Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio Returns July 17

July 14, 2018

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio returns Tuesday, July 17. Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. Our Policy Watch segment features analysis of the United States Supreme Court ruling against public sector unions, and President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. We’ll discuss Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont’s response to a question about police accountability, state treasurer candidate Shawn Wooden’s shady stadium deal, and the July 4 drowning death of Hartford teen Jaevon Whyte in a city pool, a preventable tragedy. Our Real Talk segment features former Black Panther Party member Assata Shakur, who currently lives in exile in Cuba.  8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific  http://sometroradio.com/

 

Resources

Obama and Democrats Share the Blame For Trump’s Supreme Court

Bruce A. Dixon, BAR managing editor 12 Jul 2018

https://blackagendareport.com/obama-and-democrats-share-blame-trumps-supreme-court

 

Herbst’s ‘Law and Order’ Task Farce / White Liberals’ Selective Outrage on Immigration

by David Samuels

An edited version of this column appears in the June 28 – July 5 edition of the Hartford News.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2018/06/23/herbsts-law-and-order-task-farce-white-liberals-selective-outrage-on-immigration/

 

In North Philly, a produce truck and a supermarket are fighting food insecurity

https://generocity.org/philly/2018/06/15/produce-truck-fresh-grocer-north-philly-food-security/

 

 

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Ned Lamont & State Sponsored Violence / Shawn Wooden’s Shady Stadium Deal

July 14, 2018

by David Samuels

An edited version of this column appears in the July 19 – August 2 edition of the Hartford News.

 

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 pm Eastern Time 7:00 pm Central 5:00 pm Pacific. Tune in!
http://www.sometroradio.com/
Next show: July 17. Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color.https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/

 

Community Party Radio Podcasts

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio

 

 

Police Accountability

 

 

 

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont was interviewed last week on the Connecticut Public Radio Where We Live program. I asked Lamont via Twitter if he would end the obstruction of grassroots police accountability legislation, by Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly. Lamont used the lame community policing talking point, then actually questioned if police accountability bills are even necessary. Lamont said, “I believe in police accountability… Whether we need special new legislation on that, let me take a look at it.” Damn.

 

I was insulted, but not surprised by Lamont’s response. This position underscores the problem with the Connecticut Democrats, who give lip service to racial justice while propping up white supremacy. The Democrats perpetuate state sponsored violence, by refusing to implement any policies to deter racial profiling, excessive use of force and extrajudicial killings.  The Democrats conduct endless data collection on racial profiling, and explain away results that show Black and Latinx drivers in this state are being subjected to traffic stops at a disproportionate rate.

 

Lamont talked about police “building trust” with communities of color, while the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association vigorously opposes any grassroots police accountability legislation that is introduced at the State Capitol. The 2012 East Haven police racial profiling scandal, which resulted in the convictions of four EHPD officers on federal charges related to harassing, brutalizing and intimidating Latinx town residents, has had no effect on policy despite making national headlines.

 

Neoliberal MVP

 

Shawn Wooden is a prominent member of the Black Misleadership Class. Within the span of seven years Wooden has run for mayor and city council in Hartford, in addition to a failed run for state senate in 2014. Wooden is currently running for state treasurer. City council president Wooden and former mayor Pedro Segarra negotiated a secret deal with New Britain Rock Cats owner Josh Solomon in 2015 to move Solomon’s minor league baseball team to Hartford, and build Dunkin’ Donuts Park with taxpayer money.  Plans for a much needed supermarket and healthy food hub that would have served the North End were scrapped, because of the stadium. Wooden and Segarra disappeared from public view, while the opening of the stadium was delayed for a year. Now that the stadium is up and running, Wooden feels like it’s safe to crawl out from under his rock and run for state treasurer.

 

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart didn’t know about the deal until it was announced. The stakeholders involved with the supermarket project were also blindsided. This is how Wooden operates. He talks about being a “kid from the North End”, in a sickening attempt to appeal to Black voters in the city. Wooden then turned around and torpedoed construction of the supermarket complex, knowing that his old neighborhood is food insecure.  From Generocity.org,  “Factors that contribute to food insecurity include lack of places to buy healthy food and lack of transportation access to stores that do, according to a study by The Food Trust and PolicyLink. The report also stated that communities in which residents are predominantly people of color and low-income particularly struggle to access nutritious food.”

https://generocity.org/philly/2018/06/15/produce-truck-fresh-grocer-north-philly-food-security/

 

The Brookings Institute provided data on the extent of food insecurity in the U.S. “One in seven households was food insecure in 2014—meaning that at some time during the year they had difficulty providing enough food for all of their members due to a lack of resources. 15 million children live in food-insecure households. Even more troubling, in 2014 just over 1 in 20 households—almost 7 million households—suffered one or more periods during which food intake of household members was reduced and normal eating patterns were disrupted because the household lacked money and other resources for food.”

 

 

Wooden talked about the stadium being an “economic driver” for Hartford, a myth perpetuated by corporatists to justify building stadiums with the people’s money.  The Brookings Institute provided the facts. “A new sports facility has a small and (perhaps even negative) effect on overall economic activity and employment. No recent facility has earned anything approaching a reasonable return on investment.”

https://www.brookings.edu/articles/sports-jobs-taxes-are-new-stadiums-worth-the-cost/

 

Last week Hartford Courant correspondent Matthew Ormseth reported that Wooden circumvented a city ordinance, so that the majority of Dunkin’ Donuts Park employees wouldn’t be paid a living wage.

 

“Written into Hartford’s municipal code is an ordinance stipulating vaguely that employees of city-funded developments must be paid a ‘living wage.’ But in the case of the Hartford Yard Goats and their $71 million, 6,000 seat home ballpark, the ordinance was interpreted to apply only to full-time employees. Being a baseball organization, seasonal in nature, the Yard Goats hire far more part-time workers than full-time employees…  The team employs about 40 full-time workers and about 340 part-time workers, he said. Part-time workers and employees of the vendors that sell food inside the park — the vast majority of the people staffing the ballpark on game days — do not have to be paid more than minimum wage.”

 

Ormseth got the stadium employment and wage information from I. Charles Matthews, chairman of the Hartford Stadium Authority. Matthews did his best to spin on behalf of Wooden, but the fact is that Hartford has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation, and desperately needs living wage jobs. Paying minimum wage to 340 part-time workers, compared to only 40 full-time employees is neoliberal economic exploitation. Wooden continues to hit home runs for the corporate state.

