income taxes must be filed by April 15.