Political Roundup: Police Brutality, Islamophobia, Jo Cox, Chris Murphy, Bernie Sanders

 

by David Samuels
This column appears in the June 23 -30 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! Replays on the Tuesdays that we’re not on live and every Wednesday, same time. Next show: July 5.  http://sometroradio.com/  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/
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Josh Elliott, Candidate for State Representative
Check out CP’s No Sellout blog Election 2016 Candidate Tracker for a profile provided by Josh Elliott, a Bernie Sanders supporter who is running for a seat in the Connecticut General Assembly. Includes info on making a donation to his campaign. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/election-2016-candidate-tracker-josh-elliott/
Hartford Police Brutality Investigation
A source told us that one of the three Hartford Police officers currently being investigated for brutality, following a June 4 car chase that ended in West Hartford, has a history of sustained civilian complaints but was not disciplined. Attorney Corey Brinson is suing the HPD on behalf of Ricardo Perez and Emilio Diaz.
Corporate Media, Islamophobia & the Assassination of Jo Cox
Last Sunday Fox 61 The Real Story co-host Al Terzi told one of his guests, Anyssa Dhaouadi, a member of the Islamic Center of New London Youth Group, that she shouldn’t be surprised people associate all Muslims with terrorism, following the Orlando mass shooting. He then asked how this perception could be changed. I went to Terzi’s Facebook page and listed the following names of terrorists/mass shooters who weren’t/aren’t Muslim: Timothy McVeigh, Dylann Roof, Robert Lewis Dear, Wade Michael Page, James Holmes, Adam Lanza, Jared Lee Loughner, Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, Ted Kaczynski and Jim David Adkisson.
I also mentioned Thomas Mair. Mair assassinated British lawmaker Jo Cox last week. If Cox had been murdered by a Muslim, the corporate media would be providing wall-to-wall coverage. Because her killer is a right-wing extremist they are burying the story, especially because of the connection to Donald Trump. Eyewitnesses say Mair shouted “Britain First” as he fatally shot and stabbed Cox last week. Britain First is a far-right, anti-immigrant political party that has endorsed Trump. Cox was a passionate supporter of Syrian immigration. Democracy Now! reported that Mair attended a 2000 meeting of British white supremacists, that was set up by a paid FBI informant. I also added that between 1982 – 2015, 44 out of 72 mass shootings in the United States were initiated by white people, according to Statista.com. I asked Terzi if he thinks the stereotype of all Muslims being terrorists is due to racism, and media bias. Terzi didn’t answer my question. Instead he told me he was talking about discrimination, but he didn’t mention discrimination in his question.
Terzi also asked Ahmed Ouda, a board member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, if Islam requires Muslims to report anyone they know or suspect of being involved in terrorism, a question that feeds into Trump’s racist narrative about the Muslim community in the U.S. being complicit in terrorist activity. Trump has renewed his call for profiling Muslims, including searching mosques. Terzi said the purpose of the interview was to promote understanding about Islamophobia; he blamed time constraints for his line of questioning, which I maintain did not reflect his stated purpose of the interview. Terzi’s questions put the burden on Muslims to prove they’re not dangerous. Terzi is by no means unique: the corporate media perpetuates Islamophobia, by not talking about white terrorists/mass shooters. Law enforcement sets the tone by refusing to call a killer like Roof what he is: a domestic terrorist. Discussing the facts about right-wing extremism and mass shootings in the U.S. is the obvious way to debunk the Muslims = terrorists myth.
Terrorism analyst Peter Bergen and mental health experts have described Omar Mateen’s pledge of allegiance to ISIS as a pretext for Mateen’s attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando. Mateen also pledged solidarity with terrorist organizations that are currently at war with ISIS; he had a history of violence dating back to elementary school. Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, talked to Democracy Now! about the connection between the white nationalist movement in the United Kingdom, the assassination of Cox, and Trump. http://www.democracynow.org/2016/6/17/as_britain_mourns_mp_jo_cox
Chris Murphy, CT Democrats Ignore Urban Gun Violence

