Archive for December, 2016

Police Brutality in East Hartford/Meagan Hockaday Act

December 23, 2016

by David Samuels

This column appears in the December 22 – 29 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 ALERT: Our Year in Review show has been rescheduled to December 27. 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.

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Policy Watch: East Hartford Brutality Case Underscores Need for Proactive Police Reform

Systematic police repression of communities of color will not be stopped by opportunistic individuals who surface for high profile cases and disappear, until the next publicized incident of police abuse. Police brutality is a result of policy. Neoliberal economic policies by the Democrats and Republicans fuel poverty in urban areas, depriving these neighborhoods of jobs, resources and economic opportunity. Consequently, the underground economy (drug trade) and accompanying gun violence become a part of the fabric of these communities. The racist so-called War on Drugs and the prison industrial complex perpetuate a police culture that is based on targeting, arresting, brutalizing and incarcerating Black, Brown and Indigenous people. Former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper talked about the root causes of police violence during a July Democracy Now! interview. “I think what accounts for it—there are several factors, one of which is that in 1971 Richard Nixon famously proclaimed drugs public enemy number one—drug abuse—and declared all-out war on drugs, which was really a declaration of war against his own people. And overwhelmingly, young people, poor people, people of color suffered, and have continued to suffer over the decades as a result of a decision to put America’s front-line police officers on the front lines of the drug war as foot soldiers. And then we wonder why there’s such a strain in the relationship between police and community, and particularly those communities that are entrenched in poverty and other economic disadvantage, communities that historically have been neglected or abused or oppressed by their own police departments. So we really intensified and escalated the country’s war against poor people with that drug war. And we have spent $1.3 trillion prosecuting that war since the 1970s, incarcerated literally tens of millions. Please hear that figure: tens of millions of disproportionately young people and poor people and people of color. What do we have to show for it? Drugs are more readily available at lower prices and higher levels of potency. It’s time for us to end that drug war. That began the militarization of policing, without a doubt.” The link to the full interview with Stamper is available in our Resources section. The current system protects dirty cops, while officers who speak out against corruption, racism and brutality are quickly run off the force. Coming in 2017: The Community Party’s Trayvon Martin Act includes provisions that address racial profiling, police violence and the containment of urban neighborhoods.

Dismantling and reforming a system that took decades to build requires grassroots policy work, which mostly takes place outside of the view of TV cameras and news reporters.

Report courtesy of Fox 61.

Man in hospital two weeks after he claims he was beaten by East Hartford Police

Posted December 14, 2016, by Jenna DeAngelis

HARTFORD – Two weeks after an incident, a man is still recovering in Hartford Hospital from injuries he claims he sustained at the hands of East Hartford Police officers.

Jermaine Feliciano, 33, says he has been in Hartford Hospital since Nov. 29, the day after his arrest.

An internal investigation is underway at the East Hartford Police Department. The State’s Attorney’s Office is also investigating.

The incident began when East Hartford Police responded to an apartment on Silver Lane for a verbal dispute on Nov. 28. The complainant stated they could hear kids crying.

According to a police report, upon police arrival, a male and female were yelling loudly in the hallway. Feliciano was involved in the dispute and fled at the sight of police.

Officer Jared Richards wrote in the report that he pursued the male, yelling clear and loud verbal commands for him to stop to which he did not comply with. When Officer Richards ran around the corner, he saw Feliciano at the bottom of a steep hill leading into a wooded area. He appeared to have fallen. Officer Richards said he yelled at Feliciano to stay on the ground and show his hands, but Feliciano got up and ran.

When the second officer on scene, Officer David Choquette, caught up to the pair, the report states, they placed Feliciano under arrest.

The police report does not indicate that any violence occurred.

Feliciano says police are leaving out what really happened.

“One of them dropped their knee down on my back, picked me up, put me against the wall and raised my hands up behind my back, and um, the other cop from the side just, I don’t know if it was the sticks or his fist but just began to hit me in the side,” Feliciano said. “When I was falling the other cops kept me up, and um, one of them started kneeing me. He was hitting me from the back and I was hitting the cement from the wall…I felt like I was gonna die.”

Feliciano, a father of six, admits he had a troubled past but says he turned his life around. He acknowledged wrongdoing for running from police.

“I was a little intoxicated, a little scared, you know, I haven`t gotten in trouble in years,” he said. “I just feel like it’s wrong, I was wrong for running but I don’t deserve the beating that they gave me.”

Feliciano’s attorney Andrew Crumbie said he was beaten by police and sustained critical injuries which includes seven broken ribs, a punctured lung, a ruptured spleen and a fractured shoulder.

