Wisconsin high school and college students rallied the capitol in Madison — attracting international news coverage — to protest the recent police shooting of Tony Robinson. The students’ protest aimed to raise awareness about the connections between racial and economic inequalities and the relationship of both to social injustice. They acted in a democratic way, going to the state capitol to petition law makers during a legislative session.
The Huffington Post reports the following regarding the social and economic conditions for African American’s living in Madison, Wisconsin:
“A 2013 report by Wisconsin Children and Families analyzed census data to paint a picture of two Madisons — one where white people were thriving and blacks were struggling.
The report showed that the unemployment rate for blacks in Dane County, which includes Madison, was 25 percent in 2011 compared with 5 percent for whites. That was a larger divide than both the state and national average.
Other statistics are even more striking. The percentage of black children living in poverty in Madison was 58 percent over a three-year period ending in 2013, compared with 5 percent for white children. Nationally, 38 percent of black children were in poverty over that time.”
Additional articles about the students’ protest appear in local Wisconsin media, as well as Al Jezeera, the Guardian, BBC, and major US news outlets.
This morning Melissa Harris Parry interviewed the organizer of the protest, an African American high school student. Check out her Sunday morning interview with this student.