Honor Hartford Gun Violence Victims with a New Deal/Safe Work Environment Act Report

This column appears in the July 16 – 23 edition of the Hartford News…

Samuel Bryant/Hartford Police Brutality Case Update

Thanks to So-Metro Radio for having Misha Charlton, Mary Sanders and I on Monday and Tuesday as guests to discuss the Meagan Hockaday Act, the Samuel Bryant case and the Trayvon Martin Act. You can listen to the podcast of a previous interview with Misha here. https://www.spreaker.com/user/thebwegroup/cc-prime-time-meagan-hockaday-show?fb_action_ids=1008953495801972&fb_action_types=spreaker_radio%3Aupload&fb_ref=image_bigbutton&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B1141869799161917%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22spreaker_radio%3Aupload%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%22image_bigbutton%22%5D We’re looking forward to a productive partnership with this Black-owned internet radio station. http://www.sometroradio.com/

Ex-Baltimore Cop Michael Wood Exposes Police Culture Of Corruption & Abuse (Interview with Cenk Uygur):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5nPyf-0UMc Since the police murders of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Freddie Gray sparked national protests, we’ve been hearing a lot of propaganda from the Hartford Police Department about “building trust” in Black neighborhoods, while the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association has been simultaneously working on the state level to kill racial profiling and police use of force/body cameras legislation. The Samuel Bryant case is a horrifying example of state sanctioned violence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rDESnEnrm8 Wood exposes the core institutional racism behind policing in low income communities of color. He talks about being assigned to patrol a white, wealthy section of Baltimore but driving into a poor, Black neighborhood nearby to boost his arrest statistics and keep his bosses happy. Wood said he did not want to risk getting into trouble by arresting some white judge’s son in the wealthy area. Other topics include Wood’s take on the Tamir Rice case, the criminalization of Black males, racial profiling, cops lying on suspects, the so-called War on Drugs, including treating substance abuse as a public health issue instead of a criminal matter, and money in politics. Follow Michael Wood on Twitter: @MichaelAWoodJr Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the lynching of Eric Garner by NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. The city reached a settlement Monday with his family for $5.9 million.

A New Deal for Hartford

Monday there was a meeting in downtown Hartford to discuss putting up a memorial for victims of urban gun violence. I agree with what pastor Marcus Mosiah Jarvis said in a Courant op-ed after he confronted Al Sharpton at a peace rally last month. “We don’t need a memorial with the deceased victims’ names etched in stone — another grave marker. The pain from the families who lost loved ones due to gun violence cannot be replaced by a statue of wasted dollars.”

The best way to honor the victims of Hartford gun violence is to challenge Mayor Pedro Segarra, City Council President Shawn Wooden and Democratic Party council board members to abandon their corporatist philosophy and implement economic policies to directly address the root causes of gun violence in this city: poverty and lack of economic opportunity. Black/Latino unemployment rates are at Depression era levels. The unemployment rate for Black males age 18-25 in some areas of Hartford is as high as 50%. There are neighborhoods in this city with no economy.

The New Deal Works Progress Administration program was formed in 1935 to address unemployment during the Depression. From Wikipedia: “The Works Progress Administration (renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration; WPA) was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. At its peak in 1938, it provided paid jobs for three million unemployed men and women, as well as youth in a separate division, the National Youth Administration. Headed by Harry Hopkins, the WPA provided jobs and income to the unemployed during the Great Depression in the United States. Between 1935 and 1943, the WPA provided almost eight million jobs. Full employment, which was reached in 1942 and emerged as a long-term national goal around 1944, was not the WPA’s goal. It tried to provide one paid job for all families in which the breadwinner suffered long-term unemployment.

The WPA was a national program that operated its own projects in cooperation with state and local governments, which provided 10–30% of the costs. Usually the local sponsor provided land and often trucks and supplies, with the WPA responsible for wages (and for the salaries of supervisors, who were not on relief). WPA sometimes took over state and local relief programs that had originated in the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) or Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) programs.” 2012 Justice Party and Green Party presidential candidates Rocky Anderson and Jill Stein (Stein recently announced she will run again in 2016) respectively included a New Deal/WPA type of program in their campaign platforms. Anderson and Stein talked about the need for a New Deal during the Democracy Now! Expand the Debate special. Third party candidates were excluded from the debates between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3EU42wd4Rg Check out the summary of the Green Party’s Green New Deal concept. http://www.gp.org/GreenNewDeal/ As this column went to press, the city’s 17th homicide was reported. Marcus McDade, a 38-year-old father of six children, was shot to death on Pliny Street.

