Rebecca Bradley’s apology is not enough

The sum total of Rebecca Bradley’s statement of “apology” for her published screeds against AIDS victims, gays and lesbians, Bill Clinton, and anyone else who deviated from what she perceived as the righteous path in 1992, is this pitiful statement:

I was writing as a very young student, upset about the outcome of that presidential election and I am frankly embarrassed at the content and tone of what I wrote those many years ago.

To those offended by comments I made as a young college student, I apologize, and assure you that those comments are not reflective of my worldview. These comments have nothing to do with who I am as a person or a jurist, and they have nothing to do with the issues facing the voters of this state.

This is a blatant mudslinging campaign to distract the people from the issues at hand. This election is about diametrically opposed judicial philosophies. I have run a positive campaign focused on the rule of law and strict adherence to the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions.  I am proud of the twenty plus years of experience I bring to this race, including my time as a Judge on the Milwaukee children’s court, the appellate court, and Supreme Court. I  will work for the people of this state to ensure that justice is served and upheld on the state’s highest court.

This is the response she offered to columns in the Marquette student newspaper where she referenced “degenerate drug addicts and queers,” AIDS as a “politically-correct” disease, Bill Clinton as “queer-loving” and “radical socialist” (The joke’s on us there!), and the majority of voters who elected Clinton as “either totally stupid or entirely evil.”

Ms. Bradley wants us to assume that at the “tender” ages of 20 and 21 she was incapable of writing more reflective, less inflammatory prose that still got her point across, and that her attitudes have changed since that time.

Well, I don’t buy it. Any apology that is offered only “to those offended by” the comments does not recognize that everyone should be offended by those comments. Those comments were offensive in 1992 as well. At the Republican Convention in 1992, Mary Fisher, a white mother, the daughter of a major Republican fund raiser, and infected with HIV, gave what became known as the “Whisper of AIDS” speech. In it, she asked that the Republican Party recognize the humanity of those with AIDS and HIV. She said,

We may take refuge in our stereotypes, but we cannot hide there long, because HIV asks only one thing of those it attacks. Are you human? And this is the right question. Are you human? Because people with HIV have not entered some alien state of being. They are human. They have not earned cruelty, and they do not deserve meanness. They don’t benefit from being isolated or treated as outcasts. Each of them is exactly what God made: a person; not evil, deserving of our judgment; not victims, longing for our pity — people, ready for support and worthy of compassion.

No, Rebecca Bradley’s crass and mean-spirited attitude toward those with HIV and AIDS did not fit the tenor of the day. (Nor does it fit the compassion of the Catholic Church toward those with AIDS and other diseases, notwithstanding the Church’s stand on homosexuality.)

Moreover, Ms. Bradley has offered no evidence to demonstrate that she has overcome the abhorrent views she held as a 20- and 21-year-old student. She only claims that the comments are not reflective of her worldview, but she still attends Republican fundraisers (on company time), accepts the patronage of WMC, willingly accepts the support of Mr. Know-Nothing himself, Scott Walker, and remains in her Federalist Society bubble.

Yes, I am sure Ms. Bradley is embarrassed that her commentary in the Marquette newspaper was discovered. She should be, because it is well more than enough to disqualify her from holding any office in the state judiciary. But this supposed “apology” doesn’t get her off the hook for the views she espoused as a young adult.


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3 thoughts on “Rebecca Bradley’s apology is not enough

  1. On top of the obvious bigotry and winking-non-apology, this part also rings hollow:
    “I have run a positive campaign focused on the rule of law and strict adherence to the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions.”

    Today the WMC-Bradley SuperPAC came out with an ad blasting Kloppenburg for being “soft on crime” and “letting criminals off on technicalities.”

    The case they cited to support this claim was a sex offender who filed an appeal claiming he didn’t understand his plea bargain. Kloppenburg, joined by 2 other appellate judges, sent it back to the circuit court to hold a hearing on the issue. The circuit court held the hearing, found no merit to the claim, and upheld his plea/sentence. His conviction was never overturned, and he remained in prison the whole time.

    The Bradley camp is claiming that because of the nature of his crime, and his record of past offenses, his appeal shouldn’t have been heard. But that ignores a pesky little thing called the 14th Amendment. EVERYBODY, regardless of what they’re accused of, or what other offenses they may have committed, is entitled to Due Process (and appeals) under the law. If Kloppenburg had done otherwise in this case, it would have opened it up to an appeal in Federal Court and opened up a whole new can of worms.

  2. Thank you Ms. Brown. Well stated.
    Nothing has changed since 1992. For that matter nothing has really changed since 1962. The racism continues and is observable at any/all Trump rallies. I encourage people to watch closely as protestors are escorted out of these rallies. Watch for what others in the crowd (mostly white men) are shouting at those being banned. Racist slurs angrily echo. I would also like to point out Bernie’s not immune. Although far from racism Bernie’s implication that blacks are poor and are the only ones living in the ghetto show he’s a little sheltered from the reality of the race relation situation in our country. At least Bernie’s willing to admit his short comings and pledged to educate/enlighten himself. Many in the African American community admire his honesty and willingness. As for Justice Bradley, when you surround yourself with people/party who continue to voice opinions (shouting from the bleachers) similar to those voiced in 1992 how am I to draw any conclusion other then the racism continues… Even if hers isn’t clearly apparent because it’s now “in the closet” it’s still visible to me.

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