America's Lost Weekend

I want to say a few things about the events of the past week but before taking up those issues, it's important to attend to colossal failures closer to home. As of this writing, the WI biennial budget is still not complete! So I encourage everyone to attend a Conversation with Senator Kathleen Vinehout on Sunday, August 30, at the Bay Shore Lutheran Church (1200 E Hampton Rd, Whitefish Bay) from 6:30 pm - 8 pm. Senator Vinehout will be discussing the budget and other vital issues with ample time for questions and answers.

I also want to urge you to add two upcoming events to your calendar:

  • On Sunday, September 17, Grassroots North Shore will be holding our annual picnic. Earnell Lucas, candidate for Milwaukee County Sheriff, and Josh Kaul, candidate for Attorney General, will be joining us. Don't miss this opportunity to meet them. Stay tuned for further information.
  • And on Thursday, September 21, Will Durst, nationally-renowned political comedian, will bring us some much-needed laughter. So let's "Laugh 'Til It Dursts" together. RSVP now and we'll send you everything you need to know about where and how much the tickets will be in the next week or so.

On a more sober note, I continue to be appalled by and ashamed of the events that took place in Charlottesville last weekend. It's hard to believe that so many people in our country feel so comfortable with white supremacist and white nationalist ideas. But for POTUS to fail to disavow these toxins in our body politic until days after the events, and then only grudgingly, is deeply unnerving. The coming weekend promises more of the same in at least nine locations around the country, according to an article in New York Magazine. A "White Lives Matter" rally planned for September 11 at Texas A & M has been canceled out of safety concerns [Slate, August 15, 2017]. While I am not certain that canceling such events is the best response, the university's position is certainly understandable.

There's a lot more to this eruption of bigotry and hatred than I can encompass or even understand right now, but I find it heartening that so many communities are calling for the removal of many symbols of the Confederacy, especially statues of Robert E. Lee. As he often does, Josh Marshall has a deeply informed take on what those symbols mean, how and when they were erected, and why statues of people like Lee should not remain visible testaments of our nation's values.

I encourage you to read the entire piece, but here are a few key paragraphs:

Debates over public memory and the valorization of history are frequently complicated and politically vexed. But on the margins, in extreme cases, they are often pretty straightforward. For any subject of controversy, the first question we should ask is: What is the person known for? How did they earn a place in our collective public remembrance? 

As Thomas Jefferson’s involvement in slavery has become increasingly difficult to dismiss as simply a product of his times and as his use of one of his own slaves as his lifelong concubine has become more surely confirmed as fact, Jefferson’s place in the national pantheon has come in for increasing criticism. In his case, we have a mixed ledger. He is the author of the Declaration of Independence, the prime driver of the Northwest Ordinance, a significant anti-slavery document, Secretary of State, President. He was also a lifelong slaveholder with all that entailed. With Jefferson you have numerous acts which are high points in our national story joined with an integral involvement with our greatest national shame. This will be a long public discussion. 

What is Robert E. Lee known for? .... Lee is known for one thing: being the key military leader in a violent rebellion against the United States and leading that rebellion to protect slavery. That’s it. Absent his decision to participate in the rebellion he’d be all but unknown to history. He outlived the war by only five years. There’s simply no positive side of the ledger to make it a tough call. The only logic to honoring Lee is to honor treason and treason in the worst possible cause.

Marshall goes on to retell the fate of Lee's plantation. The Lincoln administration turned it into Arlington National Cemetery: "The federal government confiscated it and dedicated it as a final resting place for those who died defending the United States." And he notes that the statues of Lee were erected decades after the Civil War. In fact he argues that

[T]hese statues date not from the Civil War Era but from the decades of the establishment of Jim Crow, to celebrate the South’s success establishing an apartheid system on the ruins of the Antebellum slave South. A statue of Lee in uniform, mounted on a horse in a southern town square has only ever had one meaning: white supremacy. These statues didn’t come to be associated with racism and Jim Crow only after the Civil War had receded into memory. They were created, from the start, to mark and celebrate the foundations of Jim Crow, uncontested white rule.

