Mayfair Mall: Black and White

Excuse me while I climb up on my soapbox a minute…

What the heck are you thinking?

In particular, I’m asking Chris Liebenthal to explain this one:

Here are some of the photos from JSOnline. If you don’t want to take the time to look, there are no dead bodies. All you see are mannequins on the floor and clothes strewn about. Evidently, to a guy like Liebenthal, it’s not enough to warrant his concern.

Not long after the Mayfair Mall incident was breaking, a couple of known lefties proclaimed it was just awful that the comments posted on JSOnline were so racist. The problem was, at the time, they weren’t. The only words I saw were “they” and “kids” with maybe a “hoodlum” thrown in. The first sixty – about the time I caught them – made no reference to race. The next time I looked, the paper had removed them all and shut down the comment section. (See UPDATE)

I looked through the Twitter comments, too. Nothing there caught my eye. People were curious and wanting to know what had happened. Last I knew, curiosity wasn’t considered racist either.

This time there’s a bright line dividing black and white. On one side, business is allowed to function without threat, and on the other, shoppers and clerks are caught in mayhem that results in dozens of mannequins on the floor. I don’t care if those making the mess are purple with orange polka dots, disrupting a public business in the way the photos show is wrong. How did right and wrong become such a dividing line for liberals and conservatives?

It’s incredibly discouraging to think that an intelligent man like Chris Liebenthal wouldn’t be able to call the situation correctly. I don’t go off on arguments of left versus right very often, but tonight has served to remind me there’s an enormous gulf between my thinking and those speaking for the liberals in this state.

There’s trouble brewing, and tonight is the tip of the iceberg. It won’t do any more good to point fingers than to put your head in the sand. The right needs to stand firm in their convictions and defend the businesses under target by supporting them; the left needs to acknowledge there’s a problem: Some of the youth in this area think it’s ok to trash a department store. Pretending what they did is no big deal will set this community back decades.

I hope the mall moves with a swift hand on this one. Restrict access to those under 21 at all times. If you aren’t either working there or escorted, you’re gone. Stagger two hour windows in the morning on weekends and the evening during the week. If there’s any real business that needs to take place, the kids can come and do it then.

Give them a quick political science lesson: mob rule often leads to war.

UPDATE: JSOnline has the comments back. They appear to be the ones I saw initially. You can decide for yourselves.

12:15 p.m. 1/3 – The comments are gone again. Way to go MJS!


  1. And he criticizes a conservative for hypocrisy over the bullet train bumper sticker.

    Liberals only understand hyperbole when they use it apparently…

  2. I’ll confess the remake of that bumper sticker was better than what the original implied. While it was in bad taste, the bumper sticker was political commentary. Tonight was a flat unwillingness on some people’s part to function in a civilized society.

  3. Actually, you’re only proving my point. This sort of thing is an everyday occurrence in the poorer parts of town, but no one says anything. Stores in the inner city have bars on the windows and doors. However, when steps are taken to try to alleviate these issues, the suburbs cry out about how high there taxes are, so the problems go unabated.

    Now that the inevitable has happened and the mess is starting to sprawl out to the suburbanites’ shopping Mecca, only now does it become a matter of outrage.

    The issue is that this was a matter of outrage a long, long time ago. For it to be only a concern now that it is having a direct impact on suburbanites is rather disappointing, to say the very least.

  4. Well, Capper, if what you say is so, then prove it. Show me articles and photos that are like today at Mayfair. Unlike many, I’ve spent time in the inner city. Lots of time. I can’t say I’ve shared your experience.

    By the way, bars on the windows and doors would not have done anything to prevent mannequins and clothes tossed on the floor during store hours.

    (Afterthought!) If anything, you are proving my point. Certain members of the population refuse to show respect to others. The businesses in their own communities can’t even trust them, so they have to put bars on their doors and windows.

  5. Really, Cindy?

    Do you think the paper covers every time a kid knocks over a stand at the corner store on 27th and Vliet? Or every mugging? Or every report of gunfire in the inner city?

    As I pointed out, these types of things have become so common place that they are no longer considered newsworthy. The best I could do to point out the police blotters for something like the West Allis NOW. Most of the reports are centered around the shopping plaza across from MATC. But even then, they only list some of the thefts, some of the vandalism, some of the hooliganism that occurs even there.

