Bob Donovan is sort of a dick, isn’t he?
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When it comes to media-hungry, blowhard politicians, it doesn’t get any better in Milwaukee than Bob Donovan, a south side alderman who has local TV news crews and conservative radio talk show hosts on speed dial whenever there’s a “cause” he feels the need to shake his fist over. The latest instance of Donovan making a fool out of himself for the sake of democracy occurred yesterday over a mural created by TRUE Skool, a local non-profit that engages troubled kids using hip-hop culture, including graffiti art.
Anything involving the words “hip-hop” and “graffiti” is apparently enough for Donovan to fire up his clueless middle-aged white guy impression, as seen in this video of a confrontation between Donovan and TRUE Skool executive director Sarah Patterson involving a lot of baseless accusations about the character of the organization and a climactic “get off of my lawn!” arm wave. As a member of the city's anti-graffiti committee—hey, the city has an anti-graffiti committee!—it might have been nice for Donovan to approach this whole thing with some empathy and an attempt to understand the mission of what's clearly a well-intentioned organization. But that would make for bad TV.
What’s amazing about this is that Donovan is brazenly acting up for the cameras, calling a mural made by area children “crap” and “garbage” and generally behaving like an emotional clown, while Patterson calmly attempts to placate this silly man like she’s the only real adult in the room. How sad that it’s the former in this equation who is the elected official.
For the record, the mural was legal and created at a weekend block party sponsored by a number of reputable Milwaukee organizations and businesses, including the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Time Warner Cable, MODA3, and Radio Milwaukee. Hardly sounds like a bastion of criminal activity to us. But at least Donovan has taught the children a valuable lesson: Why work hard to change Milwaukee like the folks at TRUE Skool when you can just blather on about doing stuff on the teevee like this guy?