Barnes’ speech didn’t honor King -- John Schmitz

January 30, 2019

I was very disappointed in Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes’ biased comments during a Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration on the UW-Madison campus.

By the time he spoke, it was clear that the Covington Catholic youth group did not instigate the conflagration on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Calling them a “mob” when they were actually the target of a hateful racist rant and a manipulative opportunist was blatantly unfair.

Hailing Native American elder Nathan Phillips as an American hero and a Vietnam vet, without checking his past transgressions was also unfortunate. We need leaders in the executive offices in Washington and Madison who will pull us together and speak the truth without compromising it to suit their prejudices and political agendas.

That is what I think Martin Luther King Jr. would want.

John Schmitz, Madison

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