Crumbie said Feliciano requested medical attention several times while incarcerated at the East Hartford Police Station, but never got it.

In a letter to the state’s attorney, Crumbie wrote:

Mr. Feliciano was held in a jail cell throughout the night while in excruciating pain and spitting and vomiting blood as a result of severe internal bleeding. Other prisoners housed with Mr. Feliciano attempted to flood the cell with water due to the voluminous amounts of blood expelled by Mr. Feliciano during his confinement.

The following day, after arriving to court for his arraignment, Crumbie said Feliciano was taken to Manchester Hospital. He was transported to Hartford Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.

“I myself was a police officer for 20 years and I have never seen such a reckless and callous disregard for human safety and human life in this instance,” attorney Crumbie said. “As he was being transported to the EHPD one of the officers kept saying to him — remember you fell down the embankment, right? — he basically cried as a result of thinking this was gonna be covered up.”

Crumbie’s letter to the state’s attorney, East Hartford Police and the U.S. Department of Justice demands “an immediate investigation into the actions and behaviors of the police officers involved in the assault on Mr. Feliciano as well as the actions of those who refused him medical attention.”

According to Crumbie, the state’s attorney said she is actively investigating the matter and seized video tape from the East Hartford Police Department.

“Per standard protocol, East Hartford Police began investigating this matter internally over a week ago, upon becoming aware of injuries Mr. Feliciano claims he sustained during his arrest on November 28th,” East Hartford Police Lieutenant Joshua Litwin said in a statement. “This investigation is ongoing.”

The charges against Feliciano include violation of protective order, second-degree breach of peace and resisting arrest/interfering with an officer.

In a comment, East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc said: “I trust in the integrity and professionalism of my police department.”

Meagan Hockaday Act

Meagan Hockaday was murdered by Oxnard, California police officer Roger Garcia in front of her children on March 28, 2015. Garcia was not criminally charged. Coming in 2017: The Community Party’s Meagan Hockaday Act will include enhanced criminal penalties for excessive use of force by the police against mentally ill people and individuals in crisis, in addition to whenever children are present. Our legislation will implement a new international approach to policing, based on a successful model in the United Kingdom and Canada that emphasizes de-escalation and treatment. Stay tuned for updates. Meagan Matters!


Police in U.S. kill more people than all other developed nations COMBINED:

Ex-Seattle Police Chief Condemns Systemic Police Racism Dating Back to Slave Patrols:

Hamilton, Ontario Police COAST Program:

Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives and So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues Check out our No Sellout blog ( for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns ( Contact us at 860-206-8879 or


Sean Spell, Blue Wall of Silence & the Trayvon Martin Act   

December 16, 2016

by David Samuels

This column appears in the December 15 – 22 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!  Next show: Year in Review December 20. 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.



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Policy Watch: Sean Spell Police Brutality Case 



The details of the investigation that led to the arrest of retired Hartford Police Sgt. Sean Spell, underscores the need for body cameras. Spell has been charged with breach of peace and third-degree assault, after he was caught on a West Hartford Police cruiser dash cam kicking Emilio Diaz, who was handcuffed, in the head during a June 4 arrest following a car chase. 34 HPD officers were involved in the arrest. Only 15 agreed to be interviewed by investigators. If Spell’s actions had not been captured on video, he certainly would never have been charged, much less arrested. The HPD is one of the vast majority of police departments who aren’t complying with the state body cameras law that went into effect in January. The Associated Press reported in August that only 12 out of 100 law enforcement agencies in Connecticut had contacted the Office of Policy and Management, about receiving reimbursement under the $15 million voluntary program. Body cameras alone won’t ensure accountability, but the blue wall of silence around the Spell investigation is a reminder that cameras are essential. The Community Party’s Trayvon Martin Act includes a provision that would make body cameras mandatory in Connecticut. Studies show that body cameras curb excessive use of force, and result in a decrease in civilian complaints against officers.



Judiciary Committee member Rep. Bruce Morris urged the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association to support CP’s Trayvon Act traffic stop receipt provision, during a 2015 public hearing. Morris revealed that he had recently been racially profiled, after leaving a late night meeting at the State Capitol. The police have worked to kill this amendment, since we introduced it in 2010. The General Assembly passed our receipt bill in 2012, but repealed the provision in 2013 due to political pressure from the police. We reported in October on the plight of the Hartford Civilian Police Review Board, which is supposed to have nine members and two alternates, but is currently down to the minimum of five members. The Board has had to cancel meetings, because they did not have a quorum to rule on civilian complaints against HPD officers. Our sources at City Hall told us that Mayor Luke Bronin still has not delivered on a promise he made at a North End community meeting two months ago, that he would fully staff the Board.



