Blogging has been and may continue to be slow. I am finishing two lengthy scholarly pieces, trying to finalize one that is emerging in print and I owe about 4500 words to two other publications. And, of course, it's time to start teaching again.
But I found out on Friday that I had been conferred a great honor by the Shepherd Express, the local journal for the 1-900 community. I have been named "Jerk of the Week." (Reddess: "Only the week?")
Unfortunately, the paper badly misrepresented a column that I wrote in last Sunday's Journal Sentinel taking a quote out of context to make it sound like I had advocated arresting people on the basis of their race. What I actually did was note that Chief Ed Flynn's neighborhood policing initiative faced challenges from the left and the right. The challenge from the left stemmed from what I called the the "painful" and "unfortunate" fact that the strategy of "seize and hold" may result, for a time, in disproportionate arrest of young black males. I argued that this ought not to be a basis to reject the strategy because it is African Americans who are disproportionately the victims of urban crime and who stand to benefit from increased public safety in the inner city.
My son, doing a very good Imus impression, wonders if I am going on an "apology tour." I think not, but I do wish that the Shepherd Express would offer a commemorative plaque or other memento.
A good friend has said the he picks up two free newspapers in Milwaukee. The Onion because it might make him laugh. The Shepherd Express so that he could drop it in the next trash can and save someone else the trouble.