Workplace Bullying – HR is Not Your Friend

This week we’ll share a column from the Undercover Lawyer on how employers’ Human Resources departments are complicit in workplace bullying and mobbing by supervisors and managers. Visit the Undercover Lawyer website. http://undercoverlawyer.hubpages.com/ Coming in 2016: Community Party Safe Work Environment Act. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/real-protection-against-workplace-bullying-safe-work-environment-act/


Hostile Work Environment — Why Human Resources Doesn’t Care About You

Updated on July 22, 2009

The H.R. Department Is NOT Where to Turn for Help With a Hostile Work Environment

In the course of the last year I have counseled hundreds of employees over the phone and via email who are suffering at their jobs, dreading the act of going into work each day, and full of panic that they may soon be fired. Usually a supervisor, and often a new supervisor, has turned the employee’s otherwise likeable job into a series of run-in’s, each one more humiliating and degrading than the last. When the employee reaches their absolute wit’s end, they muster up their courage, write out their thoughts on a yellow pad, and sneak off to the Human Resources Department “to file a formal complaint.” When the distressed employee arrives he or she doesn’t know their legal rights or have a grasp of what actions a supervisor can legally take at work. So the employee sits down in an office with a smiling H.R. Rep on the other side of the desk. It’s so nice to have someone to talk to, someone to finally listen, that the employee spills out all their throughts and frustrations that have been building up inside. The H.R. Rep smiles and nods and writes down some notes. The employee is comforted by the smiling and nodding, and so the employee keeps talking, telling H.R. every unfair or hurtful thing the boss has said or done.

The H.R. Rep Will Smile and Nod While You Talk About Your Boss

When The Meeting With H.R. is Over

After meeting with H.R. most employees feel better about their situation. They feel “heard”; they feel like the company is taking their concerns seriously. The employee is confident that it will not be long until their bullying boss gets what is coming to them.

H.R. typically says “We will thoroughly look into the important issues you’ve raised,” and “We’ll get back to you next week.” The week goes slowly, but it does seem like the boss is treating the employee better that week. The employee wonders if H.R. already interviewed the boss, who now understands that his or her bullying ways had better change, or they could lose their job.

Human Resources Will Conduct an Investigation

The Post-Investigation Meeting With H.R.

The employee who “filed a formal complaint” with Human Resources feels better for the week in between meetings with H.R. The employee then hears from the H.R. Rep, who says that the investigation is complete. The H.R. Rep would like the employee to “come meet with me to go over it.” The employee imagines reading through the pages of an investigation report that confirms the boss is a serial harasser and employee abuser. The employee imagines the boss being demoted or suspended, and possibly even fired.

It’s with these thoughts in mind that the employee goes to the Human Resources Department for the follow up meeting. The H.R. Rep greets the employee at the entrance to the department — the Rep is still smiling and seems genuinely happy to see the employee. The employee smiles back.

The H.R. Rep guides the employee past the office where they talked before, and gestures instead to a confernence room. The employee steps inside, and as the H.R. Rep shuts the door behind them the employee receives the shock of her life.

Have You Ever Put Your Trust in Human Resources?

The Tables are Turned

The employee walks into the conference room and looks at who is sitting at the table. Seated across it is the scowling VP of H.R. and the employee’s own boss. The employee’s boss is grinning.

What happens next is the workplace version of a bloodbath. The H.R. Rep sits down next to the employee (and the H.R. Rep is still smiling) and says “We thoroughly investigated your complaint and we were unable to substantiate any of the issues you mentioned. Because there is no illegal discrimination here, your complaint is now closed.”

“However,” says the VP of HR with a furrowed brow, “your own job performance, or lack there of, is very concerning.” As the VP of H.R. says this he opens a thick file, and passes around copies of a five page document titled “Employee Mid-Year Performance Review.” The bully supervisor continues to sit there in silence, nodding and smirking.

The employee is so shocked and distraught that he or she has difficulty remembering the details of what was said for the rest of the meeting. An hour later the employee leaves the conference room in stunned silence. The employee leaves carrying a two page document titled “Final Employee Written Warning>” The employee does not go back to working for the rest of the day, but instead drives home and goes to bed. The next day the employee calls in sick, and is thinking that resigning may be the only option.

“What happened?” The employee keeps asking, over and over. “How did that happen?”

Who Does H.R. Work For?

If you put your trust in H.R. to help you fight back against your bully boss, this is what will happen to you, too. Not to say that you should never go to H.R., but don’t count on them to fix anything for you. In fact, you should expect them to attack and undermine your complaint.

Why? Because this is what H.R. is paid to do. Human Resources’ purpose is to save the company money by defending the company against claims by employees. H.R. is paid to be on the other side. HR is the other side.


Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948 Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm and So-Metro Radio for commentary on urban issues http://www.sometroradio.com/ Check out our No Sellout blog (https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s for selected columns (http://www.northendagents.com/) . Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com

David Samuels


Community Party


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