HPD Chief James Rovella has not provided the Board with the required information on disciplinary action against officers who have sustained civilian complaints. Our sources said, “Bronin and Rovella act as if the Board doesn’t exist.” President-elect Donald Trump, who was endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, supports racial profiling in the form of stop-and-frisk, which a New York judge ruled is unconstitutional.  Trump is also on the record as supporting profiling of Muslims, and has promised to deport between two and three million undocumented immigrants. Trump’s unequivocal advocacy of biased policing creates an urgent policy need: Hartford and Connecticut Democrats, who have been willing accomplices in law enforcement’s systematic repression of communities of color, must now create a firewall that will provide a layer of protection for Black and Brown people. Four East Haven police officers were convicted in 2013 on federal charges of violating the civil rights of Latinos. Abuses included racial profiling, including targeting undocumented immigrants. The Samuel DuBose and Philando Castile cases show how racial profiling can lead to murder. Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing was arrested after he executed DuBose in 2015, during a traffic stop. A subsequent statistical analysis revealed a pattern of racial profiling by UCPD officers. St. Anthony Police Department officer Jeronimo Yanez faces a manslaughter charge after fatally shooting Castile, who was stopped 52 times by police in Minnesota.





Community Party Trayvon Martin Act Bill Language

Written by Mary Sanders


Introduction ~ It’s time to take action to stop racial profiling and police containment in Black and Brown communities here in Connecticut.  Every 28 hours a Black person is killed somewhere by police, security guards and self-appointed vigilantes like George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn, according to a Malcolm X Grassroots Movement report . . The veracity of the MXGM report has been disputed. See the Resources section below for a Washington Post editorial on the report, including a rebuttal by the report’s author. Trayvon was shot and killed after being confronted on the street by Zimmerman, an armed neighborhood watch leader. Dunn shot Jordan Davis during an argument about loud music. Former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle murdered Oscar Grant in 2009. See: Police in the United States kill at a rate of 70 times more than police in all other ‘first world’ nations.   CP’s Trayvon Martin Act is aimed at addressing this public safety crisis.



The Trayvon Martin Act calls for the creation of a legislative task force on police misconduct and includes some of CP’s original racial profiling bill language. The CT legislature passed some of our provisions in 2012 and they were scheduled to go in effect July 1, 2013. Our traffic stop receipt language was repealed in favor of a version emphasizing electronic data collection and analysis, instead of a copy of the mandated “Traffic Stop Report” going to the motorist.  We believe this copy is the only way for motorists to know how their race is being represented and is a proven factor in undetected biased policing.  We sat in on testimony of dozens of motorists of color from around the state who were stopped, harassed, given tickets with race recorded as White, and heard of many other biased law enforcement actions.


Problem: Drivers do not get a copy of the Stop Report which has allowed some officers to lie about the race of the people they stop.  Some victims of profiling may not complain because they don’t know officers are covering up the profiled stops. As we mentioned previously our traffic stop language was passed by lawmakers in 2012 but was repealed due to pressure by the police before it was scheduled to become law in 2013.

Add to current law:  1) “Traffic Stop Reports are to be filled out in duplicate so that each motorist receives a copy of the completed form from the officer, in addition to any ticket or summons if one is issued.  2) The copy of the report should be given to the driver as well as the information on filing complaints if motorists believe they have been profiled.  3) If the reports are entered into an electronic data collection system a copy will be immediately available to the detained driver.”

Problem:  Drivers and their passengers are being asked for I.D’s. and questioned about their immigration status even when they are clearly not involved in criminal activity.

Add to current law: “ 1) The driver shall only be asked for a: Driver’s License, the Vehicle Registration and Proof of Insurance and no other identification or questions about immigration status;  2) Passengers shall not be asked for any identification or questions about their immigration status unless they are being arrested for criminal activity.”

Problem:   Men of color are stopped and frisked or worse in every corner of our state; community residents have reported to us that if they dare challenge police officers in their neighborhood, they are often thrown to the ground, cuffed and arrested, then charged with resisting arrest. This happens to our teenagers in schools as well as on our streets.  Many have been beaten or shot by police or others with “authority”, often fatally as the MXGM report shows.

