State fairs are generally safe, wholesome events, but Wisconsin’s fair is off to a tough start. First, union thugs disrupted Governor Walker’s ceremonial opening of the fair, as we noted earlier today. Then, rampaging packs of “youths” attacked white fairgoers at the end of the fair’s first evening:
Unprecedented violence on the opening night of the Wisconsin State Fair by rampaging youths prompted extraordinary measures Friday: The head of the fair implemented new rules to keep unattended teens off the grounds at night, and Gov. Scott Walker ordered the State Patrol to help keep order. …
[A]round the closing time of 11 p.m., witnesses told the Journal Sentinel, dozens to hundreds of black youths attacked white people as they left the fair, punching and kicking people and shaking and pounding on their vehicles. …
Witnesses…told the Journal Sentinel that the attacks appeared to be unprovoked and racially motivated.
“You could just tell they were after white people. That was the main thing. If you were white, they were coming after you,” said Jon Stikl of Oak Creek. He said he was stuck in traffic as a group of young people blocked cars near the fair gate on S. 84th St. near I-94 after he picked up family members attending the fair.
“We noticed a group of five to 10 young black males run up and jump a young white male for no other reason then him being white,” Stikl said.
They knocked him to the ground, and then a group of 15 black men kicked and stomped on him, Stikl said.
“My wife’s brother jumped out of the car – his natural reaction was to try to break it up. Before you knew it, five or 10 guys were on him and started punching at him. My wife was able to pull him back in the car. So now they surrounded my car and just started punching through the windows, kicking and shaking the car, screaming racial things.”
Not a lot of ambiguity in those accounts. Which makes this comment by Milwaukee’s Democratic Mayor, Tom Barrett, rather bizarre:
Barrett said there would be no tolerance for violence at festivals and that perpetrators will be prosecuted – regardless of race.
Regardless of race? What is that supposed to mean? Is this a deviation from Milwaukee’s usual policy? If so, it would go a long way toward explaining last night’s events.