 

Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary:
https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948

Listen to So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues:
http://sometroradio.com/

Check out our No Sellout blog:
https://hendu39.wordpress.com/

Contact us:
samuelssloflo@aol.com

 

 

 

Political Roundup: Keney Park Tragedy, Immigration, NFL Hypocrisy

July 7, 2018

by David Samuels

An edited version of this column appears in the July 12 – 19 edition of the Hartford News.

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in!
http://www.sometroradio.com/

Next show: July 17. Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color.https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/
Community Party Radio Podcasts

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radion of this column appears in the July 12 – 19 edition of the Hartford News.

 

 

A Preventable Tragedy

 

“Mad about this. City of Hartford knew the system was broken for 2 weeks. Regardless pool opened. Hartford Police did not do patrols of Keney Park . One excuse was not enough police officers. I bet XFINITY Theatre, Dunkin’ Donuts Park and XLCenter had plenty of police presence. North End always gets ignored.” ~ Facebook post by Zaida Berrios

Big shout out to Mayor Luke Bronin and the City of Hartford, for repairing the safety system in the Keney Park pool. As soon as Jaevon Whyte drowned, you were right on the case. Great job! This tragedy should surprise no one. Black and Brown kids are getting shot in this city regularly. The neoliberal policies of Bronin and the Connecticut Democrats are the root cause. No living wage jobs or resources. Poverty and unemployment fuels the violence in the streets. Batchelder and other city schools are being closed.

Over 40 city employees were laid off and three libraries were closed last year, a move celebrated in a Hartford News op-ed by Assistant Majority Leader John Gale and the other Democrats on the city council. The public sector is the largest employer of Black people and women. Racial wage and wealth gap: Black and Latinx people earn about 60 cents for every dollar earned by whites and possess about 10 cents of net wealth for every dollar whites have. One of the kids shot this year was 11 years old. Black and Latinx youths in Hartford are routinely abused by systematically racist policies.

 

Chicago March Against Gun Violence

White bigots on social media: “Why are those niggers always protesting against the police? Why don’t they protest about gun violence in Chicago?” White bigots July y on social media, commenting on the march against gun violence in Chicago: “This march sucks!” Because protesters are demanding community resources & living wage jobs, instead of cheerleading for further criminalization of Black people.

 

 

Tim Herbst

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Herbst checked off all of the conservative boxes, during his interview July 8 on WFSB’s Face the State program. Herbst smeared public sector employees and used coded racist language as he vowed to attack human services. Herbst said, “Welfare is a second chance, not a way of life.” The state’s cash assistance program is 21 months, the shortest time limit in the country. However corporate welfare is a way of life. The state loses $700 million annually, due to corporate tax breaks.
http://www.ctvoices.org/TaxBreaks

 

 

Immigration

“The comparison to Obama’s policies is especially relevant now that the Trump administration is seeking to keep families in immigration detention for weeks or months. The reason that Trump can’t do that under a current judicial order is that the courts stepped in to stop Obama from doing it.” ~ Vox.com

What Obama did with migrant families vs. what Trump is doing
Trump hopes the courts will let him detain families like Obama did.
By Dara Linddara@vox.com Jun 21, 2018,

The best way to describe Donald Trump’s current policy toward families crossing the US-Mexico border is this: He just went from being much harsher than Barack Obama to trying to get the courts to let him be as harsh as Obama was.

The executive order Trump signed yesterday opens the door to him using a tactic Obama used in 2014: the wide-scale detention of immigrant families for as long as it took to complete their immigration cases and deport them.

Comparisons between Trump and Obama on immigration usually focus on deportations of unauthorized immigrants living in the US. Trump has been rapidly expanding enforcement, but the numbers are still comparable to Obama’s first term. (Obama holds the record for deporting more immigrants than any president, with more than 2 million deportations over eight years — though he scaled back enforcement in the last two years of his administration.)

But the effects of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for prosecuting illegal entry this spring — the separation of families as a matter of standard government practice for about six weeks, and now (thanks to Trump’s executive order) a coming court fight over the indefinite detention of families seeking asylum — are reminiscent, for those of us who’ve been following immigration for a while, of what the Obama administration did in 2014.

The comparison to Obama’s policies is especially relevant now that the Trump administration is seeking to keep families in immigration detention for weeks or months. The reason that Trump can’t do that under a current judicial order is that the courts stepped in to stop Obama from doing it.

Now Trump is trying to remove the shackles placed on his predecessor.

You can read the full column below.
https://www.vox.com/2018/6/21/17488458/obama-immigration-policy-family-separation-border

Therese Okoumou, the woman who climbed the Statue of Liberty July 4th, is demanding that ICE be abolished. This policy position is opposed by Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal and most Democrats.

hypocrisy – noun The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

White liberals voicing their outrage against Trump’s despicable immigration policy every day on Facebook, who then cover their ears and say “LA, LA, LA, I can’t hear you” when you tell them that Trump’s policy is basically identical to Barack Obama’s policy for eight years, when they didn’t say a word.

Liberals don’t want to hear this inconvenient fact, because they don’t really care about undocumented immigrants. They care about scoring political points against Trump, leading up to the 2018 elections.

 

Colin Kaepernick Honored

“Congrats! Former San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick received NEA’s highest honor, the NEA President’s Award, for his work to fight racial oppression through education and social justice activism.” ~ July 3 message posted on Twitter by the National Education Association

The NFL blackballed Kaepernick and Eric Reid for a peaceful protest. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, a serial sexual abuser, lied about groping an Uber driver. The league responded with a slap on the wrist, agreeing with Winston on a 3 game suspension, half of the maximum six games he could have received.

 

Environmental Protection Agency

White liberals will celebrate Scott Pruitt resigning as head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Unfortunately Donald Trump has replaced Pruitt with former coal industry lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, who will gleefully continue to carry out Trump’s agenda to sabotage the agency.

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio Returns July 3 (Encore Presentation)

July 3, 2018

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio returns Tuesday, July 3. Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. Get Global Network podcast. January 25 the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities held a public hearing on racism at Connecticut Valley Hospital and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. We’ll talk to DMHAS employee Johanne Immacula Cann, about the racism she has experienced at the agency. During the show we will provide clips of TV coverage of the hearing. We’ll also host a discussion on Waterbury State’s Attorney Maureen Platt’s announcement that no charges would be filed against Bridgeport Police officer James Boulay, who fatally shot 15-year-old Jayson Negron May 9, 2017. 8:00 pm ET 7:00 PM CT 5:00 pm PT http://sometroradio.com/

Political Roundup: Supreme Court, Unions, Police Accountability, Immigration

July 1, 2018

by David Samuels

This column appears in the July 5 -12 edition of the Hartford News.

