|One of the good news/bad news types of things in running this newspaper is that you become keenly aware of all the issues swirling in the air. And while we will always have issues that we confront, there sure seems to be an abundance of them right now. Now I could spend all of my time talking about the War in Iraq. This country is between a rock and a hard place because of the way the Bush administration deceived us to justify going into Iraq in the first place. It was the oil lobby's greed, represented by the president and the vice president, that gave the administration motivation to go into Iraq. And then their arrogance did not allow them to see that it would be a long, drawn out war. Sometime this fall, we will have been fighting in Iraq longer we were engaged in World War II. Think about it. For an administration that seemed to invoke God at every turn, they sure seem to be regular practitioners of the seven deadly sins. Our very own Republican-controlled state legislature appears to be determined to not be outdone by the Bush administration. In addition to electing our state and federal representatives in November, we will be voting on two state referenda, the so-called "gay marriage" amendment to the state constitution, which I feel is a Pandora's box that could lead to the denial of basic rights to many Wisconsin citizens, and the death penalty. That's right, you heard me. The state legislature has placed an advisory referendum on the November ballot. It reads "Should the death penalty be enacted in the State of Wisconsin for cases involving a person who is convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, if the conviction is supported by DNA evidence?"
I would assume that this referendum serves two purposes. One, it will help get the "Republican faithful" to come out to the polls in November and vote Republican in the state's gubernatorial election and unseat Governor James Doyle and other federal and state officeholders. Second, if the referendum is approved, it would give the Republican-controlled legislature more "moral force" to push for legislation to implement the death penalty in Wisconsin. We all know who is disproportionately represented in our criminal justice system and who is disproportionately in our jails and prisons. Time and time again, in states with the death penalty, people of color and particularly African Americans are disproportionately sentenced to death. There are many reasons for this, from lack of adequate representation of people of color on juries to a lack of access to legal resources that can mean the difference between serving ten years in prison and being executed by lethal injection. In my view, the death penalty is inherently racist. Don't be fooled by its advisory nature. This referendum is the death penalty train leaving the station. We had better derail it before it picks up steam. Advocate against the death penalty.
|VOL I NO. 12 August 23, 2006|
|The impact of state revenue caps
WEAC President Stan Johnson
|August 23, 2006
Stories and Columns
* Madison's own Queen Nefertiti?
by Dr. Paul Barrows
* Asian Wisconzine: Unclaimed rights to education (Speech by Dang Chonwerawong)
* UW Vice Chancellor Darrell Bazzell interview (Part 1),
by Jonathan Gramling
* Public housing blues,
by Jonathan Gramling
* Voices: Exploring the dynamics of bigotry,
by Dr. Jean Daniels
* Campus-Community Connection
-- Diabetes, by Pamela Pfeffer
* Madison School Board update,
by Board Pres. Johnny Winston Jr.
* MATC's Inspire Plus Program
* Sacred Talismans,
by Ramya Kapadia
* Academic Achievement Revisited
(26th annual African-American Student Recognition)
--photos by Jonathan Gramling
* Una persona que brilla a pesar de todo,
por Jonathan Gramling
* Danba: A long-living culture,
by Nick Berigan
|Reflections/ Jonathan Gramling
Issues in the air