An article recently published in a local, online magazine took to calling our educational, Lincoln-themed billboards in the Madison area “a sick stunt”. It further went on to distort history and, while full of misdirected emotion, offered little in the way of facts as it slandered the Republican Party.
We find it incredibly ironic that this article is further tagged as “Madison is Racist” on the website. It takes a huge leap from reality to equate Madison with Republicans. Democrats, liberals, and progressives have had near complete control over Madison for the better part of several decades. Has this “leadership” paid dividends for our minority community in Madison? What progress has this brought for minorities in our schools? When alternative programs like Madison Prep are proposed to improve educational opportunities, it was liberals and Democrats who killed it. Conversely, it is Republicans who continue, to this day, to champion school choice, vouchers, and open enrollment to give every student more opportunities.
How about Milwaukee then? The author cites Milwaukee’s problem with lead poisoning as proof of Republican hostility towards Black people. Again, we may have missed the memo, but Republicans are not running the show there either. In fact, Democrats are so proud of Milwaukee’s record that they twice chose Milwaukee’s Mayor Tom Barrett as their choice to run for Governor. It is also the same city that reduced their number of polling locations from 180 to just 5 last April. Coincidentally at the same time Barrett was running against another Democrat, Senator Lena Taylor – who also happens to be a black woman. Apparently, Republicans believing in voter id is disenfranchising but making minority voters unnecessarily stand in line hours to vote is not?
The author herself calls “Madison and Milwaukee, the two bluest—and Blackest—cities in the state” and identifies Wisconsin as “one of the worst places in the country to be Black”. Far from the parties “switching” on race issues, it seems Democrat leadership in those two, largest Democrat-run areas are the ones continuing to fail our Black communities – not Republicans. Democrats are bad for cities and especially their minority and struggling populations.
Finally, turning back to the original message of our campaign, one of our signs was recently vandalized by striking the word “Republican” and adding the names Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Nat Turner. While the author correctly notes the contributions of Frederick Douglass and Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman is conspicuously missing. One can only wonder why the only woman in that list was excluded by the author for praise. Perhaps it was because Harriet Tubman, a Republican, does not fit her re-write of history? Frederick Douglass was also a well-known Republican for that matter.
Simply put, the Democratic Party’s history is problematic and fraught with racism. Therefore, we reiterate, “Thanks Republicans” - all of them regardless of race, for their contributions to ending the horrible institution of slavery, passing the Emancipation Proclamation, and fighting for freedom.
Reference: “The Dane County GOP's Lincoln billboard is a sick stunt”