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in!
http://www.sometroradio.com/
Next show: July 3. Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color.https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/

Community Party Radio Podcasts

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows.
https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio

We Stand with Debbie Duncan Cook!

Tell Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney to rehire Debbie Duncan Cook, who was laid off after 32 years and is currently battling cancer.
https://www.change.org/p/president-joanne-berger-sweeney-bring-back-debbie-cook

A GoFundMe page has been started for Debbie. Please donate today.
https://www.gofundme.com/trinity-thanks-you-debbie-cook

Supreme Court

White liberals are fond of quoting the poem “First they came for…”, written by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_… My updated version goes like this. First Bill Clinton passed racist crime and welfare bills. Liberals didn’t care. Then Obama prosecuted zero killer cops, deported more immigrants than any other president, and bombed seven Muslim countries. Liberals didn’t care. Now Trump can pick another Supreme Court judge. Now he’s coming for YOU. Now you care.

 

White liberals, last week is about as bad as it gets. Unions get kicked in the teeth, and Trump gets another Supreme Court pick. You have some choices at this point. 1) Continue to blame Jill Stein, Russia and the shooter in the grassy knoll for Trump. 2) Acknowledge that Clinton New Democrats neoliberalism led to Trump’s rise. Bill Clinton repealing Glass-Stegall, which caused the 2008 economic collapse. Subsequent white anger and fear being exploited by Trump. 46 million people sitting out the 2016 elections, because folks rightfully saw no difference between the Democrats and Republicans. 3) Continue to #resist introspection about the Democrats’ racist, corporatist, militarist policies, or face reality.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision against AFSCME is the culmination of a bipartisan attack on unionized workers. Gov. Dan Malloy and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin have both launched neoliberal attacks against state and city employees, respectively, with full support by the Connecticut Democrats. The public sector is the largest employer of Black people and women.

From In These Times, “Today, John Roberts’ Supreme Court handed down its much-anticipated ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, a decision that is poised to defang public sector unions and curtail the power of an already beleaguered U.S. labor movement. Because public-sector unions disproportionately empower and protect African-American women, this class of hyper-exploited workers is poised to be hit hardest by the anti-union ruling.”

You can read the full article here. http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/21240/anti_union_janus_supreme_court_black_women

 

Body Cameras

Last week the Hartford City Council approved a plan to purchase 325 body cameras and 75 dashboard cameras for cruisers. Unless the police bill of rights (which protects dirty cops) is amended and brutality cases are investigated by an independent entity, the cameras won’t do much more than allow us to watch people of color brutalized in high definition. There still won’t be any accountability. The taser portion of the plan was tabled and should be scrapped. Over 1000 people have been killed by tasers since 2000, according to a Reuters study.

 

Hartford Police Lawsuit Settlement

Last week Hartford Courant correspondent Matthew Ormseth reported that the City of Hartford settled a 2015 lawsuit filed by the former detective Renee LaMark Muir. Muir claimed gender, racial discrimination and sexual harassment. Muir was awarded $180,000 by the city council.

 

Antwon Rose

“So I will start tonight by pointing out that Michael Rosfeld, the cop who murdered Antwon Rose did not pay one cent of bail. Judge set unsecured bail in amount of $250,000. Tonight on every case where judge refuses to release my client I am going to ask for unsecured bail.” ~ June 30 tweet by Rebecca Kavanagh, public defender with NYC Legal Aid

 

Corbin Cooper

Retired Connecticut Agency Police Officer Ricardo M Torres provided analysis on policies regarding high speed police chases in Connecticut. Activists are mobilizing in support of 18-year-old Corbin Cooper, who was killed in a crash after a high speed chase with Bridgeport police June 14.
“CT statute 14-283a dictates when to chase…etc. But any police department can have a departmental policy that is MORE RESTRICTING than 14-283a. In some towns the police departments have a NO PURSUIT POLICY. In essence the chase of what is believed to be a dangerous person to public safety can’t put the same public at high risk of injury because of the chase…”

 

Chicago Cops Point Gun at 3-Year-Old

“How do these cops sleep at night? Holding a loaded gun to the chest of a 3 year old?! No. F****** way. This race-driven, class-driven bul***** is what is traumatizing kids, and then people want to shame them and their parents for having behavioral issues at school, saying we’re ‘wasting tax-payer dollars’ on counselors and special education. No, fool. We are wasting tax dollars on police that are becoming more and more militarized. This is just one case of too many to count in this country. Enough. I feel sick.” ~ Facebook post by Cora Marie Santaguida

From the Chicago Defender, “The Chicago City Council Finance Committee today approved a $2.5 million settlement for a West Side family terrorized by Chicago Police in a precedent-setting, excessive force lawsuit charging CPD violated the family’s civil rights by breaking into their home, holding a loaded gun to the chest of a 3-year-old girl while she watched officers put a gun to her grandmother’s head and hit and shake and slam her handcuffed mother’s body against a wall. The full City Council is expected to approve the deal WednesdayThe plaintiffs’ attorney Al Hofeld, Jr., says the issue at the heart of the case – CPD’s failure to have a use-of-force policy and/or provide officer training that protects young children from police use-of-force – remains shockingly common yet invisible in policy and publicity.

“’Thankfully, we now have heightened national visibility and outrage focusing on police fatally shooting young African-American men. What we are still not hearing are the stories of thousands of children routinely being terrorized by police, like the Chicago Police officers who held a gun to the chest of 3-year-old Davianna Simmons,’ Hofeld said. “Between 2012 and 2015, roughly 1 out of 10 lawsuits the City settled involved someone younger than 18. This has got to stop. And I will continue to file these cases on behalf of young children of color until CPD makes it a priority to protect them. Right now, it is not even on CPD’s radar.'”

 

Democrats

“Over the years I helped elect ‘progressives’ to city council, to county offices, state legislatures and to Congress. They didn’t succeed in changing the Democratic Party. Usually that party and the institution of elected officialdom isolated and changed them.” – Black Agenda Report commentator Bruce Dixon on Alexandria Ocasio-Ortez’s upset victory over 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley, in New York’s 14th congressional district.

