by Andy Weddington
Tuesday, 16 August 2016
He was a wise man who invented beer. Plato
When I hear Milwaukee the first thing that comes to mind is Schlitz - the beer that made Milwaukee famous.
Whether a true statement or not, as to fame, I do not know. But that was one effective and memorable bit of advertising.
In college I drank Schlitz - once. Not since.
Yesterday, the news coming from Milwaukee was not about beer - though beer may have instigated some of the chaos.
The short of it is a police officer shot and killed a citizen who, as reported, was armed and failed to obey the police officer's instructions.
That is never a good idea.
Not content to await facts and truth, some in Milwaukee took to violence. Others followed.
That scenario brought to mind Sister Ann Loyola, my 6th grade teacher, and her oft uttered admonishment for misbehavior, "Monkey see, monkey do, monkey does what it wants to do."
Rioters, in addition to destroying private and public property, were targeting other citizens - innocents - based on ethnicity. They were stopping cars, smashing windows, and attempting to drag the occupants out to beat them.
This morning there are reports of calls to burn down suburban neighborhoods.
Anger hits me.
Mayor Tom Barrett calls for calm. Pleading a word used in articles.
No, mayor. No!
You, sir, are duty-bound to protect life and property - public and private - of the law-abiding. And restore order. And you have the means to do so.
Therefore, but one thing need be said, and only once, to the rioters ...
"Your wanton violence, destruction, and attack on people and property will cease immediately. Stop or I will stop you. I will not plead with you. I will not beg you. And I will not warn you. The police, as of now, have the authority to use whatever force necessary, to include deadly, to restore order. Now, go home. Air your grievances appropriately. Otherwise, face the consequences of your uncivilized conduct. I am done talking."
Simple and fair.
Right now Milwaukee is famous but out of Schlitz.
Beer I drink only occasionally. Never in the morning. But I think it's time for a cold one instead of another cup of coffee. Why? Because our president talks inappropriately and is now inappropriately silent. And golfing. Cheers!
The systemic problem in Milwaukee (other cities, too) known but it is only an explanation for not justification of the violence. Sheriff David Clarke, Jr. of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin has nailed that systemic problem. Needed: Problem-solving sessions with wise men. Beer provided.