By Steve Waring Special to The Milwaukee Times
Three local judges were among those attending the May Community Brainstorming Conference Breakfast Forum.
The topic of panel discussion at St. Matthew CME Church, 2944 N. 9th St., was: ‘Is there a war on black males? Yes or no? And why?’ The judges and other participants heard a majority of panelists conclude that the war is real and that racial separation gives blacks the best chance of prevailing.
The panel consisted of Chris Ahmuty, executive director, Wisconsin ACLU; Rob Biko Baker, PhD and advisor to Hands Up United, Ferguson, MO; Brother William Muhammad, minister, Nation of Islam, Mosque No. 3 in Milwaukee; Taki Raton, educator, Springfield College, journalist, Milwaukee Courier, and Milwaukee Community Journal; the Hon. Russell W. Stamper, Sr., moderator and Dr. Pamela Malone, chairwoman.
The three judges attending the forum were: Rebecca Bradley, Milwaukee Circuit Court (Wisconsin Court of Appeals effective June 1); and Rebecca Dallet and Tom McAdams, both of Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
Mr. Ahmuty began the panel discussion noting black males tend to be treated more harshly by the justice system than white males charged with similar crimes. He cited a study which indicated that it was easier in some areas for a white male with a prison record to get a job than it was for a black man with no prison record.
Dr. Baker said he had studied Milwaukee for many years and that not that long ago it was comparatively a great place for African Americans to live. But in recent years, the police with their aggressive arrest policies toward black males have “been breeding” a generation of fearless young black men. “There may come a point when there will be no turning back,” he said.
Brother William Muhammad chastised the black community, saying it was responsible for its own plight for attempting to integrate with white society. Separation, not integration was the answer, he said. “The reign of white supremacy is coming to an end.” Immediately after Brother Muhammad concluded his remarks, Judge Dallet left.
Taki Raton described the nature of racial separation in greater detail. He said the separation must be “physical, emotional, financial, spiritual and mental.”
Milwaukee County Judge Rebecca Bradley stayed to hear all of the panel speakers and those who waited in line to speak. She said the majority of defendants in her court were young black males who had been arrested at school after a disciplinary infraction and she asked the panelists for suggestions on how to help the schools administer discipline without involving the police.
Raton suggested home schooling for some students who are disruptive in school. Brother Muhammad said parents should organize and demand that schools refrain from calling the police over disciplinary issues.