This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

When the victim of a hate crime is white....

Investigative reporter John Conroy’s life changed dramatically last year when he attempted to bicycle his way through Chicago’s West Side following a meeting.

Conroy was the victim of an ambush he never saw coming. He regained consciousness after being beaten, aided by two Good Samaritans and has been wrestling with his views on race ever since. Conroy writes in the new edition of Chicago Magazine:

I think of myself as a tolerant man, but that tolerance has been taxed by the pain and the consequence to my body and my life. At a moment when millions of Americans set race aside to vote for an African American presidential candidate, I’ve been forced by juveniles to look it square in the face. Last February, Attorney General Eric Holder said that we are a nation of cowards when it comes to addressing race. I plead guilty. There is no joy in writing this.”

Shortly after the beating, as Conroy recovered at a local hospital, he got word that a teenager had been arrested and would face charges. Conroy desperately wanted to know why a group of six teens would attack him and then not rob him.

Blacks and whites told him the beating was clearly a hate crime.

Three days after the incident, Conroy writes that he stopped by the police station to thank the officers who gave him assistance at the scene.

“Looking for help in finding them, I asked for an acquaintance, T. C. McCoy, an African American officer who lives in the district and has worked there for 24 years. When he heard my story, he said, ‘It’s a hate crime.’

I wasn’t taking notes at the time, so I asked him recently to recall his reasoning. ‘When I looked at your face, I could see there was some serious thought behind doing this,’ he said."

'It ain’t like he just knocked you off your bike. He performed some very serious damage.’  There was no provocation, no robbery, no familiarity between attacker and attacked. McCoy argued that it would be far more foolhardy to randomly attack a black man, because ‘you hit the wrong guy and it might be somebody’s dad or uncle or it might even be the chief who is riding a bike, and ain’t no police bein’ called. It’s an ambulance being called for your ass. It’s a bitter pill, but I’m gonna tell you. It was all racial.’”

Conroy’s lengthy piece in Chicago Magazine is worth the read. He encounters a bureaucratic nightmare trying to sift through the system juvenile justice system. Finally, he meets his assailant and his mother at a face to face meeting Conroy worked hard to arrange. Care to guess if Conroy achieves satisfaction from the encounter?

It’s a revealing piece about the victimization of crime victims and the total disregard for fellow humans.  Long, but recommended.

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