Monday, May 5, 2014

Sideshow Brett

Photo Credit: Blue Cheddar
After failing to live up to his promise of handing out Klan hoods at the GOP state convention this weekend, can we now stop paying attention to Brett Hulsey?

We get it, we really do. Mocking is an art form. This blog uses it frequently - it's our go-to weapon of choice. Like any art form, it can also be done poorly.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Brett Hulsey.

Brett Hulsey can say and do whatever he wants. Run for Governor? Sure. Add another name to the list of Democratic contenders on the mythical cleared field of candidates.

Hulsey has made a habit of bringing up real issues and bad policy instituted by the Walker administration - which under normal circumstances is a good thing.

However, Hulsey packages his message as a punchline, a gag and visual joke that completely undermines the seriousness of the issues.

See, racism is a real thing. People fall victim to it everyday and it adversely affects their lives. Not having an equal playing field in life, being racially profiled, living in the worst state for achievement because of the color of your skin is about as serious as it gets.

Brett Hulsey turned racism into a media stunt. A stunt he didn't even follow through on. When you think about a white guy from Madison taking all the baggage and weight of racism and turning it gag by threatening to hand out Klan hoods, it's actually kinda gross. Attention seeking at its worst.

Real people have been hurt by the policies set forth by Scott Walker. Living breathing people no longer have health care, or jobs, or unemployment insurance. Teachers are having to make do with much less in larger classrooms and a muted voice in their own work environment. On and on - the stories of people whose lives of adversity have become even more adverse - these people deserve serious consideration and an earnest conversation, not a clown.

It is one thing to use clever mocking to shine a spotlight on important issues. It is quite another to use important issues to bring attention to yourself.

You be the judge.