Posted: October 6, 2015 in The Film


Craig Oliver took on an early role in uncovering institutional racism in downtown Racine WI. Oliver authored a report “Sun City, Sister City or Gaza on Lake Michigan. A Report on the State of Racine’s Downtown.” The report was highly regarded as an underground work, even by the Racine NAACP executive board. The report compared downtown Racine to Palestine and South Africa, stating that African Americans were not welcome in downtown Racine, especially after dark. Tonight the Racine City Council will vote on the settlement of Holmes vs City of Racine. Bringing the truth and facts to light.


Comments on the Report:

“It’s divisive. It doesn’t deal with what I consider the facts on hand. That’s the problem I have. The city is not involved in segregation or anything like that,” Wahlen said. “The city wants good businesses Downtown and doesn’t care who runs them. I think the city is color blind on all that.”

Calls for comment to Devin Sutherland, executive director of Downtown Racine Corp., were not returned Wednesday.

Emails uncovered in discovery Holmes vs City of Racine

Devin Sutherland’s (“Sutherland”) e-mail stating that non-white establishments on 6th Street had “not added any value to the neighborhood.”  (Id. at 6).

. E-mail from Helding stating that the City was “turning into a Detroit.”

. E-mail from RPD officer Rick Geller stating “Alderperson Coe was present both nights and while happy with our efforts, has placed a target on Ginger’s as a result of the last few weekends.”

E-mail from RPD officer David Smetana to Officer Wetzel stating “You may wish to check Park 6 and 2nd Time Around if Gingers is a bust.  Happy Hunting,

E-mail from RPD officer David Smetana to RPD Lieutenant Macemon regarding Park 6 stating “[w]e will go ahead with the plan as we spoke of this morning including the nuisance property complaint and going after his cabaret license . . . Plan on proactive foot beats down there for the foreseeable future.”

. E-mail from RPD Lieutenant Macemon regarding The Place on 6th stating “[w]e will see if we can take it to the next level and do some DC arrests or tickets when appropriate.”

Mayor Dickert’s statements thanking the Licensing Committee for “[w]orking very, very diligently on making sure 6th Street is a great place for people to live, shop, work and play.”

Deposition testimony from Penny Sharp that Mayor Dickert said “These niggers need to go back to Waukegan because they are disturbing the revenue here in Racine from the lake, from our vacationers at the lake.

Sutherland’s e-mail stating that “[t]he letter was to make sure the Mayor and others were aware of the current situation on Sixth Street and urge them to step up their assistance.

The Report

  1. Kate Remington says:

    Good tribute! Craig Oliver, glad I met you, wish you were here now yesSent from Yahoo Ma

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