    They don’t even make the effort to do it for the inner city anymore. The only time that something like that would ever make the news anymore is if it was extra sensational.

    Hell, look at the stories of the murders. A person gets killed in the poorer sections of town and it barely gets two or three paragraphs in the Regional News. If the same thing happened in a burb, it be on the front page, above the fold.

  6. Capper, it should be THEIR taxes, not there. So, not only is your comment stupid, so are you.
    When this happens in the inner city, it is those residents making their own neighborhood crap. Mayfair Mall is hardly their neighborhood, just the mall closest to it. Your comment just proves the point of how liberals will make excuses for this incident. It is not behavior that should happen anywhere, but if they are bent on being destructive, then they should stick to their own neighborhood, the one they already messed up.

  7. And who, exactly, are “they?”

    And I am so dreadfully sorry that I misspelled one word. At least I’m not making thinly veiled racist remarks.

    But you are correct that it shouldn’t happen anywhere. So where were you when it was happening in their neighborhoods? Or was it simply not your problem then?

    It is attitudes like that which are just as egregious as the hoodlums that caused the problems in the first place.

  8. You did not misspell it, you used the wrong word. I used the word “they” to refer to the idiot kids from the inner city. They may be white, black, Hispanic, and/or Asian. Heck, for all I know, they were all white from Wauwatosa East, the ones planning the flash mob. You were the one that assumed it was kids from the poor inner city causing it at the mall today. So I just addressed that. Although most of us know they must be black since the media, police and other officials are being so quiet, just so they don’t offend anyone. God forbid if they hear the word racist.
    My word they is not thinly veiled racism. I hate all teenagers that think they can do whatever they want with no consequences equally.

  9. I think in the sentence you are seeing “they” is a pronoun for residents.

    What’s wrong with defending my neighborhood? Is your argument that I should let anyone take anything they want? Why should I defend someone else’s neighborhood? I guess your thinking has me all confused.

  10. No where did I infer who the actors in this event were. That was of your own doing.

    I merely pointed out that this is, all too sad to say, commonplace in many areas of our community. To only have outrage when it hits a suburban mall is just as wrong as the incident itself.

    And, Cindy, your neighborhood is only part of the larger community.

    To help me make my point, think of a dysfunctional family. For my example, let’s use the classic alcoholic dad, enabling mom, etc.

    Most often, you can’t fix the family by just drying the dad out. He may have underlying emotional issues that he has yet to deal with. Furthermore, dad’s problems have impacted the rest of the family, and they will not know how to deal with the “new” dad unless they’ve been working through their stuff at the same time.

    Likewise, you can’t fix the problems in your neighborhood by isolation. One should work to make the entire community a better place. But that takes hard work, and yes, money, and that is where people balk and say “It’s not my problem.” Guess what. Today shows that it was.

  11. As an afterthought, I hope that you appreciate the irony of all this. You chastise me for not being upset when this happened in your neighborhood, but you weren’t upset when it happened elsewhere.

  12. Hmmmmm……
    Channel 4 has video on their website.

    Capper, pay close attention to the teenage boy they interviewed. They did it for fun. Nice. Oh, I know you are color blind, so, I’ll help you out, he’s black.

    To everybody else who watches the video: Where were the police and what were they doing when all the hoodlums were still hanging out 2 hours after closing and jumping on cars?!?! There is no excuse to not have anybody in custody!! If one of those cars hit and hurt one of those dummies you know darn well each and every detail would have been released. Title: Hate Crime; white person driving runs over black teen. Gotta love this PC crap.

  13. Capper, you lose on this one. You won’t even admit what happened was wrong. It’s not really my neighborhood either. Brookfield Square maybe, but not Mayfair.

    As I wrote before, the irony, if any exists, is that an intelligent man will not admit right from wrong. Using your own description, that would make you the enabler.

