Referendum Racism

I realize that many people in this community aren’t happy about the recent decision made by the Madison School Board to go to referendum for the operational budget shortfall. This will indeed raise property taxes. I am more than sympathetic to senior citizens (or others) on fixed incomes and how this decision affects them. I also empathize with those who might not agree with the direction of the district by stating additional cuts in services should be considered or discussed. While I’m agreeable with those rationales, I will NOT stand for what I believe is blatant racism by members of this community who will use the changing demographics of the school district and community as an excuse for not voting for a referendum. Listed below is a copy of an e-mail recently sent to school board members. The sender is a City of Madison bus driver who has sent e-mails to the School Board before. I have retracted the sender’s name.
dear board members;i think it is an insult for you , not all of ask for tax increases for the school budget problems.these schools are supposed to be so great in this city.they dont seem to be any better than when i went to school niece was going to east high until a black girl that was 14 years old and already had 2 kids was giving her a hard niece ended up going to another school.and just the other day, a gang of black kids were beating up a white kid at the east transfer point.also at east high.i know some people that said they have seen the black girls walk down the halls and push the white girls out of the way.i bet the public doesnt know about half the things that go on in this city.if you ask me i think you people should actually have better schools than just say you do.i thought schools were bad when i went and they were,i would hate to be a kid going to school here now.getting bullied and the school doesnt do anything about it.and you want us to pay more.i not only think that these schools suck ,this city is starting to also.
This is my response:
It is absolutely incredible to me that in 2005, there are people who perform public services in our community that are without question racist. It seems to me that you are indeed troubled with the changing demographics in the City of Madison. I want to remind you that as an employee working as a bus driver for the City of Madison, taxpayers are paying your salary as well. And, so are the thousands of Black and other racial and ethnic minority persons who probably ride the bus that you’re driving. To be frank, it must be very difficult to drive with the “white sheet” covering your eyes. Thank you for wasting the taxpayer’s time for me having to respond to your ignorance.
Johnny Winston, Jr.
School Board member, who is Black and deeply offended by your bigoted comments. And I wish we didn’t have to ask you for your money!

I am more than willing to understand those who disagree but racism has no place in our schools and in our community! I hope we can all agree on that!