September 15, 2015
Scott Walker and the Racial Divide
By Senator Lena C. Taylor
Not much shocks me anymore in politics, especially things that come out of Governor Scott Walker’s mouth.
But this week, things got even more bizarre in Walker’s world.
The Walker magic with the far right wing is wearing off and Walker’s national poll numbers are sinking faster than Vanilla Ice’s career. It seems like in the minds of the far right wing, busting unions was so 2011. It turns out a track record of ultra conservatism isn’t enough for the far right wing. In their shortsightedness, they want to know how extreme their golden candidates have been in the last week.
And that’s where our very own Governor Scott Walker comes in. Walker penned a guest column in Hot Air in which he insinuated that President Barack Obama is somehow responsible for a national racial divide that he believes has led to an increase in murders of police officers around the nation. In his guest column, Walker says, “This isn’t the America I grew up in...” Walker further goes on to say, “In the last six years under President Obama, we’ve seen a rise in anti-police rhetoric… This inflammatory and disgusting rhetoric has real consequences for the safety of officers…”
It gets better. Walker further states, “After years of division under President Obama, America needs a leader who will seek to unite all Americans.”
Walker’s rhetoric has gotten so out of control that I couldn’t let it go unchecked. Somewhere out there, someone read Walker’s words and believed them. Now, I’m not sure who that person is, but if you meet them, give them a copy of this column, read it out loud to them if you have to, and then tell them to call 608-266-1212 and tell the Governor’s office that Scott Walker should be ashamed for insinuating that President Obama is somehow responsible for the deaths of police officers.
First and foremost, the fact is that according to data from the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Fund, police murders are trending downward under Obama (314) compared to the last three two-term presidents, which peaked under President Ronald Reagan (576). One death of an innocent life, law enforcement or otherwise, is too much death. I think we can all agree on that, right? But to use murdered police officers for political gain is straight up desperate and shameless.
Since Walker wants to make comparisons between himself and Obama, I thought you should know a few things. Under Obama, our unemployment rate is lower now than it has ever been since Obama inherited the Bush recession. More people have healthcare access today thanks to Obama. Not to be outdone, more people can marry the person they love and despite Walker repealing Wisconsin’s equal pay law, it’s still on the books in Washington, DC.
Compare that to the 22 years Walker has been in office as a state representative from Milwaukee County, the Milwaukee County executive and now governor. Do you think race relations are better off under Walker’s “leadership?” Milwaukee is still one of the most segregated cities in America. Eighty-five percent of Milwaukee’s school children read below grade level. That’s just a few of the many reasons Wisconsin was recently rated one of the worst states to raise a black child. Despite knowing our state’s voter ID law would make it harder for black voters to vote, Walker signed the law. Meanwhile, we’ve got tremendous health disparities amongst communities of color not seen in white communities across the state.
All this is happening on Scott Walker’s watch. In the keystrokes of one guest column, Governor Walker wants you to believe that not only is President Obama responsible for America’s racial divide, but that divide has led to an increase in murders of police officers and that he, Scott Walker, is the one to bring America back together.
The hypocrisy in his words! Governor Scott Walker is the same man who told a billionaire that he’d bust the unions one step at a time rather than all at once because, “you have to divide and conquer.” His words are telling. Just think about what that means. He wants to conquer fellow Wisconsinites like he’s the modern day political version of Genghis Kahn. Walker even named his own political action committee “Unintimidated.”
Walker is right about one thing. There is a divisive political leader in America. It’s just too bad he can’t see that it’s him.