Last week, in an editorial for website Right Wisconsin, editor James Wigderson celebrated the back to school season by grunting, drooling, banging away at his keyboard, and calling Milwaukee Public School students “little convicts.” The comment (in a column that kicks off with a Van Halen reference) was in relation to the news that Vincent High School is getting a new $5.7 million stadium.
Wigderson, a Vincent graduate, writes:
The school has only gotten worse since my days there. The school “fails to meet expectations” according to the state of Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction and it’s not even close. Yet nothing will be done about Vincent and 999 kids will be trapped in a failing school this year. Some students will succeed but the odds are horribly against them. But at least it’s a union school, right?
So imagine my surprise when, thanks to the Facebook page for an upcoming high school reunion, I learned the school is getting a new $5.7 million stadium. The stadium will have artificial grass and a new track for WIAA events. The report I saw didn’t mention metal detectors, but it would be a good idea.
The new stadium is part of an $11 million improvement in athletic facilities for Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), presumably so the little convicts can have the best facilities before being sent to the penitentiary.
On Twitter, Wigderson has been lamely defending his comments by claiming “little convicts” refers only to the high school basketball star turned convicted felon mentioned in the linked FOX6 story. Oh, and despite his comments, you’re actually the racist.
Wigderson took over as editor of Right Wisconsin in 2017, following the retirement of Charlie Sykes. His past accomplishments include writing a review for Oakland Gyros for the UWM Times in 1991. [via Dan Bice]
UPDATE: MPS has issued a response:
We are proud that MPS is working hard to provide the same access to state-of-the-art facilities for our students as districts in surrounding areas have for theirs. We are proud of the Class of 2018, which earned $86.2 million in scholarships, a new district record. We are proud of our students serving as interns for Harley-Davidson, America’s iconic motorcycle company. We are also proud of our Vincent High School urban agriculture students who were the only students to represent Milwaukee at the Wisconsin State Fair.
MPS is outraged—as every parent in the City of Milwaukee should be—that an adult would feel free to make such a derogatory, hurtful, and dishonest statement about more than 75,000 children.
The author of the article should be ashamed that he is engaging in such offensive cyberbullying, which we are sure he would not tolerate if his children were being discussed in these abusive terms.
We have far too many students who work hard every day and who accomplish great things to let an ill-informed and hateful statement stand without comment. We are MPS proud.
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