 

Center for Public Integrity

“The power is in your hands. Have you looked through our database of state legislators’ financial disclosure reports? We collected the personal financial disclosures for 6,933 state legislators holding office in 2015.”
Enter your state or address to find your legislators.

https://apps.publicintegrity.org/disclosure/statehouses/

 

Red vs. Blue

“The hypocrisy of Maxine Waters and the Congressional Black Caucus is incredible. We couldn’t get them to make one comment in opposition when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton gave the green light to the coup in Honduras, that sent people heading to the U.S. border. They are not to be taken seriously.” – 2016 Green Party vice presidential candidate and human rights activist Ajamu Baraka

The gang war is on. Republicans against Democrats. Red against blue. Donald Trump and Maxine Waters have upped the ante. The streets are hot. Last week, I saw white liberals and Trump supporters throwing up gang signs in the Sloppy Waffle parking lot in Newington.

 

Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary:
https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948

Listen to So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues:
http://sometroradio.com/

Check out our No Sellout blog:
https://hendu39.wordpress.com/

Contact us:
samuelssloflo@aol.com

We Stand with Debbie Duncan Cook!

June 24, 2018

Tell Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney to rehire Debbie Duncan Cook, who was laid off after 32 years and is currently battling cancer.
https://www.change.org/p/president-joanne-berger-sweeney-bring-back-debbie-cook

A GoFundMe page has been started for Debbie. Please donate today.
https://www.gofundme.com/trinity-thanks-you-debbie-cook

Herbst’s ‘Law and Order’ Task Farce / White Liberals’ Selective Outrage on Immigration

June 23, 2018

by David Samuels

An edited version of this column appears in the June 28 – July 5 edition of the Hartford News.

 

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in!
http://www.sometroradio.com/
Next show: July 3. Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color.https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/

Community Party Radio Podcasts

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio

 

We Stand with Debbie Duncan Cook

Go to our No Sellout blog for info on how you can support our friend Debbie Duncan Cook, who was laid off after 32 years at Trinity College.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2018/06/24/we-stand-with-debbie-duncan-cook/

 

Liberals Were Silent During Hillary Immigration Controversy

“It may be safer” (for the children to remain in the U.S.) but “they should be sent back.” – Hillary Clinton
source: Consortium News

Hillary Clinton supported a 2009 coup in Honduras, then said in 2014 that child refugees fleeing violence in the country should be deported. White liberals said nothing.  Liberals,
you say that President Donald Trump is Adolf Hitler for his clearly despicable family separation policy. Hillary Clinton supported a 2009 coup in Honduras that overthrew elected leader Mel Zalaya, who wanted to raise the minimum wage and implement other revolutionary policies for the people. Zalaya was replaced with a repressive military regime that murdered opponents, including environmental activist Berta Caceres. Hillary said in 2014 that child refugees fleeing the violence should be deported. What does that make her? What does that make you for remaining silent?

Zalaya wanted to reform the constitution. He supported a 60% raise of the minimum wage, which pissed off Chiquita Brands International and Dole Food Company. Zalaya wanted free education and meals for children, subsidies for small farmers, lower interest rates and free electricity. Companies fearing that Zalaya’s reforms would spread throughout Latin America asked the CIA to overthrow him. Caceres called out Hillary for her role in the coup.

“We’re coming out of a coup that we can’t put behind us. We can’t reverse it. It just kept going. And after, there was the issue of the elections. The same Hillary Clinton, in her book, ‘Hard Choices,’ practically said what was going to happen in Honduras. This demonstrates the meddling of North Americans in our country. The return of the president, Mel Zelaya, became a secondary issue. There were going to be elections in Honduras. And here she [Clinton] recognized that they didn’t permit Mel Zelaya’s return to the presidency.” Caceres was assassinated in 2016. Armed men broke into Caceres’ home and shot her.

Whenever I confronted a white liberal about Barack Obama deporting more immigrants than any other president, or not prosecuting killer cops, or bombing seven Muslim countries, or screwing over Blacks in general, the answer was always the same. “I don’t agree with everything Obama does, but…” Translation: “I’m white so that stuff doesn’t affect me. The Democrats are in power and that’s all I care about.” So these frauds will never get me to believe that they’re suddenly the champion of undocumented immigrants.

“Dealing with the conundrum of loving the people fighting for immigrant families & hating that many of those same people refuse to rally 4 blacks being killed by police. #AntwanRose ” ~ Twitter post by Tracy. White liberals are focused on the immigration issue, because it’s an opportunity to score political points against Donald Trump. Liberals don’t care about the June 19 police murder of Antwan Rose, because the case doesn’t present the same opportunity.

 

Fascism Alert

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Herbst outlined his plan to increase police repression of communities of color, in a Hartford News guest column last week. Herbst announced he has formed a “Law and Order Task Force” that includes retired Hartford cop Chris Lyons, who now spends his golden years spewing right-wing propaganda on social media. Herbst checked off all boxes, promising to obstruct police accountability, lock up more Black people, reinstate the death penalty and persecute undocumented immigrants. Watch this guy closely.

As fate would have it, Herbst’s June 21 column appeared 48 hours after 17-year-old Antwon Rose was shot three times in the back by rookie East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfield, as Antwon ran from a traffic stop. Shaun King of the New York Daily News reported that Rosfeld was fired from his job as a University of Pittsburgh police officer after a series of brutality incidents against Black students. The assault that got him fired involved the son of the chancellor at the university. Attorney S. Lee Merritt said on Twitter that Rosfeld never gave Antwon a verbal command to stop, before firing his weapon.  Rosfield had just been sworn in 90 minutes before the shooting.

 

 

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1985 that it’s illegal for police officers to shoot at “an apparently unarmed, nondangerous fleeing suspect.”  https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/471/1.html While Pittsburgh TV station KDKA went to the Black Male Shot by Police Playbook and attempted to smear Antwon, the fact remains that 526 people were killed by police as of June 1, according to killedbypolice.net. U.S. police kill at a rate of 70 times more than police in all other ‘first world’ nations.

Activists in Connecticut are mobilizing in support of 18-year-old Corbin Cooper, who was killed in a crash after a high speed chase with Bridgeport police June 14. USA Today analyzed police chases and came up with chilling statistics.

“More than 5,000 bystanders and passengers have been killed in police car chases since 1979, and tens of thousands more were injured as officers repeatedly pursued drivers at high speeds and in hazardous conditions, often for minor infractions, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
The bystanders and the passengers in chased cars account for nearly half of all people killed in police pursuits from 1979 through 2013, USA TODAY found. Most bystanders were killed in their own cars by a fleeing driver.” You can read the full article here.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/07/30/police-pursuits-fatal-injuries/30187827/

 

This week we’ll share a timely Black Agenda Report interview with the co-author of a new North Carolina study on traffic stops.

