Sunday, June 6, 2021

More disrespect heaped on Wisconsin minorities by the GOP

Because it happens in Wisconsin so often, I take the time to memorialize the racism and related insensitivities displayed by certain Republicans who hold public office, at public expense and at the expense of public civility.

Which brings me to last week's 'charade put on by GOP Assembly members chosen by Speaker Robin Vos where they pretended to address issues of racial justice while deliberately never setting foot in Milwaukee, the state's largest city, where people of color are in the majority and no doubt would have packed a public hearing and given GOP legislators a deserved earfull:

'Dog & pony show': Milwaukee Black activists scoff at Task Force bypassing Wisconsin’s Blackest city in creating police reform 

[Milwaukee activist Kamila] Ahmed’s point of view was struck down during the first public hearing on these bills at the Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety....So she took her time, during the public hearing section, to voice those demands and why they should be included in the bills being discussed.

However, Chair John Spiros abruptly cut her off.

“This has nothing to do with the bills,” Spiros said. “You’re giving demands that this committee doesn’t need to listen to. What we need to do, is get back to the bill.”

“The demands from the people, we are asking you as legislators, whatever else, to listen to the people. We have marched in the streets”

“We’re adjourned,” Spiros said, slamming the gavel before Ahmed could finish.

Now I'll be honest with you; I'd never heard of the aforementioned GOP State Rep. John Spiros -

Image of John Spiros
Marshfield GOP State Rep. John Spiros

- (and where might he have learned to the quick gavel that stifles debate when it threatens to bring out inconvenient facts and truths?) - so I Googled "Spiros and black and race" to see if there was any history to be found, and this is what popped up

Marshfield City Council member Rebecca Spiros criticized for 'tone deaf' Facebook post about race 
MARSHFIELD - City Council member Rebecca Spiros is facing criticism for comments she made in a Facebook post about race. 
Spiros, who represents Marshfield's District 8, questioned in the post whether people could still order black coffee, say "black olives" or if a black crayon should be renamed. 
In the post, Spiros, who is married to State Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield), asked whether those questions have legitimacy in a country that considers the children's television show "PAW Patrol" to be offensive. 

Granted, the sins of family members can't be affixed to kith and kin, and Council member Spiros did offer an apology of sorts - 

"'I want to be clear that I represent only myself on my page and while I had intended to put out a message about the over-stretch of political correctness my message was poorly phrased and perceived by some as something other than what I had intended," Spiros said...'"

Her ugly remarks and subsequent clarification reminded me of another ignorant and gratuitous slam by a presumably-educated adult Republican politician who had a smear at the ready:

GOP candidate, Rebecca Kleefisch, in Wisconsin: Sorry for comparing gay marriage to marrying a dog  
...at what point are we going to OK marrying inanimate objects? Can I marry this table, or this, you know, clock? Can we marry dogs? This is ridiculous." 
After being slammed by gay rights organizations and bloggers who recently turned up the interview from earlier in the year, the 35-year-old apologized on Thursday.  
"My comments were meant to relay my concern with redefining marriage," Kleefisch said in the statement, according to The Associated Press. "I never intended to sound insensitive, and have the utmost respect for all people. I apologize for my poor choice of words."

But again, I am stunned at the willingness of so many Wisconsin Republicans and conservative officeholders to so easily and routinely speak and behave publicly with so much arrogance and so little tolerance, empathy and common courtesy.  

 


1 comment:

joerossm said...

Gerrymandering leaves these GQP politicians accountable only to the white, rural voters that they have selected for themselves. Arrogance, intolerance, and lack of empathy and common courtesy are what those voters expect from their politicians. Makes sense, right?