Even the National Review is now calling for monuments to the Confederacy to be removed from prominent public display: Mothball the Confederate Monuments. These are hopeful developments.

But meanwhile, POTUS continues to embarrass himself and us as he turns his petty ire on the four CEOs who have resigned from his advisory board. And in a much more ominous turn, his Justice Department threatens everyone's civil liberties by demanding that a tech company turn over more than 1.3 million IP addresses to identify visitors to a website set up to coordinate protests on Inauguration Day [Washington Post, August 15, 2017]. It's hard not to despair.




Tue Aug 15, 2017

"Not One Penny" Rally, 
Sunburst Statue at MKE Art Museum, 700 N. Art Museum Dr., Milwaukee 
Not One Penny of Tax Cuts for Millionaires, Billionaires, or Wealthy Corporations!Join the official kick off of the Not One Penny Campaign! This event is being hosted by a large coalition of groups including Tax March,, Indivisible, Working Families, Stand Up America and more. This is in response to Trump and the GOP plan to rig the tax code even MORE in favor of the rich at the expense of working people like us. Sign up.

Abele Budget Listening Session, 
McGovern Park Senior Center, 4500 W. Custer Ave., Milwaukee 
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele will hold a listening session on the 2018 County Budget in order to solicit feedback and input from the community. More information.

Milwaukee City Budget Hearing, 6 pm - 7:30 pm 
Zeidler Municipal Building, Room 102, 841 N. Broadway, Milwaukee 
The City of Milwaukee will hold a 2018 Preliminary Budget Hearing to ensure the2018 City of Milwaukee Budget addresses the needs of our community. Mayor Tom Barrett, Finance and Personnel Committee Chair, Alderwoman Milele Coggs, Budget Director Mark Nicolini and budget staff will provide information regarding the budget planning process and give attendees an opportunity to share input on City services. City residents are encouraged to attend. More information.

Health Care Forum, 7 pm - 9 pm 
1415 Dopp St. Waukesha (Ascension Lutheran Church) 
Alexandra Skeeter, a WI Medical Student at The Latin American School of Medicinein Havana, Cuba will speak on Health Care in Cuba. Justin Bielinski of Citizen Action will update us on the latest developments in Health Care issues at the County, State, and National level. Sponsored by SOPHIA.

Wed Aug 16, 2017

Sherman Park One Year Later / Press Club, 11:30am - 1:15pm 
Wisconsin Black Historical Society, 2620 W. Center St., Milwaukee 
The Milwaukee Press Club is bringing together experts to explore the inside story on what’s happening now in the Sherman Park neighborhood. The panel: Vaun Mayes, Community Activist/Founder of We All We Got Alderman Khalif Rainey, 7th District, City of Milwaukee Laura Richard, Sherman Park Resident and blogger JoAnne Sabir, half of the team behind the Sherman Phoenix, an entrepreneurial hub being developed in ShermanPark Cost: $20 for MPC members, $25 for non-members. Lunch is included. Seating is limited. Advance registration and payment (required).

Refuel the Resistance, 5pm - 8pm 
Bounce Milwaukee, 2801 S. 5th Ct., Milwaukee 
Weekly gathering at Bounce Milwaukee's mezzanine bar for networking, inspiration or just to vent. Bring along any evidence of your civic resistance from the last week to get a beverage (up to $7) on the house, and compare notes with other individuals and groups working to make things better. More information.

Drinking Liberally Wauwatosa, 6 pm - 8 pm 
Cranky Al's, 6901 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa 
Come join fellow Wauwatosa progressives for good conversation and good beer atone of Tosa's most gemütlich establishments, Cranky Al's. DLW meets monthly on the 3rd Wednesday at 6 pm.

