Monday, December 22, 2014

Scott Walker Channels His Inner Jeremiah Rusk - Again

By now, the gentle reader is probably fully aware that on this past Friday afternoon, people were peacefully protesting the lack of justice regarding the murder of Dontre Hamilton, as they have done so several times in the past eight months. However, on Friday, in the course of their protest, they briefly blocked I-43.  As they say, it was a minor inconvenience brought about my a major injustice.

What the gentle reader might not know is that the cowardly Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke found himself to be above his head and ran to Scott Walker for help.  Walker granted Clarke's request and ordered out the National Guard, even though they don't have a mission or objective yet.

It reminded me of another Wisconsin governor that was a lot like Walker - Jeremiah Rusk.  But in 1886, it was laborers and not African Americans who were the targets:
Governor Rusk was under considerable pressure from employers to stop the strike. Employers were saying that they would turn the entire society upside down and use the bombing in Haymarket Square as their proof that a revolution is under way.

Rusk called the Mills and told Captain Treaumer of the Lincoln Guard "if the strikers try to enter the mill, shoot to kill." Captain Treaumer then ordered his men to pick out a man, concentrate and kill him when the order is given. The strikers spent the night in open fields nearby while the Militia camps stayed at the Mills with sentries posted. During the night the sentries were shooting at anything that moved. A Navy tug brought provisions for the guard.

May 5
Around nine in the morning the strikers gathered again chanting "eight hours," a reporter who slept with them reported that it was odd that this was a group with no real leadership, but everyone was united in one single purpose.

The crowd approached the mill and faced the militia who were ready to fire. Before Treaumer knew the crowd's real intentions he ordered halt, but the strikers, who were about two hundred yards away, did not hear him.

He ordered the militia to fire. The crowd was in chaos as people fled the scene. The Milwaukee Journal reported that six were dead and at least eight more were expected to die within twenty four hours.
It also needs to be pointed out that this isn't the first time Walker has threatened to use military force against peaceful protesters:
In 1886, Wisconsin made history right here in little old Bay View.  The situation then is being eerily repeated by our own Governor Rusk Walker who is calling for the removal of all worker rights in both the public and private sectors, and has threatened said workers with the National Guard if there is any "unrest."  What is worrisome is that he has not defined what he considers "unrest."

Back in 1886, workers were joining forces and demanding pay raises and eight hour work days.  They almost shut down every business in the city until they agreed to start treating their workers with respect and as people.  When the strikers came to Rolling Mills in Bay View, where things got ugly.  Governor Rusk, at the pleading of big businesses (WMC, anyone?), sent out the state militia.  The rest, as they say, is history...
One might have hoped better from even Walker, but when his supporters and fellow right wing nut jobs have no issue with mocking the death of a black man, I wouldn't put anything past Walker - especially if he thinks it might help his slim to nonexistent chances to be president.


  1. While Walker is fanning flames and attempting to alter peceptions with fear, Mayor de Blasio sets the press corps straight.
    Now THAT'S leadership Gov. Walker.

  2. Then you've got this guy stepping out of his clown car.

    "If you see Al Sharpton coming in your direction, you hear he's coming to your town, run as fast and as far as you can from that individual. Because he's only here to squeeze as much juice as he can for his own self-serving purposes."

    Well, that's rich. As do you Sheriff Clarke. As do you.

    1. This is the same thing the racists said about Martin Luther King.

    2. The projection in Tommy Clarke's statement is stunning. That guy's whole career is based on self-promotion and playing a role for Archie Bunker types in the suburbs

  3. I don't know too much about what's wrong (or right) about Al Sharpton beyond the Tawana Brawley thing, but oddly enough, the few times I've seen him speak, he made a great deal of sense.