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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

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Babies deserve to sleep safely.
Babies deserve to sleep safely. (Photo: shutterstock.com)

Milwaukee's out-in-the-open killer

Last week, OnMilwaukee.com’s own Eugene Kane wrote a great piece about the alleged "Smiley Faced Killer." What made Mr Kane’s blog so troubling was the pattern of similar circumstances surrounding the case.

A heavily intoxicated white male always disappears near a river. Even with a lack of evidence, the coincidences are damning for the nine men that have died in the last decade. While the deaths of nine intoxicated men are tragic, they pale in comparison to a far greater threat to innocent Wisconsin residents.

Today, I’d like to talk about another killer of Wisconsinites that is almost exclusively limited to one race. The killer strikes in one area of Milwaukee and involves heavy alcohol or drug use. This killer invokes a series of poor choices that result in the negligent death of another human being.

Having a child is a choice. Raising that child is a choice. Getting intoxicated is a choice. Sleeping with your infant after getting intoxicated is a choice.

Intoxicated co- sleeping is a choice, too. Let’s call it what it is: Passing out while sleeping with an infant.

Unlike drunken bar behavior near a river, some babies in Milwaukee don’t get a chance to choose the circumstances surrounding their deaths. Negligence due to poor choices is punished in all walks of life, except intoxicated co-sleeping deaths for African American parents in the City of Milwaukee.

If I choose to get drunk, choose to load my baby into a car and then wrap that car around a tree resulting in the death of my child, I’d be going to jail. Not even the BS excuse of "The greatest punishment is knowing that I killed my child" would be good enough. This pattern of irresponsible choices needs to be corrected and it needs to be corrected NOW before another innocent baby loses its life.

Obviously, Milwaukee has a problem that essentially affects only one race of citizens in one area of the city. If we recognize there is indeed a problem, what can be done? Let’s look at what the leadership of Milwaukee is doing right now.

As I can attest from the birth of my daughters, the maternity nurses will make sure you have a safe place for your child to sleep, via a ‘Pack N Play’ or a crib. This service is free of charge and helps eliminate poverty as a legitimate excuse for poor choices.

The city has already wasted millions of tax payer dollars on a shocking anti co-sleeping campaign featuring a baby sleeping next to a knife. Government thinks that if you just spend money, the problem will go away. Predictably, the city has fouled up the problem and chosen to oppose ALL co-sleeping practices.

This is a silly approach. Free of excessive alcohol and drugs, co-sleeping can be a safe act for worn-out parents. Choosing to get intoxicated and then co-sleep is negligence and should be where Milwaukee focuses its efforts.

Back in 2011, ABC News looked at this ad campaign more closely. Leaders in Milwaukee advocated these ads as the solution to the problem. "I’ll take some heat," Mayor Tom Barrett told ABC News. "Some ZIP codes in Milwaukee have infant mortality rates higher than Third World countries. That’s unacceptable."

Indeed it is. Predictably, liberal politicians with alleged good intentions spent money on a problem without addressing the actual problem: Poor choices made without the risk of consequences.

The first thing Mayor Tom Barrett can do is come out in favor of punishing parents that make deadly choices. So far, he has dodged this issue and left it to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office for review.

Why do we not hold parents (that are under the influence of alcohol and drugs) accountable for the choices they make when it directly results in the death of their child? Sadly, holding terrible parents responsible for their choices seems to be the last thing liberals in Milwaukee desire. Punishing negligence is an obvious solution that warrants immediate consideration.

While I understand the lives that are ruined for siblings, you need to ask yourself this question: What kind of future do these impoverished children truly have if Mom or Dad can’t make simple and safe choices for their newborn children? Doing nothing perpetuates the vicious cycle of poverty and despair while creating a climate ripe for political gain.

Spending more money and pushing more ads that make ourselves feel good isn’t the answer. The answer is to hold crappy parents responsible. Milwaukee has a crappy parent crisis exacerbated by a complete lack of accountability.

When the negligent choice of alcohol and/or drugs results in the death of a child, why won’t Tom Barrett come out in favor of arresting members of his own large, uniform and well organized voting bloc?

I think I know the answer to that question.

 

Talkbacks

AndrewJ | April 9, 2013 at 11:36 a.m. (report)

36464 Word on the street is that Milele Coggs and Gwen Moore have essentially removed Barrett and Chisholm's teeth on this by claiming co-sleeping is a cultural issue, and any attempt to prosecute would be portrayed as a cultural attack. Unfortunately both Barrett and Chisholm take the marching orders as they apparently value their elected positions more than the innocent lives being lost. Very sad. Unless stupidity is a new culture that I'm unaware of, getting drunk/high and smothering a human being should definitely come with consequences.

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