Earnell Lucas Meet and Greet, 6 pm - 9 pm 
Highland Community School, 1706 W. Highland Ave., Milwaukee 
Come out and get to know candidate Earnell Lucas and let him know what you are looking for in Milwaukee County's next Sheriff. This event is not a fundraiser for, or an endorsement of Lucas by host organization Progressive Moms of Milwaukee; it is to help our community know the candidates and make informed decisions at the polls in 2018! More information and RSVP.

Thu Aug 17, 2017

Northshore Huddle, 7 pm - 9 pm 
Cardinal Stritch University, 6801 N Yates Rd, Milwaukee 
6:00 PM The ACLU will be presenting bystander training from 6-7pm for all interested participants! This is exciting that they will come to us! 7:00 PM We have secured the Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera, Christine Neumann Ortiz, to speak to us about their work, mission, and areas of need. This is especially interesting following Chicago's sanctuary cities lawsuit this week. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity! Mark your calendars and bring your friends!

Waukesha County Democratic Party Meeting, 7 pm - 9 pm 
336 Wisconsin Avenue, Waukesha 
The Waukesha County Democratic Party meets the 3rd Thursday of every month.

Sat Aug 19, 2017

NAACP Monthly Meeting, 11am - 1pm 
2745 N. Dr Martin Luther King Dr., Milwaukee 
Monthly membership meeting of NAACP Milwaukee Branch. The meeting is held in the basement conference room.

Randy Bryce Fundraiser, 5 pm - 5 pm 
Clifford's Supper Club, 10418 W. Forest Home Ave., Hales Corners 
(Note change of date and time) Please join the Ironstache, Randy Bryce, and hosts for a great Solidarity Fish Fry to support his campaign to defeat Paul Ryan. There will be a short program during the meal. Limited seats are available, so get your tickets now! Sponsor: $150 Friend: $100 Supporter: $50 Purchase Tickets: https://secure.actblue. com/donate/randybrycefishfry Email questions or call (262) 260- 9366.

Laughing Liberally Milwaukee, 8 pm - 10 pm 
Comedy Sportz Theater, 420 S. 1st St., Milwaukee 
Laughing Liberally Milwaukee presents a night of progressive political comedy. In addition to some of the finest progressive comedians Milwaukee has to offer, each Laughing Liberally Milwaukee will feature a special interview with a local political figure, journalist or activist. This month's guest is Reggie Jackson. Reggie is the Head Griot at America's Black Holocaust Museum. Advance tickets ($8).

Mon Aug 21, 2017

DPMC Annual Picnic, 5pm - 7pm 
Gordon Park Pavilion, 2828 N. Humboldt Blvd., Milwaukee 
It's our Annual Picnic. We supply hot dogs, buns, and plates; you bring a main dish, side, salad, or dessert to share. RSVP.

Abele Budget Listening Session, 
Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee 
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele will hold a listening session on the 2018 County Budget in order to solicit feedback and input from the community. More information.

Grassroots Waukesha Member Meeting, 8 pm 
336 Wisconsin Ave, Waukesha 
Monthly membership/planning meeting. Everyone Welcome.

Wed Aug 23, 2017

Community Justice Council, 9:30 am - 11 am 
Clinton Rose Senior Center, 3045 N. Martin Luther King Dr., Milwaukee 
Milwaukee Community Justice Council Meeting of the Whole. More information on the web or on Facebook.

Refuel the Resistance, 5pm - 8pm 
Bounce Milwaukee, 2801 S. 5th Ct., Milwaukee 
Weekly gathering at Bounce Milwaukee's mezzanine bar for networking, inspiration or just to vent. Bring along any evidence of your civic resistance from the last week to get a beverage (up to $7) on the house, and compare notes with other individuals and groups working to make things better. More information.

Drinking Liberally Glendale, 7 pm - 7 pm 
Bar Louie, 5750 N. Bayshore Dr., Glendale 
Drinking Liberally Glendale meets on the last Wednesday of the month. Come drink a beverage or two of your choice and talk about Liberal stuff. More information.

Thu Aug 24, 2017

Mental Health Board Meeting, 8 am - 8 am 
American Serb Hall, 5101 W. Oklahoma Ave., Milwaukee 
Milwaukee County Mental Health Board Meeting. More information.

