Monday, July 2, 2007

Former Waukesha Freeman Editor Trashes Milwaukee

Pete Kennedy, now a Freeman columnist, offers a Waukesha perspective about Milwaukee that should be remembered by Milwaukeans when they/we are told/lectured to cooperate with Waukesha, in the name of regionalism.

Kennedy's message, both in the lede of his most-recent column, as well as the last line:

"Milwaukee sucks."

And this appeared in a venerable daily newspaper, not some giveaway rag.

(And by the way, The Freeman, as its name suggests was a crusading abolitionist newspaper when it made high-minded journalism its identity.

Here's a line or two about another former Freeman editor, who'd probably turn over in his grave if he saw what former editor Kennedy was writing, and what the paper has become.

Or if he read the weekly op-ed rants by the AM radio squawker Mark Belling and the rest of the brace of rightwingers that have turned the Freeman'e editorial pages into into a shrill, far-right, one-note columns.)
And to you out-staters, speaking as a Milwaukean, the Pete Kennedy attitude is what we put up with in this area, everyday in regional media and talk radio - - this routine contempt for Milwaukee, Wisconsin's only major city.

The Milwaukee-Waukesha, two-county Census grouping is already the most segregated in America, and has the worst separation of jobs to job-seekers, too.

Anyone still wondering how that came about? Where exclusion from and judgementalism about urbanity when it comes to life and culture and politics in southeastern Wisconsin?

My suggestion from now on:

When Waukesha County wants Milwaukee land for freeways, or Milwaukee water to compensate for overused wells, or Milwaukee's agreement to help move jobs and businesses west of 124th St. in the name of regionalism - - that Milwaukee simply says "No," and sign it:

"Declined By The People Who Suck."

An Update: Remember when Mark Belling said it would be a good idea to stay away from Summerfest because a hip-hop artist was booked there?

His Pete Kennedyesque fears were unrealized.

In fact, we learn today (July 5th) that arrests at Summerfest last night were nearly 2:1 out-of-county residents than local people.

Maybe even some from out where Pete Kennedy lives, bringing crime and pressure into the city, and onto Milwaukee police and the law-abiding public?


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Part of me wants to argue with these folks about the city but mostly you have to wonder "what's the point?" They're happy in their own isolated worlds, where people unlike them don't dare to tread.

Except for when they come downtown to get drunk at Summerfest . .. note that per the Milw Police Dept on Friday 2/3 of the arrests were of people NOT from Milwaukee . . .

The worst is, of course, that for every white guy from Waukesha who puts this in writing, are how many more who think it, and talk about it among their friends? Lots.

And an awful lot of them see the problem as not really Milwaukee . . . but people of color. THAT's what threatens them. Just think about the African-American family who had the audacity to try to go fishing in rural Waukesha County and were threatened by firefighters with their dog. The Hmong family who couldn't buy a business because the landlord didn't want to rent to "dirty Asians." The Pewaukee police chief, who is being sued for routinely using the "N" word - but who was just given a slap on the wrist by his superiors.

So let them keep their bubble intact. But from Milwaukee - not a cent more, not a drop more water, not a lane more of highways. (And, consumers - not a shopper more to their sprawling malls.) Let them work it out themselves.

Anonymous said...

Why would you call the Waukesha Freeman venerable? Because people in Waukesha read it? Because they hire Mark Belling to write a column and pay him after he finishes 300 and sues them? Because they hired Pete Kennedy. Who the f### is Pete Kennedy.

I presume your point is that Pete Kennedy somehow represents Waukesha. Who cares? Pete Kennedy doesn't like us? Boo hoo.

Seriously, Pete Kennedy (long time resident of Waukesha it says under his column) doesn't like us. He used to like us. He liked our authentic Mexican restaurants in neighborhoods (with real live Mexicans) and Samson, a real long dead gorilla of some sort.

Its just a halfass attack. He can't even pretend he's been in Milwaukee since, oh maybe since Samson died. He's trying to play that his conclusions are recent, with sensational stuff he's googled from the last five years. Like crime is new here. Remember a little fellow named Dahmer-- they make movies about him. Remember Bembenek, more movies. Or Dennis Anderson. OR the really bad crime of the 80's. Back when Kennedy loved Milwaukee.

Who under 50 has ever thought of Milwaukee as a low crime town.

I never did. But I also never dreamed of leaving it for some far off suburban soccer field with McMansions, crap water, and pro football players partying with teenagers. And Ted Oswald. And his charming kid. And Pete Kennedy.

If Pete Kennedy thinks Milwaukee sucks he shouldn't come here. Then we'll suck even less. He thinks Milwaukee sucks because there is too mcuh crime. Ergo, he thinks big cities suck.

Blah, blah, blah. Aging white dude living in the country is afraid of the city. He'll be back. If not for the food, or the baseball team, or the museums, or the theaters, or the ballet and symphony, or to drop his grandkids off at MATC; he'll be back for the water. We may make him register, but he'll be back.