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As I See It

Task Force on Racial Disparities more about scoring political points than getting things done



We speculated at the time it was little more than a smoke screen. Newly uncovered emails show we were right. Back in May after the death of George Floyd, people took to the streets and demanded change. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers also wanted change, proposing a series of legislation designed to rein in police behavior by banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants. But Republicans who control the Legislature wouldn’t even consider Evers’ plans, instead forming what they called a Task Force on Racial Disparities. Now, thanks to an open records request, an email sent by Rep. Jim Steineke barely a day after Floyd’s death shows there was more interest in appearing to get things done than actually getting things done. The email talks of making it look like the Legislature is acting, but makes no mention of the goals or the plans to accomplish them. And so far, despite the racial tensions that continue, despite the fact that Wisconsin incarcerates black men at the highest rate in the country, the group has failed to meet its self-imposed deadline for coming up with recommendations. Even if they do make recommendations, there is no guarantee they will ever be voted on by the Legislature. It seems more clear than ever that the Wisconsin Legislature never really intended to fix any problems, but simply to make it appear they were.  

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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  1. Ronald Walker

    February 4, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    So Scott, is this like wasting taxpayer time and money on Impeaching a President who is out of office instead of concentrating on the health of the nation starting with trying to control Covid (Vaccines) getting businesses back up and running and having people get back to work safely?
    It’s called priorities.
    If your roof is leaking and it’s January, should we fix it or just go to Florida and worry about it later?
    Both parties should be ashamed of the bickering and get back to work and move this country forward!

  2. Colleen LeBlanc

    February 5, 2021 at 7:15 am

    Exactly what I wondered about. Would there actually be ‘changes’ in policy and in holding police accountable for their actions. Apparently not. If nothing changes, more harm will happen and uprisings will resume. Sad, very sad. Just those 2 policy changes would make a difference.

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