Add to current law:  “1)  Create a Legislative Task Force which would serve in the following capacities: a) investigate complaints of misconduct of state or local police officials,  b) provide training and oversight to public school guards, university and transportation police,  c) provide training and oversight of neighborhood watch organizations and properly screen and monitor persons functioning in these roles;  2) the Task Force will reserve spots for urban lawmakers whose constituents are disproportionately affected by these issues;  3) the Task Force will conduct monthly public hearings around the state, days and evenings, which would also be broadcast by the Connecticut Network for television or online viewing;  4) the Task Force will create a process whereby people could file formal complaints about profiling and harassment by police or other law enforcement authorities through their legislators’ offices or CHRO.”  5) Body cameras will be mandatory for all municipal patrol officers. 

6) Elected, independent, community based investigators will probe all complaints regarding excessive use of force, resulting in injury or death.

The Community Party supports the demands of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, which are listed in their racial justice plan.





Community Party Radio Hosted by David Samuels with Mary Sanders – Show 36 December 6 2016 Tribute to Black Panther Party Chair Fred Hampton:




Washington Post editorial on MXGM Operation Ghetto Storm Report. Includes a rebuttal by the report’s author:




Walker Report: Baltimore Police Union Contract Impedes Accountability




Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary.   Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives and So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues  Check out our No Sellout blog ( for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns ( Contact us at 860-206-8879 or












Political Roundup: State Budget Crisis/Safe Work Environment Act Report

December 9, 2016
by David Samuels
This column appears in the December 8 – 15 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!  Next show: December 20. 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.
Community Party Radio Podcasts
Policy Watch:  Corporate Media Ignores Impact of Corporate Welfare
Last Sunday’s Fox 61 The Real Story program should have been titled, “For the Economic Crisis, We Would Like to Blame State Employees.” Hosts Al Terzi and Jenn Bernstein constantly asked Republican Senator Rob Kane and Democrat Sen. Cathy Osten about state employees’ wages and benefits, during a discussion about the Connecticut state budget crisis. I’m a state worker. State employees have agreed to concessions TWICE since 2009, a fact that wasn’t mentioned during this program. CT Voices for Children reports that the state loses $7 BILLION a year in revenue, due to corporate welfare. CT companies stash $40 billion in offshore accounts, according to a report by CONNPIRG.  Comptroller Kevin Lembo’s 2015 corporate welfare bill, which would have required stricter and more transparent oversight of whether or not corporate tax breaks resulted in the promised creation of jobs, was not voted on by Kane, Osten and the rest of the Senate, after passing in the House almost unanimously. What’s up with that? Terzi and Bernstein wouldn’t ask Kane and Osten about the impact of corporate welfare, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. There was also no discussion about generating revenue by reforming the state’s regressive tax structure: currently the working class and the poor pay more in taxes than the rich. Multiple studies have debunked the myth that millionaires leave a state after their taxes are increased.
Workplace Bullying
This week we’ll share an article on abusive workplace conduct, courtesy of the Undercover Lawyer website.

What Is the Definition of a Hostile Work Environment? (PART 1 of 3)