Traffic Stops: Pretexts for Racial Repression

Tanvi Misra 12 Jun 2018

Police have used the entire vehicle code as an excuse to use their discretion to pull people over who might appear suspicious to them for whatever reason.”
While traffic stop interactions with the police may be shrugged off as brief inconveniences for whites, for black Americans, they can lead to humiliation , violence , and even death . This has become clear over the last few years, as videos have surfaced, hashtags have trended, and reports have been released —opening up the black box of negative interactions between the police and drivers of color for the world to see.
A forthcoming book, Suspect Citizen: What 20 Million Traffic Stops Tells Us About Policing And Race adds to that conversation, taking an unprecedented, granular look at the traffic stops in one state.
In 1999, North Carolina became one of the first jurisdictions in the country to mandate data collection at traffic stops. The expressed goal was to suss out disparities in policing. The resulting dataset, which includes information about the demographics of the driver, the offense for which they were stopped, where they were stopped, and the outcome of the stop, was made public. But the state never actually released a comprehensive analysis of this information.
That’s where F rank Baumgartner and Kelsey Shoub at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Derek Epp , now at the University of Texas, stepped in. They took on this unfulfilled mission, analyzing data going all the way back to 2002 when the data-collection mandate expanded to include almost all police stops in the state. ”It is pretty much a census of every traffic stop,” Baumgartner said.
In the book, he and his colleagues lay out stark disparity in policing at North Carolina’s traffic stops, and unpack the reasons behind the trends they observe. CityLab caught up with Baumgartner to discuss these findings:

 

Q: So who was being stopped?

 

A:  There’s somewhere between a million and 1.6 million traffic stops in North Carolina each year and we [the state] have a population of about 10 million people. That gives us a baseline chance of being pulled over of about 10-15 percent per year. But we found the odds were significantly higher for blacks, than for white and even Hispanic drivers, compared to their respective population shares.
We also looked at a city-by-city comparison of the proportion of whites, blacks, and Hispanics who live in that town to the proportion that they represent in the traffic stop data. Again, we do this with caution, but still it shows that, on average, black drivers are much more disproportionately represented—about 60 or 70 percent more likely to be in that traffic stops data than in the population of that city.
But according to the [U.S.] Department of Transportation, white Americans are more likely to own or have access to a car than black or Hispanic Americans. So we think that the comparison of these populations is not really very accurate—it’s actually more likely to lead to an underestimate of any racial bias.

 

Q: What about searches?

 

A:  Our main focus in the book is who gets searched after a traffic stop because being searched is sign that the officer views you with suspicion. Hence the title of the book “Suspect Citizens.” I’m a white, middle-aged college professor, so the last time I was actually stopped for a traffic violation was 40 years ago, in 1974 … and I’ve never had my car searched after a traffic stop in my life. These things are quite rare for people of, for example, my demographic but they’re quite common generally.
We controlled for why you get pulled over, what time of day it was, what day of the week was that, what police agency was it, what month of the year—all of those things. We still saw these very, very significant, robust findings that young people, males, and people of color are much more likely to be searched after a traffic stop.

 

A:  What were the outcome of these types of searches?

 

A: Strangely—and this might initially appear surprising—populations who are more likely to be searched are also more likely to be let off with a warning or no action. And white, middle-class drivers are more likely to get a ticket. It would seem counterintuitive to most readers, but if you’re objectively breaking the law—you’re speeding or you run through a stop sign—you deserve to get a ticket. The officers will only pull you over after they observe you clearly violating the traffic code in an important way. Then they’re going to give you a ticket and let you go on your way. And that’s typically what happens to white drivers.
Black drivers are more likely to get warnings, overall. That seems like a good outcome, but the question in these cases is why did he or she get pulled over in the first place? Perhaps the reason was just that the officer had a vague suspicion and a desire to do a little bit of an investigation. So they stopped the person based on some kind of pretext, they investigated by starting a conversation with the driver, and [since nothing turned up], they said, “Well, thank you for your time. I pulled you over because you were speeding by five miles an hour. I just wanted to let you know to be more careful next time.”

Q: So you’re saying that in the cases of white motorists, it might be that they are more often given traffic tickets because there’s actually a concrete, observable evidence of a traffic offense. But in many cases of motorists of color, perhaps there is a less clear reason for the stop, so they may actually not end up being penalized through tickets.

 

A: Yes. There are two reasons for a traffic stop. One is a violation of the traffic law and the other, a desire by the officer to investigate a person because they think that they might be a suspect. So if you’re a person like me, a white middle-class male, there’s no reason the officer is going to develop a suspicion. So the only reason why he might pull me over if he observes me violating an important part of the traffic code, like running through a stop. A traffic stop leading to a ticket is really what should occur if the traffic stop is being used to enforce the traffic code, not as a tool for a criminal investigation.

You can read the full column here.

https://blackagendareport.com/traffic-stops-pretexts-racial-repression

 

Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary:
https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948

Listen to So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues:
http://sometroradio.com/

Check out our No Sellout blog:
https://hendu39.wordpress.com/

Contact us:
samuelssloflo@aol.com

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio Returns June 19

June 17, 2018

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio returns Tuesday, June 19. Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. The suicides by fashion designer Kate Spade and TV host Anthony Bourdain have sparked a national conversation about mental illness. We’ll talk about Mental Health and the Black Community. Our Policy Watch segment will feature independent media analysis of the June 12 Singapore summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Our Real Talk segment features Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale speaking about the Panthers’ Ten Point Program.  8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific.  http://sometroradio.com/

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. People who are uncomfortable with talking on the phone, or can’t speak for whatever reason can text the word HOME to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.

Resources

Snapping the Chain: Ending Mental Health Stigma in the African American Community

 

SPECIAL REPORT: The Release of Political Prisoner, and MOVE Member, Debbie Africa

http://www.aconsciousparty.com/reflections/release-political-prisoner-and-move-member-debbie-africa

 

Black & African American Communities and Mental Health

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/african-american-mental-health

 

Political Roundup: Singapore Summit Exposes Liberal Hypocrisy

by David Samuels

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/political-roundup-singapore-summit-exposes-liberal-hypocrisy/

 

You Can Be a Critic of Trump and Still Root for Diplomacy to Succeed in Korea

https://www.thenation.com/article/can-critic-trump-still-root-diplomacy-succeed-korea/

 

 

Political Roundup: Singapore Summit Exposes Liberal Hypocrisy

June 16, 2018

by David Samuels

This column appears in the June 21 – 28 edition of the Hartford News.

