A Bad Day For Civility
You reach a point in life where you think you can't be shocked any more, that you can only be either amused or disappointed.
Friday put all that to the sad, sorry test.
The sun hadn't even risen when the day's first high profile insult was launched by Milwaukee State Representative Pedro Colon who questioned why colleague Steven Nass wasn't present for a vote on potential discipline for fellow Assembly member Jeff Wood. Wood tried forcing the the issue during the rare early morning session, and Colon challenged Nass' decision not to be there in the chambers, even though he knew full well the reason why.
Nass, it turns out, was home preparing for his mom's funeral. He'd been at the visitation Thursday and she was to be buried Friday.
This is the same Pedro Colon who missed a roll call on Voter ID so he could be on vacation in San Francisco a few years ago.
Nass was understandably upset with Colon when contacted later that morning. Colon would later apologize. Maybe he needed a little sleep to realize what a colossally insensitive boor he sounded like. It's up to Nass to decide to accept the apology, and up to voters to determine if Colon's brand of social discourse is what they want when it comes time to get their bidding done in Madison.
Next came the scene in a Milwaukee County Courtroom where Seandell Jackson went off as he was sentenced for the cold-blooded murder of UWM student Nathan Potter last summer in the Riverwest neighborhood. As if shooting an unarmed kid because he didn't have enough money wasn't brave enough, Jackson displayed even more courage during his trial by mouthing obscenities at Potter's family as he was found guilty, then smirking at the dead student's relatives.
Jackson went off Friday when the judge sentenced him to life in prison, screaming and cursing as deputies pepper sprayed him before running his sorry ass out of court. As incredible as that was, Jackson's relatives heaped abuse on Potter's family, with one screaming "I hate you!" toward Potter's parents as they hugged and cried. "God's the judge!" yelled another.
We'll never know the pain the Potters are going through, thinking of their dying son's final moments on a dark city sidewalk. They told the court of the affect the shooting has had on their other kids. They are victims every day of their lives, from here on out.
And, you could muster sympathy for Jackson's family, too. Yes, Seandell is a homicidal moron but you could feel sorry for a family that has lost one of it's own, someone who'll forever be behind bars because of a single, murderous act. Then, they act out in court as if somehow, Jackson didn't pull the trigger and shouldn't be punished for his actions, sounding almost as if it was Potter's fault for being out late at night and having the misfortune of encountering Jackson and his cohort without enough cash to satisfy the pair's larcenous needs.
God's the judge, indeed. Jackson's family at least got that part right.