Jill Stein Visits Chicago and Connecticut

by David Samuels
This column appears in the September 29 – October 6 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! PROGRAM NOTE: Due to a So-Metro Radio special broadcast, the date of our next show has been changed to Wednesday, October 5. Mary Sanders and I will analyze Monday’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, including Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein’s debate response. 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
Josh Elliott, Candidate for State Representative
Check out CP’s No Sellout blog for a profile provided by Josh Elliott, who is running for a seat in the Connecticut General Assembly. Includes info on making a donation. Election Day is November 8. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/election-2016-candidate-tracker-josh-elliott/
Community Update
Ranked Choice Voting
“The impact of the third-party candidates may be felt in the nation’s swing states this year… In 2000 many blamed the Democrats’ loss of Florida, and the presidential election, on the votes cast for (Green Party presidential candidate Ralph) Nader. That has Democrats worried as the race in some swing states has tightened.” ~ Connecticut Mirror article on third party presidential candidates Jill Stein (Green Party), and Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party).
If the Connecticut Democrats are so afraid of Dr. Stein costing Hillary Clinton votes in swing states, they should pass an emergency ranked choice voting bill before Election Day. Be the model for the rest of the nation. Ranked choice voting would allow people to vote for both Dr. Stein and Hillary. If Dr. Stein loses, the vote would automatically be assigned to Hillary. NO SPLITTING OF THE VOTE. Dr. Stein has challenged former vice president Al Gore and Democratic Party leaders to support ranked choice voting.  https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/jill-stein-challenges-al-gore-to-support-ranked-choice-voting/
Expanding the Debate
The ‘Who won the debate?’ question is laughable. The Commission on Presidential Debates is a corporation, controlled by the Democrats and Republicans.
Third party presidential candidates Jill Stein and Gary Johnson were excluded, because of rules the two major parties made up to eliminate competition. Two rich, racist, corrupt, militarist candidates lied to voters for 90 minutes. I don’t give a damn who lied the best. Dr. Stein responded to debate questions in real time via social media Monday night, and Tuesday morning during a Democracy Now! special. http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/27/expanding_the_debate_jill_stein_debates
Policy Watch: Jill Stein 
Anyone watching the corporate media coverage of the police killings of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott got the same impression: that these were the only fatal shootings involving law enforcement since the high profile killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in July, and that the police are only shooting Black males. The reality is that at least 793 people have been killed by police in 2016, according to The Guardian. Police in the U.S. kill people of ALL RACES at a rate of 70 times more than police in all other ‘first world’ nations. Young Black males are 21 times more likely to be fatally shot by police. Native Americans are the ethnic group killed at the highest rate.  U.S. citizens are being killed by police far more often than people in the rest of the world.

The cable news networks frame their coverage in a manner guaranteed to pump up ratings. There is the continuous rehashing of the incident: if there is a video of the killing, it will be shown repeatedly. The Black victims, their families and protesters are presented in contrast to the white police officers and their supporters. There are the obligatory screaming matches between Black police critics, and white police apologists. The circular, U.S.-centric conversation (Did the Black male make a wrong move? Was he armed? Did he have any parking tickets?) proceeds on a continuous loop. Protests are covered, with the hope that violence will pop off. What you will never see, is a comparison of policing in this country to the rest of the world. You will never see these statistics, presented in a 2015 article by the Opposing Views website. http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/police-have-killed-one-american-every-8-hours-2015

“While politicians warn America every day of an impending attack by the extremist Islamic State group, police in the U.S. are killing one American every eight hours.
According to the online database Killed By Police, 136 people were killed by U.S. police from Jan. 1 to Feb.15. The database is citizen-run because there is no federal law requiring local police departments to report how many people they kill.

The Free Thought Project notes those numbers mean that one American is killed every eight hours by a police officer.

