To hear State Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) tell it, she isn't a racist for hurling a racial slur at a bank teller, the police officers and media outlets who caught her doing so are.
On Friday, multiple Milwaukee Police Department reports were released that confirmed News/Talk 1130 WISN's reporting a month ago that Taylor called a black teller at the Wells Fargo Bank branch on W. Wisconsin Ave. a "house n****r" and became so enraged when that teller refused to violate bank policy for her that officers had to intervene out of concern that Taylor would "strike out" at the teller physically.
Taylor was cited for disorderly conduct and for a month refused to discuss the incident.
On Friday, though, after the police reports were made public, she issued a stridently defiant statement.
"I strongly object to the nature and characterization of my visit to a Wells Fargo Bank branch," she said. "The police report and subsequent coverage, in certain media outlets, continues a consistent pattern of unfair treatment and a misrepresentation of the facts when dealing with African-Americans, especially those who vigorously advocate for themselves and their community."
That's right: Milwaukee Police and "certain media outlets" (she rather obviously means News/Talk 1130 WISN) are the real racists here. She certainly isn't, because she so vigorously advocates for herself and her community.
This is as insulting as it is dishonest, and Taylor herself demonstrated this dishonesty on Monday, when she acknowledged during a long interview on WNOV-AM using the phrase "house n****r."
"[The teller] was going along to get along even though it wasn’t the right thing," Taylor told WNOV host Sherwin Hughes. "I proceed to walk away and say, 'You did a really good job today of acting today like a good house n****r.' "
Immediately after this incident on April 6th, however, Taylor told officers that she did not use that phrase and instead used the phrase "house negro."
Now she admits that this was a lie, and the lie could result in even bigger problems for her. Wisconsin Statute § 946.61 makes it illegal to "knowingly [give] false information to [a law enforcement] officer...with intent to mislead the officer in the performance of his or her duty." Violation of this statute is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to nine months imprisonment and $10,000 in fines.
Clearly, Taylor told the responding officer that she had used the marginally less offensive word "negro" in an effort to downplay the severity of her outburst at the teller, and thus was indeed attempting to mislead the officer.
And she repeated this lie for more than a month, first by having her attorney, Vince Bobot, tell media outlets covering the story that "there’s different stories about what was said," and then in her own statement to the media objecting to "the nature and characterization" of the altercation.
All the while, she knew exactly what she said. She was just hoping that the rest of the world would never find out what she said. So she lied about it; first to the police, and then to everyone else until finally she could lie no longer and had to come clean on what she perceived to be a friendly media outlet, WNOV-AM.
Once her lies were exposed, she brazenly played the race card in a desperate bid to galvanize her black supporters by falsely and maliciously claiming that the police officers who cited her and the media outlets who accurately reported on the citation were somehow motivated by a racist grudge against her and anyone else who, in her words, dares to vigorously advocate for the black community.
This is nothing short of despicable race-baiting in a desperate bid to avoid any meaningful consequences for Taylor's actions. Ironically, the only one in involved in this incident who has ever said anything racially charged is Taylor. Yet now that her lies about her racist language have been uncovered, she is accusing everyone else of concocting a racist conspiracy against her.
The manner in which Taylor used race to belittle a bank teller was disgusting enough, but her continued efforts to claim racist motives of everyone who dares to call her to account for her behavior is downright wicked and should not be tolerated.