 

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in!
http://www.sometroradio.com/
Next show: June 19. Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color.
https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/

 

Community Party Radio Podcasts

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio

 

Connecticut Valley Hospital Update

We’re having conversations with Republican Sen. Heather Somers about setting up informational sessions for Connecticut Valley Hospital employees, on the CVH task force bill that was passed by the General Assembly last month. AFSCME and 1199 have not cooperated with our requests to host sessions for employees about this legislation, which includes worker protection language that we got added to the bill. Stay tuned.

Josh Kovner of the Hartford Courant reports that three former Connecticut Valley Hospital employees have applied for accelerated rehabilitation, which would result in the dismissal of the felony cruelty charge for the abuse of patient William Shehadi. Three Whiting Forensic Hospital reports to the psychiatric security board on Shehadi failed to mention the abuse, and its impact on Shehadi.

 

Police Accountability

An 18-year-old boy was killed and another teen seriously hurt June 14 after a rollover crash on Route 8 in Bridgeport, following a high speed police chase. The car was driven by a 15-year-old; the teens were reported to be involved in an armed robbery. From policemisconduct.net: “High speed pursuits are inherently dangerous. They too often end in crashes that kill and severely injure people, including innocent bystanders. Although there are about 100,000 police pursuits and hundreds of casualties every year, policymakers have largely neglected this dangerous aspect of police work. State-wide policies should be in place to both restrict and track police pursuits.”

 

New Report on State Budget

“The (Connecticut) General Assembly passed a budget with broad bipartisan support for the second consecutive year, in a session marked by unexpectedly high tax revenues derived from federal tax changes. The additional revenue allowed legislators to protect, and in some cases expand, many education, healthcare, and early childhood initiatives. The final budget, however, still included significant cuts to higher education, behavioral health, and juvenile justice programs. As a result, the Children’s Budget, the share of state spending dedicated to children and families, sank to a new record low, at 27.3 percent.” You can read the full Connecticut Voices for Children report below.

http://www.ctvoices.org/publications/impact-final-fy-2019-budget-adjustments-children-and-families

 

Ranked Choice Voting

While mainstream media reports focus on London Breed (a centrist, corporate Democrat) becoming San Francisco’s first Black mayor, it’s important to note that the election took place under the Ranked Choice Voting system. Breed was challenged by two progressive candidates; the race was much closer than it would have been under the current plurality voting system in this country. The June 12 primaries in Maine were the state’s first under RCV.
http://www.rcvmaine.com

 

 

United Nations Poverty Report

“U.N. Special Rapporteur Phillip Alston, who toured U.S. cities to examine conditions of poverty, says extreme economic inequality is a ‘major threat to democracy’ in the country, citing measures that ‘consistently make life less manageable for people in poverty.'” Hartford has one of the highest poverty rates in the United States. While the U.N. report focused on the draconian Trump administration, the neoliberal  policies of Mayor Luke Bronin, Democrat members of the city council, Gov. Dan Malloy   and Democratic Party leaders at the State Capitol are on the same page with the President. See our Resources section for data on poverty in Hartford.

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/6/15/blistering_un_report_trump_administrations_policies

 

Democratic Leaders More Concerned About Power, Than Elections

Last week I listened to a lecture by Democratic Party insider Norman Solomon. Solomon said the first priority of party leaders is maintaining control of the party. Solomon said they would like to defeat the Republicans, but that is secondary to maintaining power over the progressive wing of the party. That’s why the Connecticut Democrats continue with their racist, neoliberal policies, despite losing their once dominant majority in the General Assembly over the GOP. The Democrats would rather lose an election, than go left.

Solomon talked about what he described as the “political economy” that exists in the Democratic and Republican parties. When an elected official’s political career is over, they make big bucks doing this and that for corporate donors. Solomon said 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean is now “making a killing” working for Big Pharma. Solomon said elected officials won’t take on corporations, because that will curb their income when they leave politics.

 

Immigration

“The Obama administration ‘did a lot of the same things the Trump administration is doing’ on immigration, from detaining immigrant families to putting children in military bases, says journalist Franco Ordonez. ‘However they stopped short of separating families.'”
source: democracynow.org

Trump’s policy of separating undocumented immigrant families is despicable. That being said, I found the behavior by reporters at the June 14 White House press briefing to be hypocritical. As Ordonez pointed out, Barack Obama’s immigration policy was almost identical to Trump’s, with the exception of separating families. I never saw this huffing and puffing from CNN correspondent Jim Acosta or other reporters at press briefings during the Obama presidency.

Obama deported more immigrants than any other president. No howls of protest from White House reporters during the eight years Obama was in office. Obama is a smiling fascist. Trump is a loud fascist.

 

Mental Health & the Black Community

The suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and TV host Anthony Bourdain placed a spotlight on mental illness. An overlooked aspect of this conversation is mental illness in the Black community. From thebodyisnotanapology.com:

African-American women are more likely than African-American men to attempt suicide.
Firearms are the predominant method of suicide, followed by suffocation.
Suicide is the 16th leading cause of death for blacks of all ages and the third leading cause of death for black males between the ages of 15 and 24.
Blacks men and women have similar rates of suicidal behavior to whites, including serious thoughts of suicide, making suicide plans, attempting suicide, and needing medical attention for attempted suicide.
African-American LGBTQ youth also have high suicide rates. Other factors that lead to suicidal ideation are sexual abuse (which raises the risk of a suicide attempt two to four times) and rape (a full 33% of rape victims think about suicide and are thirteen times more likely to commit suicide).

If you need help, get it. Now. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. People who are uncomfortable with talking on the phone, or can’t speak for whatever reason can text the word HOME to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.

 

We Stand with Debbie Duncan Cook

Tell Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney to rehire Debbie Duncan Cook, who was laid off after 32 years and is currently battling cancer.
https://www.change.org/p/president-joanne-berger-sweeney-bring-back-debbie-cook

A GoFundMe page has been started for Debbie. Please donate today.
https://www.gofundme.com/trinity-thanks-you-debbie-cook

 

Policy Watch: Peace Advocates Praise U.S. / North Korea Agreement 

 

 

“Another example of the moral bankruptcy of liberalism. They are actually making arguments as to why ending military exercises in Korea, a country the U.S. colonized, is a bad thing. And you wonder why I call the Democrats a war party. “- 2016 Green Party vice presidential candidate and human rights activist Ajamu Baraka

“This is a very constructive step. Imagine if it weren’t Donald Trump there, but if it were Barack Obama there having that kind of breakthrough. I think there would be a reaction from almost every progressive Democrat cheering that on… My disagreement with Senator Schumer in that letter is that’s basically parroting the talking points of John Bolton, saying that we should not engage in any diplomacy or make any concessions without complete denuclearization. That’s just not realistic… I think the Democrats risk looking like we’re being excessively partisan by attacking the president from the right.” ~ Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA

“Wow! Trump pledged to stop all joint action military exercises on the Korean Peninsula, offered North Korea security, and invited Kim to the White House, and they’re claiming he didn’t consult either side on the decision to stop the military exercises.

