Stories & Columns

The Literary Divide: Moving the
goal posts...Calling for extra

innings...Game over
by Dr. Paul Barrows

Multicultural Business Resource
Center at Villager Mall: A
partnership for success
by Jonathan Gramling

Spotlight on Criminal Justice:
Sentencing inconsistency,
by Jonathan Gramling

Fifth Annual Wisconsin Teen
Poetry Slam:
Spoken from the heart,
by Jonathan Gramling

Asian Wisconzine:
• A prayer for peace in Tibet
• Our economic woes
by Heidi M. Pascual

Tributes to Milt McPike
My friend, my mentor, my
by Juan Jose Lopez
Goodbye, Milt McPike,
by Johnny Winston Jr.

Poetic Tongues: These women of
gorgeous colors,
by Fabu

Simple Things: Rip Van
Williams/True Fiction
by Lang Kenneth Haynes

Voices: MLK's
menace/Homegrown violence,
by Dr. Jean Daniels

Organ donations in the African
American community:
A spiritual call,
by Jonathan Gramling

First Annual Madison City-wide
Mission Ministry Program:
is where the heart is,
by Jonathan Gramling

Ada Deer and the World of Social
Work (2),
by Jonathan Gramling

Natyarpana Dance Company's
Sacred Geometry: The
symmetry of
modern antiquity
by Jonathan Gramling

China Dispatch: Old friends out,
new friends in,
by AndrewGramling

Wisconsin Union Theater 2008-09

Learning beyond the classroom,
by Kamal James

Editorial Staff

Jonathan Gramling
Publisher & Editor

Heidi Manabat
Managing Editor

Clarita G. Mendoza
Sales Manager

Contributing Writers
Paul Barrows
Jean Daniels
Andrew Gramling
Lang Kenneth Haynes
Heidi M. Pascual
Laura Salinger
Alfonso Zepeda Capistran

