Wisconsin’s racist legislature is at it again—this time they’re coming for the parental rights of incarcerated (and formerly incarcerated) people.
Assembly Bill 627 aims to terminate the parental rights based on the parent’s incarceration status. As recently as October 2021, research has shown that Wisconsin has the highest incarceration rates for black people in the country. Given this information, is there any other way to interpret this law? It’s clearly yet another attack on Black parents and Black youth.
As with many racist misconceptions held by those who uphold and defend white supremacy, the absentee Black parent has been shown to be a myth and a falsehood meant to delegitimize the pain Black families experience when they’re broken up by state violence. This is nothing more than a continuation of the antebellum practice of separating families.
This bill was introduced and co-sponsored by a host of republicans who’s constituencies are designed to exclude BIPoC by way of racist gerrymandering and voter restriction laws. Though it is unlikely to be signed into law by Governor Evers, it’s introduction and co-sponsorship makes clear what kinds of oppressive attacks the state intends to take once the governorship swings back to the GOP.
Having a strong connection to friends and family has been consistently linked to a reduction in recidivism. But, the state and DOC consistently put policies into place that only exacerbate the problems in our society, ruin the lives of everyone entangled in their web of corruption and perpetuate violence and harm.
On December 1, 2021, a handful of collaborators with abolishMKE went to the capitol in Madison to speak against this bill. Anticipating that the public would speak against this bill, the committee scheduled it for the end of the session, making anyone who opposes it wait all day. Nearly 3/4 of the people who signed up to speak ended up being unable to wait due to this scheduling decision. This tactic has consistently employed by these committee’s so they can ignore the public. It’s just another example of how they don’t care what we want or what we think, they get into power and do what they can to ruin all of our lives.