  14. No, actually, I don’t love it. “This PC crap” will be our undoing.

    I’m going to try to find the video you did. – Here it is:

  15. Randy in Richmond says:


    Your logic does not fit your statement. First of all the amount and/or tone of the reporting of any event or crime has no bearing on the merits of what happened. The reporting may misinform, mislead, incite, or under-report but it changes not the event itself. Your statement implies it should not have been news because the same things happen daily at any Walmart. While I do not believe this to be the case, your statement and follow-up argument is about whether the incident would have been reported if it had occurred elsewhere. To us conservatives the reporting isn’t the issue – the vandalism is. And when your area is buried in two feet of snow-I might yawn. When my area is – I shovel snow.

  16. This should not be a liberal/conservative debate. This about basic core values…right or wrong, if you will. I think we all can agree that what happened was wrong and that is the issue. I’m not intersted where these ‘fun seekers’ came from or their skin color. Nor do I care about some abstract social science defense of this kind of behavior. It is wrong it should not be defended, capper. And jodster, stick that ‘stupid crap some place where the sun doesn’t shine.

    Randy, glad to be home? How was the weather in IRL?

  17. J. Strupp says:

    Right on RMS.

    I wish folks would stop using episodes like this to prove a broader case for conservative superiority over liberal ideology (which supposedly condones this behavior) because of some local lefty blogger’s commentary. Capper is one guy. He doesn’t speak for all liberals just like Randy isn’t the spokesman for conservatives everywhere.

    The people who vandalized the mall are a bunch of idiots as is the dummy that was interviewed saying that these vandals were, “just having some fun”. Mayfair happens to be a popular destination in the area which makes this episode news regardless of the race, age, income level, etc. which can be attributed to the vandals.

  18. You are pretty much part of the problem yourself as it seems you prime objective is to prove yourself ”not racist”, instead of addressing the problem at hand here..

    the fact is, all the kids who engaged in this mayhem WERE BLACK.

    SO, it should not be some huge controversy to describe who did the acts that caused a entire mall to shut down.

    If the comments section mentioned this was not some group of ”local teens” as the media reports all seemed to allege, (Wauwatosa is 90%+ White) its not very surprising,
    since they are only reporting what the helpful media assets dont intend to report. I am not FOR villifying or insulting all black people, but the media also does not exist to deceive the population about event(s). In the this case, to read media accounts, one is left with the conclusion that this was a group of random local kids and that ”teens” did this as some prank.

    In reality, most of the crime explosion at this mall (robberies, assaults, violence, theft) are commited by members of Milwaukees (Not Wauwatosa’s) Black population, which has a discount bus route to drop them off there, and for a segment of this population to cause huge problems.
    This is not racist or hateful statement..its a TRUE statement, but we are worried about mis-reporting this incident, OR ”proving we are not racist”,
    when instead we should ACCURATELY IDENTITY the problem no matter who doesnt like the facts, and move to fix the actual problem.

  19. So I’m part of the problem. Go figure.

  20. Randy in Richmond says:

    Yes and no on the being home thing. Most snow and consistantly coldest temperatures in Ireland that folks could remember. Christmas there was like taking a step back in time for me. It’s a very big deal, at least in Glenageary in County Dublin. Still adjusting to the time change.

    And Cindy, I don’t think I’ll ever develope a taste for the local beers. I really tried.

  21. broad daylight says:

    The purps may have been mostly Black. I bet some of those cowering in the retail establishments were Black too.

    Those responsible should be banned from the mall. Better yet throw their juvenile arses, whatever color those may be, in jail for a couple weeks. And take away their cell phones when they are let back out.

  22. The Lorax says:

    This has gotten so convoluted. Yes, it was wrong. I don’t give a s*it about race, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    Mayfair really has become a hellhole–and it’s for a number of factors. Our beloved Northridge’s death precipitated these events. As the MCTS has deteriorated, service to Mayfair has remained a priority. Bayshore’s new teen rules have pushed kids out of that mall a bit. Surely, the Dave and Buster’s across the street isn’t helping. That place really is hell on earth.

    Mayfair has now become a destination for young kids who don’t have anything to do. No jobs, no school, nothing.

    The only businesses they are a boon to is the food court.

    Going back to Bayshore, why don’t they have such a problem? I’d say it’s because they don’t cater to that crowd. Mayfair foes. Dave and Busters, AMC, huge food court, etc.

