June 16, 2008

Homicides cast shadow on community's shining weekend

Sometimes, Racine just can't get out of its own way. After a weekend of wonderful events and beautiful weather, we're left Monday morning with two homicides to report.

The first was near 11th and Hilker streets at 10:50 p.m. on Friday. Twenty-year-old Jamaal M. Stanciel was killed in the shooting.

Early Monday morning, a 29-year-old Racine man was shot and killed in the 900 block of Hamilton Street. The homicide occurred around 12:53 a.m., according to police.

Both shootings are new tragedies for our community. But as a commenter wrote yesterday, how does Racine want to identify itself? By events like the new mosaic in Uptown and Caron Butler's bike giveaway, or by random violence in the middle of the night?

Too often the latter drowns out the former. Cliche as it is, it's a media problem The JT does sell more papers when they put a murder, fire or some other sort of tragedy on the front page. But to sell those extra 500-1,000 papers, they pretty much ignore their daily subscribers - many who don't want to see the community's newspaper focus on crime and violence.

Think about it just from a numbers perspective. Thousands of people visited Uptown or drove through the area to see the mosaic. Thousands more attended Juneteenth Day and Caron's events on Saturday.

The community is energized by positive events, which are just as newsworthy as any sort of crime. So, it's a matter of choice for all of us. Where do we want to focus our attention? On the bleak and negative? Or the hopeful interactions of our community?


  1. Maybe it early in the morning and I am not awake yet.
    Do I understand this right that murders should NOT be reported or somehow downplayed?
    We should buy in to Mayor Becker's idea that if we only believe everything will be O.K.?
    That we do not need a fully maned Police force and maybe this city should start talking about crime and what we need to do about it rather then spend 100K+ on artiest relocation projects?

  2. Talk about crime. Go ahead. See what talk accomplishes. How many of you bloggers who whine and complain about the Uptown project actually DO anything for this town? I'd love to see the stats. Get involved. Volunteer. Make a plan to rid this town of violence, all of us would love to see it happen. In the meantime, I'm happy to see the artist relocation project. If we don't recruit or attempt to draw productive, creative, and peaceful people to this town, it will continue to fail-- because people are leaving at a much faster rate than they are coming.

  3. Some of us help at watch meeting others help those less well off.
    Most of Racine do something to help if only give alms at their church.

    If Racine is full of dead young mem who is going to move here?

  4. I am just so happy that we have the Uptown artist relocation program!
    So much more critical then having say more Police or maybe efforts to bring
    REAL jobs to this city.
    Thank God we have Mayor Becker to bring programs like this to Racine. God forbid we do something (say a City meeting on Crime) or perhaps work to rid this city of Thugs
    My over/under is 12 dead this summer

    Score so far

    Thugs 2
    Art 0

  5. The Journal Times emphasis on the negative is their business. (I mean that in both senses - with the inflection on "their" and "business".) I really don't consider them part of Racine, anyway - Lee Enterprises does not give a damn about any of the cities that their newspapers are located in other than as markets for peddling product. If the newspaper were locally owned and operated, you might see some genuine concern for this community. As it stands, the Journal Times' number one priority is the Journal Times - never forget that.

    What bothers me, though, is the hypocrisy in their editorial stance and hand-wringing over the violence in Racine. They actively promote the garbage to sell papers (http://pictureposter.allbrand.nu/pictures/tito/Picture%203762s.JPG), but then print condescending homilies condemning their bread and butter. Have the courage to become what you are, Journal Times. Yellow journalism and fear mongering have a long and proud tradition in America, and many people have become rich off of it. Remember, money justifies everything.

  6. "God forbid we do something (say a City meeting on Crime)"

    What good would that do? More talk? Please...