Sunday, January 16, 2011

Will Civic Leaders Address Alleged "Jewish" Factor In Downtown Hotel Opposition?

WISN 1130-AM talk radio host Mark Belling asserted last Thursday that most of the higher-profile opponents of the Marriott Hotel project for downtown Milwaukee were Jewish. The assertion was in the context of his claim that a small group of powerful people familiar with each other were influencing the city's economy out of public view.

You can find here my initial discussion and a link to his show's audio  - and on the audio, after his references to "behind-the scenes" activities, and "a cabal,"  the Jewish assertion comes at about 13:45
into the segment.

Towards the end of the half-hour audio, Belling says he is the only one who will "tell people what's happening," and references again "the network that controls things," and he puts an emphasis on "controls."

There's no lack of confidence in this segment. It's declarative and presented with authority, which is Belling's style.

So will any community leaders, the powers that be, be willing to counter it?

Milwaukee spends time and money honing a positive image for presentation to residents, neighbors and visitors: are assertions like Belling's at all helpful?

Effective refutation (not censorship, let's make that clear) - - could be made by opinion-makers and organizations with voices that belong in the discussion - - The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, The Public Policy Forum, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board.

Who will take this opportunity to counteract the broadcast of such discredited stereotyping?

[Monday update: Mayor Barrett rebukes Belling.]

Do we let stand unchallenged the assertion that there is a cabal running Milwaukee into the ground for its own benefit, and that when it comes to a major, positive business project downtown, Jews dominate the obstruction?

Milwaukee celebrates the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's birth with two days of events Sunday and Monday.

What better chance could there be in the next few days for Milwaukeeans to widen and sharpen this annual conversation about tolerance in Dr. King's name by addressing Belling's dissonant assertion.

1 comment:

Jim Bouman said...

I'm not from, and certainly not of Milwaukee. I locate my personal civitas in a burg with its own problems, Waukesha.

But, allow me to be the first here in the PE comments to tell Mr. Mark Belling that his rancid polemical sludge is out of hand, out of bounds.

James, you are challenging the leaders, the civic worthies, the philanthropoids, the social elite, the movers and shakers to react.

I'll trust you to keep track of and publicize the ones among those you mentioned in the post who do react to this assault on decency, this appeal to prejudice. I trust there are going to be some. But, I'm not going to wait for them to take the lead.