The letter documents a number of individual cases, including how the MPD has handled the arrest of Black Lives Matter activist Yeshua Musa and its response to the attack on Althea Bernstein, that they say “demonstrate a pattern of anti-Blackness.”
I’ve figured out how to revive Princess Markle’s flagging acting career: She should star in a detective show in which she solves hate crimes that the police are racistishly ignoring. She could team with an experienced older investigator into unsolved golf course-related murders whose methods might be considered a little old school but who has a proven track record of results, such as getting his Heisman Trophy back. They report via speakerphone to an unseen boss voiced by Oprah Winfrey.
Granted, some people, perhaps including Althea Bernstein’s parents, regret Princess Markle’s initial entree into the shadowy world of hate crimes, but many are keeping the faith. From the Cap Times of Madison, Wisconsin:
Organizations, candidates sign letter declaring ‘non-confidence’ in Madison police
Abigail Becker | The Capital Times Jul 24, 2020
A letter signed by several Madison organizations says they have no confidence in the Madison Police Department and Acting Chief Vic Wahl. The letter, to the Police and Fire Commission, has also been signed by hundreds of individuals, including several candidates for statewide office and current local elected officials.
From the letter:
Over the past three months there have been several cases where Chief Wahl’s department has treated Black residents with very recognizable attributes of anti-Blackness. By anti-Black we mean something akin to how Northwestern University African-American Studies professor kihana miraya ross defines it:
“Anti-blackness describes the inability to recognize black humanity. It captures the reality that the kind of violence that saturates black life is not based on any specific thing a black person — better described as “a person who has been racialized black” — did. The violence we experience isn’t tied to any particular transgression. It’s gratuitous and unrelenting.”
… In recent weeks, we have seen the following events:
… The case of four white men allegedly hurling racist insults while setting a young Biracial woman on fire in her car.
… Attempted Murder by Arson/Hate Crime Case
In another recent example that raises the question of what actually counts as a priority for MPD, Dane County non-emergency dispatch received a call from a young Biracial woman who reported being set on fire in her vehicle by four white men yelling racist slurs at her. Despite the serious nature of this allegation, MPD couldn’t have an officer or detective talk to her right away because, according to dispatch, they were busy on “priority calls” preparing for protests. Had an officer been subject to such an assault, it’s very likely all officers would have been warned to be on the lookout. But MPD did not try to warn the Black residents in the area of the assault. They did not warn the protestors.
Given the prevalence of city and private surveillance cameras in the downtown area, it’s odd that, by comparison to the fire bombing, no photos or videos have been released. If it weren’t for a pattern of MPD protecting property over Black bodies, this would seem an oddly unfortunate coincidence.
Indeed. The lack of anyone stepping forward to claim the $10,000 in rewards offered for information on the Bernstein attempted murder case proves how pervasive systemic racism is in our society.