Thursday, November 3, 2016

The Noose Is Loose

By Jeff Simpson

The Trump effect is in full effect in Wisconsin.  At the Wisconsin Badgers football game on Saturday night, someone snuck a costume in to the game of President Obama in a jail uniform and a noose.

 Apparently when they saw these lunatics in the crowd, they went and asked them nicely toremove the noose.  The men agreed, and removed the noose but kept everything else the same.

That is not ok, nor is it covered by the first amendment.   The response should have been stronger and more sever, and many people let them know that.

The Reverend Alex Gee penned an open letter to the UW:

Free speech?! Ok, then allow me to speak freely...
I find it difficult to express the depth of my disappointment with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. If this is not hate speech ... a costume of a black president in a noose, then what is?!
Do I need to remind UW of what the noose represents? But wait, the UW has noted departments and courses in Afro-American studies (this was my department), history, sociology, ethnic studies, ethics, social work, law, religious studies, etc., which are able to explain the horrors of the noose.
This speech isn’t free by a long shot. I witnessed the community of families of color, local and out-of-state, refuse to send their kids to Madison because of the mock slave auction. I was there! That snub is one from which the UW has not yet fully recovered.
Take it from a veteran UW promoter, the nation is watching to see if this is a place where diversity is celebrated, or where racist acts are allowed without serious consequences. This issue is no longer merely about the comfort of students of color, it is now about the comfort of white families wanting their students to attend college where diversity is breathed like fresh air and young minds are trained for world-class leadership.
Are we really going to hide behind the free-speech rhetoric?
As a proud alumnus, it had been my hope that the Wisconsin Idea would provoke old-fashioned Wisconsin ingenuity in the area of race relations and diversity much as it has in social policy, patents and life-enhancing innovation.
Please, do not call your black friends to commiserate in private. If you really value diversity and the souls of people of color — do something. If you think this is appalling, say so — to someone at UW. This is a time where white people need to talk to white people about what’s really going on here. You can email Chancellor Rebecca Blank at:, and email Athletic Director Barry Alvarez at
The ball is in your court. I am not interested in more panel discussions, photo-ops or quick-and-dirty community forums in South Madison where you listen to heartfelt concerns and do very little in return.
This issue cannot be delegated to a few staff of color. It is not fair to hold them responsible for the campus when the entire campus is not yet committed to the ideals of diversity and inclusion. The community needs to know that this issue is being handled by the UW at the highest executive level and that resources of time and money are being put towards changing the toxic climate on campus.
Your action will determine how we tell our story about you. This is a perfect opportunity for a great Wisconsin Idea that will once again inspire the world. And if you choose to not make significant change at a very deep level, you will not only have angered a black man, you will have lost a fan.
Typically, our friends on the right, such as racist joke telling, old white guy in Green Bay Jerry Bader writes,

As offensive as this costume was, I believe our university must resist the desire to outlaw forms of speech and political dissent with which we disagree. We strive to build a campus community in which ideas and expression are exchanged freely, but also constructively, respectfully and in a manner that advances educational opportunities for our students.
Almost immediately social media lit up with the type of political polarity we’d expect from such an episode. Many posters felt the image of an African-American in a noose, let alone the President of the United States, should have meant outright ejection from the stadium. Others felt it was a violation of free speech rights to even take the noose. Here are words you won’t read or hear from me very often: I think the university got this exactly right.
 As has been correctly pointed out, prospective UW Students are closely watching to see how we handle this situation.  It has not been handled correctly yet, but it is not the least bit surprising that the right wing that has spent the last six years criticizing the UW System would be on board with something that cause our University system to bring in less students of color.  

Now is a good time to point out that prominent Republican Senator Steve nASS(R-refuses to pay child support), blasted UW's attempt to increase their diversity programs.

A Republican state senator says a new diversity outreach program at the UW-Madison is “sinister.”
Sen. Steve Nass made the comment in reaction to UW-Madison announcing its plans to improve the experiences of minorities on the flagship campus. The plan calls for having new students discuss social differences, a new cultural center for black students and increased opportunities to take ethnic studies courses.
Nass is vice-chair of the Senate’s committee on universities.
Nass said university leaders “constantly complain about lacking money” but “they never lack money for advancing new and more sinister ways of liberal indoctrination of students.”
He said the initiative isn’t about advancing critical thinking, but about “telling students to think and act in ways approved by the liberal leadership of our universities.”
Still trying to confirm if that is Steve nASS in the Trump Costume, but we need to find out the person who we can see identities first.  If you know who this is and how to contact him, please let us know(anonymously if need be) -

1 comment:

  1. I think you're completely correct to link the UW's half-assed response to the bullying from the WisGOP Legislature. They dont want to have right-wing talk shows whine about "liberal academics restricting free speech," so theyre backing off.

    Which allows the forces of evil to continue to win and screw this state over. VOTE BETTER, will ya burbs/rural Wis?