Anyone who says these are bad things has been so brainwashed by perpetual war that they’ve become the ideal sponge for the ‘legalized’ (National Defense Authorization Act) propaganda the United States government spews on American media outlets on the regular.

There is far more than meets the eye here folks. The fact both Korea’s acted historically and independently in peace talks before this meeting took place, and the United States has now officially pledged to stop what seemed to be the never ending military exercises that kept provoking North Korea is a huge tell.

To me that signals that Japan, China, and many of the other nations who have been reluctant of these peace negations might actually be ready for this conflict to come to a close, or it’s just another pissing contest that will eventually fail, and we will be right back in the same situation as before.

Regardless, it does appear that at this moment there are serious attempts and genuine efforts being made to pave the road to peace in Korea by all parties. Anyone who’s against this needs to seriously check their moral compass, regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum.

It’s far bigger than just the two ‘egomaniacs’ who are being presented as the main peace keepers. It’s about actually attempting to promote, and follow through on peace agreements, instead of just preaching about it, while constantly insulting and provoking one another in the process.

It’s called diplomacy, and even though tyrants and despots may be the featured speakers, if actual peace is achieved on the Korean Peninsula, that’s a great thing for the for the Korean people, and the world as a whole, no matter how it’s sliced.” ~ Facebook post by Dustin Frazier Lowery

As President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made their way to the Singapore summit site, conservatives were um, moist with anticipation. Liberals pouted and held their collective breath, turning blue for the next 12 hours. The rest of the world  watched. CNN’s comprehensive coverage of the summit included an interview with foreign policy expert Dennis Rodman.

Independent journalist Tim Shorrock and international peace activist Christine Ahn praised the summit, during the June 12 Democracy Now! broadcast. Shorrock and Ahn both emphasized the importance of Trump agreeing to end the U.S. / South Korea military exercises, which North Korea points to as justification for their nuclear program. Shorrock said the military exercises are called “decapitation strikes”; invading  North Korea and killing their government leaders is the focus of the exercises.

White liberals’ election talking point about Trump was that we couldn’t let him near the red button. When Trump was exchanging threats with Kim, liberals were saying, ‘I told you so’ to anybody who would listen. Now Trump eases away from the red button, and liberals are still complaining. Not a good look to be more irrational than Trump… Liberals are beating the ‘Kim is a threat to the U.S.’ drum. This is the same bs conservatives kicked about Saddam Hussein.

CNBC reported that stocks for military weapons manufacturers dropped after the Singapore summit. Conversely, stocks for Raytheon surged after their Tomahawk Cruise Missile was used in the U.S. attack on Syria in April.

The Democrats and their liberal supporters must be called on their war mongering bs,  as they goad Trump into conflicts with North Korea and Russia.

 

Resources

Trend CT report on poverty in Connecticut.

https://trendct.org/2015/05/27/connecticut-has-more-concentrated-poverty-and-wealth-than-most-metros/

You Can Be a Critic of Trump and Still Root for Diplomacy to Succeed in Korea

https://www.thenation.com/article/can-critic-trump-still-root-diplomacy-succeed-korea/

Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary:
https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948

Listen to So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues:
http://sometroradio.com/

Check out our No Sellout blog:
https://hendu39.wordpress.com/

Contact us:
samuelssloflo@ao

 

 

Democrats’ Neoliberalism Fuels Hartford Gun Violence

June 9, 2018

by David Samuels

This column appears in the June 14 – 21 edition of the Hartford News.

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in!

http://www.sometroradio.com/

Next show: June 19. Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/

Community Party Radio Podcasts

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio

 

Community Update

We Stand with Debbie Duncan-Cook

A Livelihood & Legacy Still on the Line!

by Alain Lopez

June 6, 2018 — President Berger-Sweeney replied to our request and said they will stay the course. The letter contains company lingo like “to achieve a balanced budget”, “to ensure the long-term financial health”, and “to align resources to our strategic priorities”. However, it doesn’t indicate how an employee of 30+ years who is fighting cancer and is less than two years away from retirement gets on a layoff list.

The letter adds that the affected received “as much as eight months’ full pay and health care benefits, depending on length of service.” Well, 30+ years of loyalty and work is only worth a same-day notice and 4 months of healthcare benefits. While Debbie did get around 7 months’ full pay, the salary isn’t going to cover the healthcare costs. Also, because of her age and health situation, it’ll be nearly impossible for her to get a job with full benefits.

The administration must really consider its actions on this decision and must not be afraid to acknowledge a mistake. Someone’s livelihood and legacy is on the line. That’s why I ask that you help by doing any of the following action steps:

1.  Write a letter – Send a message directly to President Berger-Sweeney (president@trincoll.edu).

2. Spread the word – Continue to share this petition with Trinity stakeholders.

https://www.change.org/p/president-joanne-berger-sweeney-bring-back-debbie-cook

3. Alert the Media – Share the petition with any media contacts you may have.

A GoFundMe page has been started for Debbie. Please donate today.

https://www.gofundme.com/trinity-thanks-you-debbie-cook

 

Policy Watch – Shootings in Hartford : Annual More Cops Band-Aid Not the Answer

“The number of homicides (in Hartford) has dipped slightly compared to this point last year – 10 so far, versus 12 in 2017. But shootings have risen – with 72, versus 53 at this time last year.” ~ Hartford Courant

Mayor Luke Bronin told the Courant the shootings are drug related. Tell us something we don’t know. It’s the annual summer drill: last week the Hartford Police announced that they’re going to increase patrols.  As usual no talk from Bronin and the Democrats about poverty and Black unemployment fueling the violence, because they’re too busy depriving Hartford of living wage jobs and resources. The 29 homicides in 2017 doubled the total of 14 in 2016.

The spike in shootings is an excuse to increase police repression of poor neighborhoods while ignoring the root causes of the violence: communities with no economy except for the drug trade and other forms of hustling, racial wage and wealth disparities, a lack of affordable housing, no access to health care, and the war on public education. Assistant Majority Leader John Gale and Democratic city councilmembers wrote a Hartford News op-ed, bragging about closing three Hartford libraries and laying off over 40 city employees. The Hartford Board of Education violated their own policies as they closed Batchelder School. Corporatists praised the austerity budget that was approved 7-1 by the state oversight panel June 7, because of the wage and benefits concessions Bronin squeezed out of municipal workers. The public sector is the largest employer of Black people and women.