Glendale Blood Drive, 2 pm - 6 pm 
Bavarian Bierhaus, 700 W. Lexington Blvd., Glendale 
Alderwoman Tomika Vukovic is sponsoring a blood drive and bone marrow registry to help maintain blood supplies, which are down this summer. All attempting donors will receive a voucher for admission to a select Brewers game in September. Appointments encouraged; refreshments provided. Schedule a blood donation on line or call the Blood Center at 877-232-4376. If you are 18-44 and willing to donate marrow to any patient in need, please visit

Abele Budget Listening Session, 
Wilson Park Senior Center, 2601 W. Howard Ave., Milwaukee 
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele will hold a listening session on the 2018 County Budget in order to solicit feedback and input from the community. More information.

Grass Roots South Shore Social, 6 pm - 9 pm 
Bender Park, 4503 E. Ryan Rd., Oak Creek 
Come join members and friends of Grass Roots South Shore for a summer social.Come toast the summer among friends, and make some new ones. Appetizers and desserts to pass are welcome. There will also be live music and the Traveling Beer Garden.

Waukesha Writers Club, 8 pm 
336 Wisconsin Ave, Waukesha 
The "Letter to the Editor" section is one of the most widely read parts of the newspaper, offering a chance to reach a broad audience. Letters to our legislators are also an effective way to let them know what we expect of them. Working together gives us the opportunity to discuss the current issues, improve writing skills, develop persuasive techniques that target intended readers, and help each other with ideas and suggestions. Sponsored by ([email protected]).

Fri Aug 25, 2017

Zeidler Union Square, 301 W Michigan St, Milwaukee 
Join us in a peaceful protest of the NRA's violent and hateful vision for America.We will gather on the first night of the NRA Carry Guard Expo to remember the lives lost to gun violence and to demonstrate our resolve to live in peace.

Sat Aug 26, 2017

Community Brainstorming, 8 am - 11 am 
St. Matthew CME Church, 2944 N. 9th St., Milwaukee 
Community Brainstorming Conference Breakfast Forum Breakfast: 8 am, Program:9 am All Are Invited, Come and Participate. Details.

Sustainability Fair, 9 am - 3 pm 
Lapham Peak State Park, Delafield 
The Sustainability Fair is a gathering of organizations and businesses to inform and engage the citizens of Waukesha County about environmental sustainability. The Fair will include exhibits, presentations, and activities throughout the park targeting children through adults. The goal is to provide tools and information that make being sustainable approachable, fun and economical. Hosted by The Waukesha County Green Team.

Equal Pay and Women's Health Forum, 12 pm - 2 pm 
Cudahy Library, 3500 Library Dr., Cudahy 
The forum on Equal Pay and Women's Health will have as notable guests the great Congresswoman Gwen Moore, the 9to5 organization, State Representative Christine Sinicki and more. Our own Rob Hansen will be MC and moderator of Q and A for each presenter.

Sun Aug 27, 2017

Sunday Demonstration, 12pm - 1pm 
Cutler Park, Wisconsin Avenue, Waukesha 
What are you most concerned about? Social justice, democracy, the environment? Join us for a silent demonstration. We meet at Cutler Park in Waukesha on the sidewalk along Wisconsin Avenue near the Public Library. Bring a sign or use one of ours. Sponsored by Grassroots Waukesha.

Grassroots Waukesha Picnic and Annual Meeting, 4 pm - 8 pm 
Muskego County Park, shelter #4 
Join us for a potluck picnic to celebrate the efforts of you, the ones who are taking action to make a difference in our community. Activists, angels, healers, helpers, bridge- builders, volunteers, do-gooders, change agents, environmentalists, phone callers, and peace- and justice-seekers deserve a celebration. Bring your main dish, something to pass, what you want to drink, mosquito repellant, and a folding chair (or sit at picnic tables). Park admission is $4 per car. We’ll provide paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins, grills, charcoal, and grilling tools.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.