Open Letter to Wisconsin Congressman Glenn Grothman

This is an open letter in response to the comments made by Congressman Grothman regarding the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling.

Congressman Grothman,
I am a Wisconsinite and I recently heard your reaction to the gay marriage decision. I respect your candor and honesty, but you severely misrepresented Pres. Lincoln, the Civil War, and our nation.

Pres. Lincoln was almost certainly not a Christian.”The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession.” — Abraham Lincoln, quoted by Joseph Lewis in “Lincoln the Freethinker”.
Clearly he held a public persona of faith, but as a politician I’m sure you can understand publicly holding a position you don’t personally believe.

The Civil War was not religious war. How dare you simplify the worst conflict in our history. Moreover if it was a religious war, what was the opposing religion? This was not Sunni vs. Shia or Catholics vs. Protestants or The Crusades. It was about states rights, taxation, independence, and slavery. Which brings up the fact Ministers were for slavery and used the Bible to justify limited rights of black people just as you seem to use the Bible against the LGBTQ community. Pastor Ebenezer Warren, in 1861, delivered a sermon entitled, “THE SCRIPTURAL VINDICATION OF SLAVERY”. It was published in The Macon Telegraph. In this sermon, this Christian Pastor speaking to, as you said, “a much more religious country”, said, “Both Christianity and Slavery are from Heaven; both are blessings to humanity; both are to be perpetuated to the end of time; and therefore both have been protected and defended by God’s omnipotent arm from the assaults, oppositions and persecutions through which they have passed.” This seems very similar to the persecution rhetoric Christians have been bandying about since the SCOTUS decision.

Lastly, you speculate the 620,000 Americans who died in that war would be appalled at the SCOTUS application of the 14th amendment. What reason do you have to assume those brave people would agree with you? There were certainly Liberals, Progressives, and homosexuals who died in that war. We are a nation of Jews, Muslims, Christians, Spiritualists, Buddhists, non-believers, and so on. Who are you to speak for those who died for what they believed? You called the judges “arrogant” and yet you claim to know the minds of dead heroes when you don’t even seem to understand the most basic reasons they fought in that great war. Pride goes before the fall Congressman. You are on the wrong side of history and some day someone will be quoting you to show how backwards and regressive our secular nation once was.
Someone who believes Wisconsin deserves better


A Capitol Killing

By the Jail in Madison WI

By the Jail in Madison WI

Tony Robison’s killing by Officer Kenny was determined to be legal according Dane County DA. Police sent officers to Williamson St. in Madison WI on March 6, 2015 due to reports of a man (Robinson) darting in and out of traffic, and assaulting two people. Officer Kenny was the first on the scene, reported hearing a disturbance inside a home, entered and was attacked by Robinson. Tony pushed the officer hard enough to break the drywall. The officer then backed out the door firing his revolver seven times, hitting Robinson five times. Kenny performed CPR, but Robinson died at the hospital. Robinson was later determined via autopsy to have Xanax, psilocybin mushrooms, and THC in his system. Robinson was unarmed

Given the above details it’s hard to argue with Dane County District Attorney’s assessment this was a righteous shooting, or is it? Many Madisonians don’t seem to think so, holding multiple school walk outs, marches, and protests. So given that the boy was on drugs, dashing through traffic, trying to enter homes, and assaulting people including  an officer, why the civil backlash? Shouldn’t everyone thank Madison PD for keeping the streets safe from this menace?

The facts of case lack nuance and perspective. First off, Madison is one of the worst cities in the worst state of the Union for blacks regarding inequality. This fact makes Tony’s killing representative of all injustices suffered by the marginalized races of Dane County. It’s easily argued this never would happen if blacks were treated equally and given the same opportunities. This shooting also happened hot on the heels of events in Ferguson, MO, Staten Island, New York City, and Baltimore, MD where unarmed black men were killed by police. The pain of those unjust police killings serves to inform Madison residents more than the facts of this particular case. The pain of loosing a nineteen year old boy serves to inform Madison residents more than the facts of this case. To many people this case reflects the nation as a whole and the racism systemic in the DOC and Police.

If you come to Madison, the street where the most assaults occur is Langdon St., affectionately known as “Frat Row”. Here young white men can be seen most nights dashing about traffic on an array of drugs, fighting and cursing. The police are rarely called. Often they are present for these cavalcades of testosterone, and simply allow the boys to be boys making sure nothing gets too rough. I have personally seen this. For all the times the white men Tony’s age fought and cussed and acted inebriated in public, not one of them has been shot on Langdon. Not. One. Madison noticed this too.

