Daniel Bice, a “watchdog” columnist for the far-right Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, wrote this racist hit piece attacking Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) Chairwoman Martha Laning, who is a white woman from near Sheboygan, for trying to emulate the accent of DPW First Vice-Chairman David Bowen, who is a black man from Milwaukee. Laning’s remarks were recorded by a right-wing tracker at a local Democratic Party meeting in Door County, Wisconsin earlier this year.
Laning was trying to do a half-ass impression of Bowen’s accent at a Door County (WI) Democratic Party meeting while talking about her attendance at a President Obama event in La Crosse earlier this year, and Bowen was not offended by it at all, saying that “there is nothing wrong about our Democratic Party embracing diversity.” If Bowen isn’t offended by Laning trying to do a half-ass emulation of his accent, then I’m not offended by it.
Apparently, having an occasionally quirky personality is a political crime in the eyes of Wisconsin Republicans. I don’t have a problem at all with politicians having interesting or occasionally interesting personalities, in fact, I’m more likely to personally like a politician whose personality is quirky or occasionally quirky than a politician with a very boring personality. Given that Tommy Thompson, a longtime Wisconsin Republican politician who was elected four times to the governor’s mansion, was notorious for having an unusual personality, I find it hypocritical that Wisconsin Republicans would bash Laning for having a quirky personality.
Although I endorsed Laning in the DPW Chair’s race earlier this year, let me make it clear that I’ve not been impressed by Laning’s performance as chair. Since Laning was elected to be the head of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, she’s tried to sabotage Russ Feingold’s U.S. Senate campaign with controversial remarks about his last name, and she’s a staunch supporter of Scott Walker’s corporate welfare giveaway to the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. However, Laning has been somewhat better as chair than, for example, how Jason Rae, who got the second-most votes in the DPW Chair’s race earlier this year, would have been as chair had he been elected. As noted by an unnamed person who posts under the Data, Facts, and Logic moniker at Cognitive Dissidence, Rae once tried to claim that he understood the challenges that black people in Wisconsin face because he’s a gay white guy while speaking to a predominantly-black audience during his campaign.
The bottom line is that this attack by Republicans and the corporate media against Martha Laning for having an occasionally quirky personality is racist and absolutely disgusting. I believe that Daniel Bice, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and the Republican Party of Wisconsin owe Martha Laning, David Bowen, and the people of Wisconsin an apology.
2 thoughts on “Republicans and corporate media launch racist attack against Wisconsin Democratic Chair Martha Laning for having occassionally interesting personality”
“Having an occasionally interesting personality” is one thing but any white political activist with even half a brain should know that YOU DO NOT DO THIS in front of an all-white audience in Door County or in fact in front of any audience anywhere ever. It’s the epitome of white cluelessness.
Then somebody comes to Bowen and asks him for a comment after the fact. What’s he going to say? If he says he is offended he makes the situation worse in/for the DP and opens the controversy up wider. If he says he isn’t offended he looks like an idiot in his own community. Either way he’s screwed; at least the way he chose allows the issue to drop out of the headlines faster.
Laning faces an unenviable task: how to rebuild the credibility of an organization — the DPW — that has managed over the last four years ot destroy what little credibility it had left. She did very little to help herself here. It was an unforced error. Talk about earned media coverage — all the publicity she needs, and this is what she gets.
Running boring politicians like Tom Barrett and Mary Burke, the former of which was extremely boring, haven’t worked for Wisconsin Democrats, either. I’m not saying that Martha Laning would make a good gubernatorial candidate (in fact, she’d be an awful one), but you have to realize that the only way that the DPW is going to get media attention in Wisconsin is for someone in the party to do something that the media thinks is incredibly stupid, as the corporate media in Wisconsin is effectively the Republican Party’s propaganda outfit.