A state level New Deal jobs program should be the core of a holistic approach to reduce urban gun violence.  Below is an excerpt from the Community Party Police Reform and Economic Justice Plan.

New Deal 2.0

U.S. Census data shows that child poverty, the poverty rate among families, the amount of people whose income is below the federal poverty level and the number of residents without health insurance in Connecticut have all increased since 2003. http://www.ctvoices.org/publications/poverty-median-income-and-health-insurance-connecticutsummary-2013-american-community-s The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) perpetuates the cycle of poverty, emphasizing low wage, dead end jobs over education and job skills training that will make clients more marketable, and increase their chances of obtaining gainful employment that will lead to financial independence. Black and Latinx unemployment rates are at Depression era levels. The jobless rate among Black males age 18-25 is as high as 50%. Poverty and lack of economic opportunity fuel gun violence in urban neighborhoods. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program employed over 8 million people at its peak, pulling the U.S. out of the Great Depression. A New Deal type of program could deliver the same results in low income communities of color and poor rural areas.

Rocky Anderson, the Justice Party’s 2012 candidate for president, included in his platform a job creation initiative modeled after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Work Progress Administration program. Anderson described his plan during the Democracy Now! Expanding the Debate special, which aired in conjunction with the October 3, 2012 presidential debate between President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney. http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/4/expanding_the_debate_exclusive_third_party

“During the last 43 months we have had more than 8% unemployment. It is the only time in this nation’s history that we have had a president that has presided even over three years of over 8% unemployment. There are things that have been proven in our history to work. We could have put in place, and it needs to be put in immediately, a WPA Works Progress Administration kind of program where we are investing in the future by building up our nation’s rapidly deteriorating infrastructure, putting people to work. In the WPA project they put 8.5 million people to work. We could be putting 20 million to 25 million people to work and making that kind of investment in our nation’s future.”

The UFE State of the Dream report found that funding from Obama’s 2009 job stimulus initiative did not reach urban areas and focused on industries that mostly employs white people.

“Most of the job-creation projects in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and other federal initiatives are investments in infrastructure and transportation, ‘green’ building retrofits, and pass-through funds that help states maintain schools and other important programs. All are worthy, but there is no evidence that the jobs these initiatives create are going to the communities most in need. In some cases, the opposite is true.
• The Associated Press found that, across the U.S., stimulus money for transportation was directed away from where the economic conditions are most dire. More money went to areas with higher rates of employment.
• The New York University report Race, Gender and The Recession reported that federal recovery money is creating more jobs in construction and retail than any other industries. These are industries that traditionally have not been major job sources for African American communities.
If the rain falls on relatively well-watered areas of economic opportunity, it does little to revive the driest economic landscapes in our country. Targeted approaches are much more likely to be effective. Prioritizing our nation’s highest-unemployment communities is precisely the way to end the downward economic spiral in those places and start a real, broad-based recovery for the entire nation.
Congress must identify communities with the highest unemployment rates and target job-creation initiatives toward those communities, whether by census tract, zip code, or other method. This policy direction will lift up working-class white communities while narrowing the racial income gap. Congress should also ensure that as many of those jobs as possible pay a living wage. This report shows that broad-spectrum, universal solutions to the economic crisis will neither solve the pervasive racial wealth divide nor end gaping racial differences in income. We need job-creation and foreclosure-prevention programs that are targeted to communities most in need, including those with the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates. Such focused strategies will not only help close the racial wealth divide, but will lift up working-class families of all races.”
A federally funded, state WPA kind of program monitored through equity assessments would ensure that program dollars would reach low income communities of color in Connecticut. UFE explains how equity assessments would function.
“To ensure that stimulus funds reach working class and disenfranchised communities, equity assessments should be required for all federal spending. A proper equity assessment will track where funds go, what jobs are created and in what communities. Demographic data on race, ethnicity, gender, class, and geography will be required for an equity assessment. This information will help future government programs reach the disenfranchised and the working class, the communities who must be at the center of an economic recovery.”

Racial Economic Disparity

Black/Latinx workers currently earn about 60 cents for every dollar whites make, and possess about 10 cents of net wealth for every dollar whites have. Houses are the primary wealth asset for Black and Brown people. The toxic mortgage scam that contributed to the 2008 economic collapse disproportionately targeted people of color, who subsequently have lost their homes at a higher rate than whites. UFE recommends a plan to build wealth in low income communities of color.

The plight of the Clay Arsenal Renaissance Apartments tenants, who scored a victory over slumlord Emmanuel Ku in the form the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development revoking Ku’s $1 million federal contract, is just the tip of the iceberg regarding tenants’ rights issues in Hartford. Eviction rates are spiking nationwide.

From the New York Times,  ” In 2016, about 1 in 9 renter households in Richmond (Virginia) were issued eviction judgments. Judgments issued in majority white neighborhoods were far less common…  (Princeton sociologist Matthew) Desmond’s team found records for nearly 900,000 eviction judgments in 2016, meaning landlords were given the legal right to remove at least one in 50 renter households in the communities covered by this data. That figure was one in 25 in Milwaukee and one in nine in Richmond. And one in five renter households in Richmond were threatened with eviction in 2016. Their landlords began legal proceedings, even if those cases didn’t end with a lasting mark on a tenant’s record.

The new data, assembled from about 83 million court records going back to 2000, suggest that the most pervasive problems aren’t necessarily in the most expensive regions. Evictions are accumulating across Michigan and Indiana. And several factors build on one another in Richmond: It’s in the Southeast, where the poverty rates are high and the minimum wage is low; it’s in Virginia, which lacks some tenant rights available in other states; and it’s a city where many poor African-Americans live in low-quality housing with limited means of escaping it.
‘This isn’t by happenstance — this is quite intentional,’ said Levar Stoney, Richmond’s mayor. A quarter of households here are poor, leaving many people a car repair or a hospital visit away from missing the rent check. But that poverty collides with a legal structure that responds to such moments swiftly.”

Gun violence in Hartford  is a symptom of systematic racism, perpetuated by Bronin, Gov. Dan Malloy, and the Connecticut Democrats.

Follow CP on Twitter @communityparty1 for state, national and world news headlines.

Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary:

https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948

Listen to So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues:

http://sometroradio.com/

Check out our No Sellout blog:

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/

Contact us:
samuelssloflo@aol.