©2008 The Capital City Hues
Vol. 3    No. 7
April 3, 2008
I have been quite upset since last Tuesday’s election. In one of the nastiest Wisconsin Supreme Court races on
record, Justice Louis Butler was defeated by Burnett County Judge Michael Gableman, 51-49 percent. Butler
became the first Wisconsin Supreme Court justice to be defeated in 41 years. With his defeat, the Court does not
have a justice from Milwaukee sitting on it for the first time in over 100 years.
Butler, appointed by Gov. James Doyle to the Court in 2004, was the first African American to sit on the highest
court in Wisconsin. He was highly qualified for the Court, having approximately three times the judicial
experience of his opponent, having served as a Milwaukee Municipal and Milwaukee Circuit Court judge. Butler
had argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was an instructor at the National Judicial College in Reno,
Nevada. Butler has an acute understanding of the law. And yet, he was defeated.
I can’t help but feel that race played a big role in Butler’s defeat. While Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce
(WMC) opposed Butler because of votes he has taken on product liability and medical malpractice cases, WMC
knew that the voting public wouldn’t side with them because of this issue. So WMC and other special interests —
not to speak of Gableman himself — ran a massive number of ads portraying Butler as somehow being soft on
crime. Now keep in mind that the Wisconsin Supreme Court is not a criminal court. But these ads with their low
flickering light and photos of criminals labeled Butler as “Loophole Louie,” as if he was disdainful of the law and
almost criminal himself.
These slick ads, which distorted Butler’s record, played, in my opinion, to deep-seated prejudices. They subtly
played the race card against Butler. As Butler put it, he was “Willie Hortoned,” referring to the 1988 Republican
presidential ads that used race against the Democratic candidate. This is totally disgusting. Wisconsin appears to
be a once Progressive state that is trending Mississippi.
There’s an old African American adage that African Americans have to be twice as qualified and experienced in
order to get the same position and pay that Euro-Americans have. This Supreme Court race shows that now even
being three times as experienced and qualified is not enough to overcome the race factor. People who say that
racism is no longer a factor in American life need to take heed from this election. Jim Crow Jr. is alive and well.
It is 40 years ago today that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down by an assassin’s bullet on the balcony of
the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tenn. At this time, I think back to an interview I had with Comedian/Activist Dick
Gregory last fall during the commemoration of Milwaukee’s open housing marches. Gregory asserted that King
was assassinated because he was the only African American in the United States who could personal impact U.S.
policy, both here and abroad. Suffice it to say that Gregory did not believe in the lone assassin theory.
And while King did have a tremendous impact on the U.S. and the civil rights movement when he was alive, his
death had an equal impact on the direction of the United States and civil rights. When word got out that King
had been killed, riots broke out across the U.S. That was just a sample of the violence that American society
would experience in the years to come.
I sometimes wonder what would have happened if King had survived the assassin’s bullet that day. How would our
society be different? What follows is a bit of idle speculation on my part of what would have happened if he had
While violence began the night of April 4, 1968, in a televised speech from his hospital bed, King deplored the
violence that had erupted after the shooting. Calm is restored in most major American cities. The arson has been
kept to a minimum and downtown commercial districts have been spared. While White flight to the nation’s
suburbs still continued, the central cities are not totally abandoned and a certain level of integration occurs in
the nation’s cities, particularly in the transitional areas between urban and suburban communities.
Dr. King recovered in time to lead the Poor People’s March on Washington. 500,000 people participate in the
march on the Washington Mall. President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty is given a new political boost and full
employment legislation is passed. The drug trade is minimized in America’s urban areas as young and old are
able to find jobs that pay them a living wage.
King continues to voice his opposition to the Vietnam War and leads an anti-war march in Chicago during the
Democratic Convention. King’s presence helps ensure that the march is peaceful. Since there is no spectacle of
a riot at the convention and since America’s cities did not burn the previous April, Hubert Humphrey receives the
Democratic nomination and goes on to win the 1968 election. Richard Nixon is twice defeated and retreats from
the national political stage to Yorba Linda, California.
There is no massive bombing of Hanoi under Humphrey’s administration. The Vietnam War comes to an end in
1971 in time for the 1972 election. There is no Watergate and the majority of the American people continue to
believe that government can do positive things to improve their lives.
Before he dies in 1972, J. Edgar Hoover releases tapes that reveal King’s marital indiscretions in order to reduce
King’s impact on American policy. The release of the tapes is effective. King’s approval rating in public opinion
polls, which are coming into vogue, declines. While King continues his role as civil rights spokesperson, the
media begins to reduce its coverage of King. King begins to give more prominence to Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev.
Ralph Abernathy and others and retreats somewhat from the public eye.
Over the course of the next three decades, King works behind the scenes to ensure there is sufficient investment
in America’s urban areas. While crack cocaine is introduces to the inner-cities in the early 1980s, its impact is
minimized because the inner-cities are not ghettos filled with hopelessness.
When the administration of George Bush begins to set the foundation for invading Iraq, King comes out of
retirement to lead a massive protest against U.S. involvement. While Bush still invades Iraq, the effort stalls as the
number of enlistments by people of color plummets due to King’s opposition. The Bush administration is forced to
implement a universal draft and massive protests ensue. The Bush administration is forced to negotiate and end
the Iraq War and withdraws American troops in 2006.
In a final march against the Iraq War, King collapses and dies of a massive heart attack.
There is no question that the assassination of Dr. King impacted all of our lives. In many ways, it ended an era of
hope, of belief that America could do something about injustice and poverty. I can’t help that we would be a
better, more moral America if he were alive today. His moral vision has been unequaled and his call to action
unparalleled. We are a different America than what we would have been if he were to survive the assassin’s bullet
that day.
Reflections/Jonathan Gramling
                The Day the Dreamer Died
The Day the Dreamer Died
40 years after the assassination of
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.