Judging from the comment sections of the Madison365 webpage and Facebook, it appears that many Madisonians were upset that some Madison365 editorials stuck up for Genele Laird during an extremely physical recent arrest by the Madison Police Department. (Some of the e-mails to us were downright mean, including one with the title “F**K You” that read, “I’ve been a liberal my whole life, and you guys are f**king nuts.”)
Today, we present a column presenting a parallel universe that we hope, if nothing else, can simply inspire a little bit of empathy that may some day turn into understanding.
There is a city in a parallel universe that is the best place in the world to live – but only for black people. Not only is it the best place to live, it’s the best place to work, the best place to go to school, best place for millennials, best parks, best craft beers, best place to bike, best place to do yoga. It is wonderful. Some people say it’s glorious.
As I said, it’s wonderful for black people. For white people, it’s one of the worst places to live. White people in this city face the worst racial disparities in the nation. White people disproportionately live in poverty in segregated areas of the city. Eleven of them get arrested for every one black person that gets arrested by the parallel city’s world-class mostly black police force, even though statistics show that they use drugs at a lower rate than their black counterparts.
Recently in this parallel city, there was an incident with an 115-pound white girl … we will call her, hypothetically, “Becky.” She was getting a little squirrely with a black cop at East Towne Mall. Nothing too extraordinary … just not quite ready to be arrested. Nothing compared to how to very drunken black girls get when they are arrested on campus every weekend for underage drinking – doing some really erratic maneuvers as they are scared and desperate not to bring that underage drinking fine back to Rhinelander for their parents to pay. Certainly, nothing compared to the pure chaos that we can see at drunk tanks, arresting areas, and up and down nine blocks of Regent Street on every Badger football Saturday.
Anyways, this large black cop was working to get control of the little white girl and he seemed to be very calm and patient when another large black cop sprang from seemingly nowhere and delivered five well-placed MMA-style knees to Becky’s ribs and liver without saying a word. He delivered another straight punch to her kidney while the other black cop was holding her down. The two black cops forced Becky’s face to kiss the dirty pavement while delivering 50,000 volts of electricity through her little body 8 times. Then they put a bag over her head.
As it turns out, a lot of “oversensitive” white people were offended and hurt by this. Some of the “oversensitive” white people were old enough to have seen young white boys beaten, disfigured, castrated, and bludgeoned to death by black men (many times aided by black police) for crimes as innocent as looking at a black woman. All of the “oversensitive” white people were old enough to see a 12-year-old beautiful blonde white boy killed when black cops rolled up to him playing with a BB gun in the park and literally dozens and dozens of similar situations. Many of the “sensitive” white people have lived a lifetime of witnessing disparate actions by the black police only to be exacerbated by a wildly disparate justice system.
Because of a plethora of incidents and statistics, white people have grown to be scared and distrustful of police in this city and nation for decades and decades. They wanted a review. The black chief of police scoffed it off as a few people who were “perpetually offended.” He felt comfortable in that statement because he was a black chief in a mostly black city that has had its narrative set by its all-black political players and the all-black major media of the city.
So, back to Becky. Becky caught the luckiest break in the world — mostly because of a few “politically correct” perpetually offended, race-pimping troublemakers in this city who are always raising a fuss and questioning the status quo. Becky only has to complete restorative justice to amend for the damage her white ribs did to that black cop’s knees and to amend for the 400,000 volts they wasted on her little white body with those 8 tases. If she completes it, everybody might forget about the whole incident. Well, except for Becky — who is and always will be traumatized by the incident for the rest of her life.
It’s hard to say why there has never been a beating incident like this in all of the decades upon decades on this parallel city’s almost-all-black college campus that is one of the largest in the United States and famous for its over-the-top destructive binge drinking culture. It could be that these black cops just don’t want to tangle with these excellent lawyers that a lot of these black rich college kids have. Everybody is well aware of the national news of a black Stanford College kid openly raping an unconconscious woman in an alley who then got the tiniest of slaps on the wrist for his rape when poor white kids have been regularly getting 25-30 years for the exact same offense. That is some serious attorney power you don’t want to mess with. But probably closer to the truth is the fact that even though 5 MMA-style kicks, an open punch to the gut, and 8 rounds of 50,000 volts is a “by the book” way to apprehend a subject, that many officers very quickly throw that book out the window when the 115-pound girl looks like their own daughter. Because, in the end, she’s just “blowing off some steam” and “this mistake shouldn’t define her own life” and, most importantly, they are two well-trained large men in a “world-class” police force who can easily arrest a tiny woman without beating the hell out of her.
And they do. On campus. All the time. Every time.
But back to the parallel city, which pretty much returned to normal after the incident. Black people continued on with their segregated lives in the better-off parts of the city going to their Farmer’s Markets on the Square, Concerts on the Square, Mallards games, UW games, and all-black picnics and BBQs. White people languished in the poorer parts of the city, mostly out of sight of any farmers’ markets, world-class bike paths, craft beer fests, or ultimate Frisbee competitions.
But it wasn’t quite over. The ruthlessness of the takedown of the 115-pound white girl by the two black male cops still stuck in a few people’s minds even after the incident settled down – what if that was my own daughter and she was being assaulted like that? How would I feel? They – like everybody else — have been on campus after 6 p.m. and, every day, they have seen the ridiculous drunkenness and drugs that are used and abused rampantly by privileged black college students weaving in and out of traffic who clearly have too much time on their hands and sometimes just too much money. They’ve seen young girls out of their minds getting chased and cuffed, resisting, calling police officers nasty names and telling them what their lawyer dads are going to do to them if they don’t let them go. They’ve been to Badger football Saturdays where things literally get out of control starting with the first 14 beers at 9 a.m. They’ve seen police roam the streets and stadium arresting dozens of drunk and unruly college girls without incident. They know how ridiculous these young girls can get. They know what a general nuisance they can be to dozens and dozens of police officers on the downtown beat. They know that cops are often overworked and put in tense, terrible situations. Shoot, personally, I couldn’t handle a half hour of the debauchery and idiocy that is a Badger Saturday as a cop, no less a whole shift. Could this “Becky” butt-whooping happen to my daughter, too?
Well, no. It hasn’t happened and it won’t ever happen. You see, this “Becky” girl was somehow different than our own drunken, out-of-control girls who do not want to be arrested. And we justify that difference in our heads a million ways, and so many of those ways don’t even make sense. But as awkward as those justifications for white Becky’s beat down are, they are still far better than openly coming to grips with another feeling that has been gnawing at us from deep down … beating like a tell-tale heart: Simply that we think Becky is less of a human because of the color of her skin and that she got exactly what she deserved.