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Carole Meekins: Positively Milwaukee

Bus Driver Attack / A Positive Lesson

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We've all shrieked in horror after watching the horrific attack on an innocent Milwaukee County bus driver. Now, maybe the city can breathe a collective sigh of relief. The suspect has been caught. A 17 year old who was mad his fake bus pass was rejected. How sad. But there are two heartwarming sides to this story. One is Earl, the man who was attacked, the other, his lovely wife Wanda. Earl and Wanda were kind enough to allow me into their home tonight. I did not have an appointment. I just showed up. I wanted to get his reaction to the news that an arrest had been made. I was immediately struck by a few things. First, Earl looked remarkably well physically. He admits to mental scars are inside, but he's doing better. Secondly, both Earl and his wife Wanda have enough fortitude to look beyond their own pain, and lament the sadness of the suspect, obviously a lost teen. They are parents of adult kids who are leading productive lives. Earl tells me it's important that parents be role models for their children. He is sad that so many young men feel violence is the only answer. Wanda also has compassion for the lost souls. Obviously, something is lacking. From nurturing, to love, to support, to guidance to education, I can tell in their eyes they are pained to witness young people on such hostile paths. And when I left their northwest side home, I felt my own tinge of sadness. Because these two parents are the true face of most African Americans in Milwaukee. But far too often, the world remembers the ones who are lost, like the young man in the video. How unfortunate. Earl and Wanda are two smart, hardworking decent people...innocent victims. But all too often, we do not celebrate their journeys. They do not make headlines until something awful happens. I hope Earl gets an award for how he handled this terrifying situation. The bus did not crash, people were not hurt, bystanders were not hit. All the while, he was behind the wheel getting beat up. It's amazing really. Earl is a hero. Earl and Wanda were reluctant to take the media spotlight. But I'm glad they did. They are the real face of the hardworking African American families in Milwaukee. The type of people who truly deserve the spotlight, before they become victims.

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