Mark Belling’s racist rant

As first reported by James Rowen of the Political Environment, local right-wing squawker Mark Belling made a point during his show on August 11 to engage in a little race-based fear mongering about Rep. Gwen Moore’s health care informational session, which was held on the afternoon of August 11 at North Division High School:

Rightie talker Mark Belling devoted the entire first hour of his show to a what was even for Belling a relentless attack on Congressman Gwen Moore for scheduling a health care forum scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at North Division High School – – which is a well-known public building landmark in her district, the 4th.

Belling said:

People would be “intimidated” at attending at a central city location.

People who attended at the site would fear “being shot in the head.”

Suggested that if he sent his producer, Paul, to cover the event he’d be spotted as “the white guy” attending.

When a caller on the line offered a first-person account of the event, Belling said he was afraid of putting the caller on the air because if the caller were identified calling the Belling show “they might kill him.”

When another called to say that the audience was mostly white – – blowing up Belling’s rant – – he switched gears, suggested they were all probably east side lefties and teachers, and later mused that it would be funny if all the lefties who showed up were robbed.

Belling’s own racism is well-documented, given the slurs he’s used to refer to Hispanics, but what’s disturbing here is that his comments come on the heels of a threat made against union members by someone purporting to be from the Racine area, a threat that involved a racial slur in reference to President Barack Obama. So what I’m wondering is why some on the right feel a need to resort to race-based attacks in what’s supposed to be a debate about health care reform. Are these kinds of attacks really necessary, or are they just par for the course for some conservatives?

Mike Mathias has his own take on Belling over at Pundit Nation.


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9 thoughts on “Mark Belling’s racist rant

  1. Sorry for the breadth of comments, Zach, but this one caught my eye.

    Gwen Moore having this at North Division along with the chosen format was an example of ducking a considerable number of her constituents. I happen to be one of them. Years ago, I ran a track meet at North Division (on 10th & Center, in case your readers do not know) and was warned to only run my warmup for my event on the outdoor track (the meet itself was indoors). Was my coach a racist for saying that I should not run on the surrounding streets? That place is in the middle of the places that we hear about on the news nearly every morning. Of course it’s scary to be there (especially if you do not live in the area). It’s also in an area where the population happens to be primarily black.

    Quite frankly, I myself would be uneasy of attending an event in that part of Milwaukee (particularly if I was attending and critical of Moore’s position regarding this legislation). Moore only has to read the names of the people endorsing the bill and she will sign it. I seriously doubt she has done much diligence on this besides reading Pelosi/Hoyer talking points.

    As for his hesitance to put the caller on the air, I don’t blame Belling at all on this one. The caller was hardly surrounded by friendlies and was in a notoriously violent section of Milwaukee.

    Moore had all of Milwaukee from which to choose for a venue. She chose a place in the middle of a crime-infested area on the north side. She set aside the first hour of her “informational session” on having an “expert” (i.e. a UW-Madison professor…because balanced viewpoints are common in the world of higher academics) present the benefits of a public insurance “option.” Her second hour consisted of her responses to questions that had been submitted through her website. That means the questions to which she responded were handpicked. I hear she did respond to a few of the questions from the attendees, but that none of them were particularly challenging questions (unless you count a couple of people yelling “Liar!” or “Communist!.”

    She’s had one session. Paul Ryan, by contrast, has over a dozen meetings scheduled. Who is more diligent? Who is more open to diverse opinions?

  2. Cameron, if you take a look at a map of Rep. Moore’s district, North Division high school lies very near the geographic center of her district. What’s more, despite your assertion the area is “crime infested,” I have yet to hear one account of anyone attending the event having been the victim of any type of crime. What’s more, the Milwaukee Police Department had a very noticeable presence at the event.

  3. Zach, by that rationale, is the Milwaukee Police Department racist because they had a large presence at the event? That’s a weak argument. Yes, it is crime-infested. Look at the crime maps sometime.

    And, yes, I know that it is nearly in the center, but is hardly a safe area. Yes, there were no reported crimes. That’s a good thing, by the way, and due to the cooperation of the attendees with the organizers and MPD. However, I would not frequent the area and test the odds, unless I took a new liking to Russian Roulette.

    That is to say nothing about the format of her session, which was a farce. From what was Moore hiding? Her district voted almost 80% for Obama last November. It’s not a huge leap of faith to think that she did not want to face questions from critics of the legislation.

    1. Cameron, if you’re afraid of that area, then so be it, but the meeting certainly didn’t lack in attendance, and it’s worth noting the crowd was quite diverse.

      While I appreciate your concerns about the neighborhood surrounding North Division, if we applied your logic, Rep. Moore shouldn’t hold town hall meetings (or any type of constituent meeting, for that matter) in large swaths of Milwaukee, simply because some folks might not be comfortable attending.

      1. The key point being that if she is only going to bother facing her consituents once, why do it at North Division? Then, her personal interaction with the attendees was to reply to pre-screened questions. There are many things that seem fishy:

        1) Location: you may be able to argue that she should have her session here, but why is this the first (and only) choice?
        2) Format: Slow-pitch softball (with apologies to slow-pitch softball)
        3) Frequency (of appearences): 1. One! Is she relying on her constituents being apathetic?
        4) Time: her session started at 4:00 P.M. Most people are working…unless you are retired, 3rd shift, or unemployed. I am none of those, thus rendering me unable to attend. I guess that was my only chance to listen to Rep. Moore’s wisdom on the subject and hear my U.S. Representative address legitimate concerns over health care.

  4. I do not at all think Cameron’s Argument was false. In fact it seems Zach W was beating around Cameron’s Point. Sounds like the same thing Gwen Moore has done.
    Cameron Vs. Zach = Reality vs. Dream Land

    1. Paul, not once did Cameron refute my point about North Division being nearly the geographic center of Rep. Moore’s district. It’s only logical to hold a meeting with constituents where the constituents happen to be.

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