In contrast, Canada had only 14 citizens killed by police in 2014, and in the U.K. only one person was killed by police for 2013 and 2014. Germany fared even better with no police killings from 2013 to 2014. Even the much larger China had only 12 police killings in 2014.” There will be no corporate media discussion as to why police in the U.S. far and away lead the world in fatal shootings, because that would require critical thinking within a fact based conversation.
Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein had honest conversations about police brutality and urban gun violence during her visit to Chicago, where she was born. The video of Black teen Laquan McDonald being murdered by police officer Jason Van Dyke, and the subsequent cover up by the police and corrupt mayor Rahm Emanuel, shocked the nation. The Chicago Police Department has a despicable track record of brutality. This is the department that teamed up with the FBI to assassinate Illinois Black Panther Party chairman Fred Hampton. http://www.democracynow.org/2009/12/4/the_assassination_of_fred_hampton_how
The city’s murder rate is horrific: 530 homicides this year. Dr. Stein talked to the local media about the root causes of urban gun violence, which also applies to Hartford and other cities.
The Shadow Proof website reported on Dr. Stein’s Chicago visit. https://shadowproof.com/2016/09/09/jill-stein-green-party-campaign-stop-chicago/  “Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein wrapped up a day of campaigning in Chicago on September 8 with a rally that brought several hundred supporters to their feet multiple times. Earlier in the day, she was in the South Austin neighborhood to talk to residents.
Community activists and a few residents joined Stein for a ‘reality walk’ through the neighborhood. The community has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the city, but it also suffers from residential segregation, loss of industrial jobs, disinvestment, and exceptionally high unemployment.
Stein shared after her walk that South Austin residents had told her ‘they need jobs. They need an answer to the violence and the guns that they believe are being supplied to the community, that these guns are being made available through illegal means and that should be a highest priority for investigating.’
Residents in communities like South Austin also ‘need good schools. They need after school programs. They need youth programs. They need job training. They need housing and an end to the foreclosures. They need to reuse the housing that is just lying waste, empty now, to rehab that housing and create jobs.’
Elijah Sims, a young black teen who was about a day away from his 17th birthday, was shot and killed in South Austin on August 29. Stein was asked about the shooting and what she would recommend to white residents, who may be afraid to organize in the west side because they fear violence in the community.
‘We are a divided nation,’ Stein answered. ‘We are a nation that’s locked into fear, and we’re an armed nation because we’re afraid of each other.’
‘There is a living legacy of the institution of slavery because it kind of went from slavery to lynchings to Jim Crow to the red lining of communities to mass incarceration to the war on drugs, which is a war on black and brown communities, and then to police violence. We have this history of really entrenched racism and the flip side of that being white privilege and white supremacy.’
Stein said she believes people need to sit down in communities with each other and build trust and confidence and recognize, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Her campaign favors the formation of a truth and reconciliation commission to address the legacy of slavery and its role in fueling structural racism in present-day America.
‘If communities are struggling with poverty and closed schools and boarded up housing and violence in the streets, that injustice spills over into our economy, into our society, into our future, [and] into the violence that afflicts us all.’
During the rally, (vice presidential nominee Ajamu) Baraka had assertive words for those who ignore the poverty and only rail against the violence in communities, like west and south neighborhoods of Chicago. ‘People talk about [how] we need to deal with the issue of violence in the city. We understand that. But I say if you’re not talking about how we deal with these social and economic grinding conditions, I don’t want to talk about the violence,’ Baraka said.
The campaign has a plan focused on providing dignity, health care, a clean environment, and respect for human rights to poor and working class Americans, who desperately need it. It has developed what they call a Green New Deal, which links the climate crisis and the economic crisis together to simultaneously save families and the planet.”
Dr. Stein’s urban policy plan includes community control of the police, in the form of civilian review boards. Another component is utilizing independent investigators, who would probe every death and serious injury at the hands of police officers.
Dr. Stein talked about her plan to cancel student loan debt during her visits to Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, and Eastern Connecticut State University in Windham. Courant reporter Russell Blair talked about Dr. Stein’s plan. “Stein says her plan to write off student loan debt would cost $1.3 trillion and could be achieved by a 0.5 percent sales tax on Wall Street transactions. Bailing out the Wall Street banks cost $16 trillion, she said.” Dr. Stein views her student debt cancellation plan as an economic stimulus, freeing individuals currently saddled with debt to spend their money on goods and services. Mary Sanders met Dr. Stein and had a productive conversation with her about the Community Party’s ranked choice voting bill. Mary has also discussed our legislation with Hartford City Council members, and Democratic Party Assemblyman Edwin Vargas. Stay tuned…
Resources
Community Party Sandra Bland Police Reform & Economic Justice Plan:
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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