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30 Aug, 2011 21:35

Race riots hit Milwaukee

Unrest is growing across America as the economy crumbles and the divide between classes grows ever deeper.

While the economic downturn is perhaps most easily reflected on President Obama’s approval rating — currently at a low of only 40 percent — can violence on the streets of America be blamed on the state of the economy as well?Bob Donovan is an alderman in Wisconsin who presides over a district that includes Milwaukee, WI. Earlier this month, a riot erupted at a nearby state fair in which blacks were pitted against whites as hundreds and as many as a thousand youths viciously attacked one another. Donovan told RT that Milwaukee may be a diverse community, it is also one that is grossly segregated.Donovan says that while whites and blacks may keep to their own sides of the city, minorities in Milwaukee are facing a plague that is ravaging their community. Black male unemployment, said Donovan, is an epidemic. “Some are placing it as close to 50 percent,” he told RT. “That has its problems that unfortunately there are far too many individuals in Milwaukee can chose to ignore it.” And with that unemployment comes unrest aimed towards those who are getting by with jobs and money in cities just like his.As the city divides and turns to revolt, Donovan acknowledges that it isn’t something commonplace of just his community, but it will only get worse as politicians and residents continue to ignore it across the country. “We need to first admit that we got this problem,” he says, and notes that the race riot earlier this month at the Wisconsin State Fair should serve as a wakeup call — even if, he said, it wasn’t the first incident like this. “I believe for whatever reason there is an effort to keep some of it under wraps,” added Donovan. “That concerns me, but we largely have many elected officials in Milwaukee who chose to ignore this because it is such a volatile issue.”Inequality among races, now leading to violence, is something Donovan says can’t just be ignored. The community is in denial, he said, and cites that many lawmakers won’t admit that the incident at the state fair was racial. “That’s absurd!” said Donovan.Donovan says that it is the number one objective of the government to insure that its citizens are kept safe, and with incidents like this continuing (even if they aren’t reported), he says cities should start thinking outside the box for ways to combat unemployment and inequality before riots and revolts become more commonplace. In the meanwhile, Milwaukee has 100 police vacancies that are too costly to fill, and until they are, why would people in Milwaukee feel safe?