Tony’s killing may have been “legal” but that doesn’t make it any less useful as a rallying cry to fight discrimination, systemic injustice, and inequality across the board. The fact is people are protesting the state of police relations with black people. They are protesting the state of inequality of black people in Wisconsin. They are protesting the absurdly high incarceration of black men. They are protesting money being spent on MRAPs and Bradley Vehicles instead of police training on how to deal with someone on Xanax, psilocybin mushrooms, and THC. The are protesting the Drug War and the pain and misery that comes with it. They are protesting for every person who has ever been marginalized, harassed, and hurt by the system. Tony Robinson just had to be legally killed for us to take notice.

The house where Tony as shot 9 times

The house where Tony as shot 9 times

Drive fast. Take Chances. Thanks for reading.



Abortion Rights. Male Inequality.

Ten states have recently passed abortion bills adding measures and limitations to woman seeking the service. Wisconsin joined this week bringing the count to eleven. Reading these bills, particularly given this is Woman’s History Month, where is the male equality? Let’s not argue about the human status of a fetus, how close to forty weeks is too close, or the ethical value/harm. Instead, let’s look at gender equality.

Generally speaking a fetus/baby is dependent on a mother’s body for life. In our culture we legislate that dependence. We legislate and limit women’s ability to decide if their body should be used to sustain the life of another. To sustain the life of their child. Let’s re-frame this idea.

Jim is a father. Jim’s son is Al. Al is playing with his new bike Jim gave him for his birthday. Al crashes, hard. His head is bleeding, badly. Jim finds him and Al is pale. His lips are blue. Al is bleeding out. He’s rushed to the hospital. The doctors tell Jim Al needs a blood transfusion. Jim’s a match. Without it Al will die. For personal reasons Jim is against giving blood. The doctors petition him assuring him there are no other options. His son will die unless he rolls up his sleeve and makes a fist. Jim holds fast to his beliefs. Al dies. Jim remains intact and autonomous.

Another scenario:

Al has a kidney disease. It’s fatal. The doctors tell Jim he’s a match. They tell him there are no other options for Al. He must give his kidney or Al will die slowly and painfully. Jim finds it morally disagreeable to remove part of himself and put it in another. He holds fast to his beliefs. Al dies, painfully. Jim remains intact and autonomous.

Last scenario:

Jim has become despondent. Al frustrates and depresses him. He sees no future for himself or his son. He puts Al in the back of his car. He drives out to the country to a favorite look out point. He wipes the streaming tears from his eyes. He adjusts the mirror to see Al playing with two action figures in the back seat. He wipes his eyes again and focuses on the edge of the look out. Jim breathes out, undoes his seat belt, and mashes his foot on the accelerator. The car spits dirt and lurches forward. The distance closes. Fifty feet to the ledge. Forty feet. Thirty feet. Twenty feet. Ten feet. The RPM’s peg as the tires lose traction in the air. The car falls over the edge like a stunned prize fighter. Jim’s eyes squeeze tight. Al’s eyes go wide still clinching a hero and villain in each hand. The car lands inverted, top flattened. Jim’s dead. His head, utterly crushed. Al is alive when the paramedics arrive, but he has severe damage to his chest. His heart, damaged beyond repair. The doctors find Jim’s heart is a viable replacement. Al can live. Al isn’t doomed to the fate his father intended after all. The doctors find Jim isn’t an organ donor. Jim wants to be buried intact. Al dies. His father murdered him. Twice. Jim is buried, heart intact. Personal autonomy intact.

Why is it acceptable to legislate a mother’s responsibility to a fetus? Our laws don’t do the same to either gender once the child is viable. It’s time to look at reproductive autonomy as human rights issue rather than a women’s right issue. If you think abortion should be limited, birth compulsory, and vote for legislation to intact laws assuring this, then you must fight for legislation requiring parent lose physical autonomy in the same way when their viable child is in mortal danger.

Who wouldn’t save their child is the obvious response. No one wants an abortion in the same way no one wants their child to need a blood transfusion. Abortion is a worse case scenario response. The difference: Law. Examine if you would vote for legislation requiring all parents to lose personal autonomy. Examine how that relates to women’s reproductive autonomy. If you still seek to limit/remove abortion, write your law makers to introduce a Parental Personal Autonomy Reduction Bill. If you feel people should have autonomy to guide their bodies, parents or not, alive or dead, then you must accept abortion. A corpse has more rights over his body’s organs than a woman does her uterus. On her body. Shame on us.

Drive fast. Take chances. Thanks for reading.