According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s on-line homicide tracker, there have been 83 murders in Milwaukee since January 1, 2016; 77% of the victims are black, and another 7% Hispanic. To date, only 43% have resulted in an arrest. For reasons best known to those running the organization, it would appear that most of these black lives don’t matter. All of the nine victims of the pre-riot shootings Friday night and early Saturday morning were black.
Mr Rainey can therefore be said to have an excellent point: unless things change, such outbursts of violent frustration and rage are likely to continue. The problem is that the people of the city don’t want a change. Earlier this year, Barrett and fifteen members of the Common Council were up for re-election. Barrett easily won re-election with over 70% of the vote, and 12 of the 15 incumbent aldermen were re-elected (two of the seats were open; in only one case was the incumbent defeated).
More recently, Milwaukee County had a chance to throw out the district attorney, John Chisholm, who has proven himself to be a political hack far more interested in pursuing secret “John Doe” investigations of conservative politicians and public advocacy groups than in fighting crime in the county, in favor of Verona Swanigan, a black female attorney, daughter of a seasoned police force veteran, who promised to be tough on crime and do what she could to restore public safety. She, too, went down to a resounding defeat (taking a leaf from Sheriff Clarke, Swanigan ran as a Democrat in the summer democratic primary). Chisholm got nearly 65% of the vote; for the record, a total of 74,201 votes were cast in a county with an official population of 956,,023.
The problem with self-government is that you get to govern yourself. The results and the consequences are before us.