This past week, a mural with Gov. Scott Walker’s face and the words "down with the bitches and the hoes" went up on the north side of the building that houses South Shore Gallery & Framing, 2627 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.
The line is most likely a nod to the 2003 film "Malibu's Most Wanted."
Milwaukee OATS is behind the art piece. The group describes itself on Facebook as "a local screen-print art movement that promotes self empowerment … The idea of this movement, Milwaukee Oats (OATS), is to bring a cultural revival and sense of unity to the city of Milwaukee."
OATS stands for "Only a T-Shirt." The group says the name is ironic, claiming that T-shirts can serve as a "catalyst for a cultural renaissance."
A representative from the group, who wished to remain unnamed, made the following statement regarding the Walker mural: "I believe that we should focus on things that bring us together and not on the things that divide us. This art work is not pro-Walker nor is it anti-Walker. It is simply here to create inspired moments in the community and to make people laugh …
"I’ve noticed that it’s bringing people together from both sides of the debate. These people are laughing together, having a good time and even joking about it, when the same people a week ago couldn't even have a simple conversation with each other. As a community we need to value each other and care for each other as a family because that's what we are. We shouldn't focus on our differences; we should focus on our similarities and know that we're in this together."
The mural has seemed to generate a lot of conversation online, throughout the Bay View community and beyond. Opinions range greatly. Some find it humorous, others offensive and a few have expressed confusion over the message.
Personally, I applaud the spelling of "hoes" as opposed to "ho's" which includes an unnecessary apostrophe, but one I've often seen used in this phrasing.
What are your thoughts on this mural?
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.