  23. Actually – I’m going to pull it together and write all that tomorrow. I have a couple of theories about Bayshore’s ability to avoid this problem.

    I’ve never been to Mayfair when the crowd looked like the one in the comment video. (Remember, though, I’ve really only been a dozen or so times in 16 years.) I don’t think I’d stay if that’s what I found. The number of youngsters was incredible to me.

  24. well now, lets have a little talk about kids. its all fun and games, highs and lows, big and little, yes and no, better or not, or maybe just seclusion. that has been around since my teenage days. the feeling of belonging and having an impact are not reserved for certain racial or nationality personage. live and let live we used to say. in the long run each person has to be A PERSON. the my questions are: where are the parents ? Who pays for and controls the I pods and their clones ?
    what are the police prepared for ? is there one squad car assigned to mayfair mall ? shopping malls are just that. what rights do non-shoppers have, beyond the 1st amendment ? what deal does the mall have with the bus service to coordinate ? what does the press do except to cause fear ?

  25. The Lorax says:

    It’s been packed and crowded since Christmas.

  26. Point of order.

    Cindy, in comment #7, I agreed it shouldn’t happen anywhere. I made a similar statement on my own blog. For you to say otherwise is false. I might not feel your outrage over this, but it does not mean I deny it is wrong.


    Your point is understood, but does not change the fact that there is hypocrisy afoot. If one does not fret what happens in another area of the community, they should not expect others to fret about theirs. And BTW, if it snows in my neighborhood, I shovel it as well. But we also pay taxes so that all neighborhoods get plowed.

  27. You said it shouldn’t happen anywhere, but this is the first time you said the behavior was wrong. Do you still argue the youth behavior at Mayfair is my fault?

  28. I didn’t say it was your fault. My name’s not devan.

  29. Okay I try not to be racist, but look what these idiots are doing, Milwaukee use to be a beautiful city on the north side, now all there is day cares that drugs are ran out of, Check cashing stores, and Liquor stores. They ruin cities and blame in on the white man.. Look at what happened to capital court and northridge, thats all I have to say… they act like monkeys… Theirs no parenting here either…

  30. The Lorax says:


  31. Wow? Sorry Lorax, Me’s statement is a majority thinking statement. That’s just the way it is.

  32. The Lorax says:

    So was slavery. This really is too much for me.

  33. Lorax, I don’t expect you to side with me (same to everyone on this web page) But if you haven’t grown up in Milwaukee than I really believe those people should not have a word on this conversation. I grew up in Milwaukee as a teenager I was called honkey, white boy, me and my friends were all put down because we were not the right race. But if my buddies or I would call them a nig**, (excuse my language) we would be the racist ones… My father owns a car lot on the north-side of Milwaukee, they expect everything for free, if not were called, white devils, or your just not helping me because im not black… Really c-mon now, and they are always the one’s to throw up the race card or bring up slavery, and u even bring it up in your last comment… I mean really, how many years ago was the whole slavery thing… And if you really want to go back why don’t black people blame their own race for slavery because it was there own people in Africa selling there own kind to the” white man”……….

  34. The Lorax says:

    How long ago was slavery? My great great grandparents–whom I knew personally, were born in the time of slavery. And I’m still young. So, quite recent.

    Interesting how you were so wronged by black people as a child, and how it scarred you and shaped your view of blacks, and you now feel entitled to hold a negative view of an entire swath of people because of it, but somehow centuries of enslavement, discrimination, and subjugation should not shape the way that African-Americans view whites. And it’s not just slavery–the discrimination and inequity is a daily experience for blacks. Funny how that works.

    I certainly don’t condone these actions, and I am certainly cognizant of the link between race and crime and poverty. I’m not excusing it or making exception…

    But that sort of language is not productive or even correct.

  35. Oh, I’m sorry. I was looking for the blogsite “Fairly Conservative.” I’ve seemed to have taken a wrong turn and ended up on Badger Blogger or Real Debate Wisconsin.

  36. Randy in Richmond says:

    Congratulations on having a great longevity gene pool. I don’t know your age but you say you are “still young”. If you are thirty and you knew your ancestors who were born “in the time of slavery” (pre-1865) that would mean you “personally met” 2 or more in your family tree who were at least 115 years old. Live long and prosper.