Last week Connecticut Congressman Chris Murphy launched a filibuster on the Senate floor, in order to bring attention to gun control legislation in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. Too bad we don’t see this passion regarding urban gun violence, and police murder. Typical liberal hypocrisy. There were 31 homicides in Hartford last year.
Bernie Sanders Calls for His Supporters to Run for Office
Below is an excerpt of Bernie Sanders’ June 16 online address to his supporters. 
“This campaign has never been about any single candidate. It is always about transforming America.
It is about ending a campaign finance system which is corrupt and allows billionaires to buy elections.
It is about ending the grotesque level of wealth and income inequality that we are experiencing where almost all new wealth and income goes to the people on top, where the 20 wealthiest people own more wealth than the bottom 150 million.
It is about creating an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent.
It is about ending the disgrace of native Americans who live on the Pine Ridge, South Dakota, reservation having a life expectancy lower than many third-world countries.
It is about ending the incredible despair that exists in many parts of this country where – as a result of unemployment and low wages, suicide, drugs and alcohol – millions of Americans are now dying, in an ahistorical way, at a younger age than their parents.
It is about ending the disgrace of having the highest level of childhood poverty of almost any major country on earth and having public school systems in inner cities that are totally failing our children – where kids now stand a greater chance of ending up in jail than ending up with a college degree.
It is about ending the disgrace that millions of undocumented people in this country continue to live in fear and are exploited every day on their jobs because they have no legal rights.
It is about ending the disgrace of tens of thousands of Americans dying every year from preventable deaths because they either lack health insurance, have high deductibles or cannot afford the outrageously high cost of the prescription drugs they need.
It is about ending the disgrace of hundreds of thousands of bright young people unable to go to college because their families are poor or working class, while millions more struggle with suffocating levels of student debt.
It is about ending the pain of a young single mother in Nevada, in tears, telling me that she doesn’t know how she and her daughter can make it on $10.45 an hour. And the reality that today millions of our fellow Americans are working at starvation wages.
It is about ending the disgrace of a mother in Flynt, Michigan, telling me what has happened to the intellectual development of her child as a result of lead in the water in that city, of many thousands of homes in California and other communities unable to drink the polluted water that comes out of their faucets.
In America. In the year 2016. In a nation whose infrastructure is crumbling before our eyes.
It is about ending the disgrace that too many veterans still sleep out on the streets, that homelessness is increasing and that tens of millions of Americans, because of a lack of affordable housing, are paying 40, 50 percent or more of their limited incomes to put a roof over their heads.
It is about ending the disgrace that, in a given year, corporations making billions in profit avoid paying a nickel in taxes because they stash their money in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens.We can no longer ignore the fact that, sadly, the current Democratic Party leadership has turned its back on dozens of states in this country and has allowed right-wing politicians to win elections in some states with virtually no opposition – including some of the poorest states in America. The Democratic Party needs a 50-state strategy. We may not win in every state tomorrow but we will never win unless we recruit good candidates and develop organizations that can compete effectively in the future. We must provide resources to those states which have so long been ignored.
Most importantly, the Democratic Party needs leadership which is prepared to open its doors and welcome into its ranks working people and young people. That is the energy that we need to transform the Democratic Party, take on the special interests and transform our country.
Here is a cold, hard fact that must be addressed. Since 2009, some 900 legislative seats have been lost to Republicans in state after state throughout this country. In fact, the Republican Party now controls 31 state legislatures and controls both the governors’ mansions and statehouses in 23 states. That is unacceptable.
We need to start engaging at the local and state level in an unprecedented way. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers helped us make political history during the last year. These are people deeply concerned about the future of our country and their own communities. Now we need many of them to start running for school boards, city councils, county commissions, state legislatures and governorships. State and local governments make enormously important decisions and we cannot allow right-wing Republicans to increasingly control them.
I hope very much that many of you listening tonight are prepared to engage at that level. Please go to my website at berniesanders.com/win to learn more about how you can effectively run for office or get involved in politics at the local or state level. I have no doubt that with the energy and enthusiasm our campaign has shown that we can win significant numbers of local and state elections if people are prepared to become involved. I also hope people will give serious thought to running for statewide offices and the U.S. Congress.”
Gov. Dan Malloy recently vetoed Comptroller Kevin Lembo’s bill, which would have created independent oversight of business tax incentives. Connecticut loses $7.2 billion in revenue due to corporate welfare. CT corporations stash $180 billion in offshore accounts. Meanwhile Malloy just gave a $22 million handout to a billionaire hedge fund manager, and continues his attack on the public sector, the largest employer of Black people and women. The Democrats in the General Assembly passed Malloy’s austerity budget, which includes more draconian cuts to already underfunded human services, and thousands of state employee layoffs. More huge cuts to human services are coming in 2017. Malloy is the personification of the neoliberal agenda, which must be countered with a grassroots political insurgency on the city, state and federal level.
 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 the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM 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 archive for selected columns (http://www.northendagents.com/). Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com  

 

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