Question: What is the Definition of a Hostile Work Environment?
Answer: There are actually two types of “Hostile Work Environments”: 1) legal; and 2) illegal.  To see which you are experiencing, consider the story of Lenora.
Perhaps you have experienced something like Lenora, a conscientious nurse who loved her patients and felt valued at work — until her co-worker became her boss.
Lenora worked as a nurse at a hospital in California and felt fortunate to have her job, until administration promoted Lenora’s co-worker Michelle to be the new Head Nurse. Sure Michelle was a good nurse, but after her promotion Michelle dramatically changed from a pleasant if shy co-worker into an angry tyrant. Michelle raised her voice at many of the nurses, but singled Lenora out for particularly harsh bouts of yelling, often in front of other employees. If two or more nurses were standing and talking, or, assisting in an emergency, then Michelle would yell only at Lenora and not the other nurse.
Being Singled Out For Abuse Contributes to a Hostile Work Environment
A Co-Worker Can Become a Bully Boss
Michelle began talking like Lenora was in serious trouble for her performance. Lenora, however, had no idea what she was doing wrong. One day Lenora was looking at a patient’s records on a computer when she stopped and turned around to answer a question by a CNA. Michelle came swooping over and exploded at Lenora for “violating HIPAA.” Lenora just said “What are you talking about?”, which only made Michelle more angry. Michelle said “I’m talking about patient rights. I’m talking about none of your co-workers want to work with you! I’m talking about you better shape up or you are out of here!” Lenora looked at the CNA who just shrugged his shoulders. Lenora felt confused and unfairly singled out and alone. She started to cry. Michelle just walked away.
The next day Lenora called in sick for the first time in 10 years. Over her 18 year nursing career Lenora knew that she had never received a “bad” appraisal; each year her performance reviews, if one was done at all, were positive. But now she felt attacked for doing the same things that had made her a good nurse. Lenora felt so sick at the idea of going back to work that she was thinking of going to see her own doctor. She wondered if she needed to consider anti-depressants. She called in sick a second day in a row and decided to call her brother-in-law, Curt, who was a lawyer in a big firm.
Nitpicking and Yelling Contribute to a Hostile Workplace
Two Definitions of Hostile Work Environment
What Curt first said to Lenora shocked her: “There’s nothing illegal about a hostile work environment.” Lenora was mad. That didn’t seem right at all. She knew that what she was going through was wrong. No one should be harassed at work the way she was.
Curt tried to explain. “There’s really two types of hostile work environments: legal and illegal. A legal hostile work environment is when a jerk of a boss causes an employee to feel so completely stressed out with unfair, mean treatment that the employee feels he or she may have to quit to save their health. The bully boss yells, treats the employee unfairly, blames the employee for anything that goes wrong, and constantly threatens discipline or even termination.
“An illegal hostile work environment is caused by a boss who is not just a jerk, but also a bigot. The work environment must be stressful because the boss is hostile toward a protected class like race, religion, national origin, gender, age, disability and the like. In other words, to be illegal the boss must treat you unfairly because you are part of one of these legally protected classes. Treating you unfairly for any other reason is not legally prohibited.
The Law Does Not Require Supervisors to be Civil
“So” Lenora said to Curt, “my boss Michelle can single me out to be her scape goat, and there’s nothing wrong with that unless I’m a minority or something like that?”
“Exactly,” said Curt. “Unless you are part of a protected class, there’s no legal action you can take. Courts do not want to require that everyone be nice and polite to each other at work. The Supreme Court even said in a case called Oncale v. Sundowner that federal employment law is not “a general civility code for the American workplace.” Getting people to treat one another with respect is something an employer can choose to require, but the law does not outlaw rude people.”
A boss who is merely rude and unfair, or even a real bully who is randomly mean, is acting legally as long as his or her bad behavior is not directed at people because of their protected class status.”
Lenora said “This is horrible. I thought the law was supposed to protect me!”
“Well maybe it does,” said Curt.
People Feel Huge Relief When They Learn Their Workplace Rights
The First Step in Fighting Back
Curt continued, “Protected classes can be powerful weapons in fighting back against a boss who causes a hostile work environment that seems legal at first.”
“Listen,” said Curt, his voice dropping to a whisper, “at this firm we defend companies; I’m supposed to be on your boss’s side. But… but why don’t you drive downtown and meet me for lunch. I’ll explain a bit more about protected classes and at-will employment.”
“Great!” said Lenora. “I’ll call you when I get close to your office.”
Read Part 2 here.
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary.   Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives and So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues  Check out our No Sellout blog ( for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns ( Contact us at 860-206-8879 or

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio

December 3, 2016

The planet’s PREMIER Soul, RnB and talk radio station. Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio returns Tuesday, December 6. We will pay tribute to Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton, who was assassinated by the Chicago Police Department and the FBI December 4, 1969.  Gabriela Ella will talk about how you can support Native American water protectors in North Dakota. Mary L. Sanders and I will discuss the Community Party’s 2017 legislative package, including the Trayvon Martin and Meagan Hockaday Acts. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Check out for info on replays, and podcasts.
#NoDAPL #racialprofiling #policebrutality #immigration #workplacebullying #workersrights


David Samuels Facebook page:


Laurie Valdez Facebook page:


Democracy Now!:    Dakota Access pipeline standoff:


Divest from the Dakota Access pipeline:

#InvestInStandingRock and #DivestFromDAPL Due to pressure from people like you, two major banks in Norway have already withdrawn their funding from the Dakota Access Pipeline. In order to shut down this pipeline for good, we need to go for its arteries and create a movement of people divesting from the banks embedded within Dakota Access’ mother company. These banks are using YOUR money to invest in the pipeline – join us and tell them you won’t stand for it! You can take a stand and #DivestFromDAPL by closing any accounts you have in financial institutions that bankroll the Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners. Click link in bio to find out whether your bank is invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline. Tag us and we'll share your pictures & Videos!

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Flashback: Rep. Bruce Morris Urges Police to Support Community Party Racial Profiling Bill:


Meagan Hockaday Act:


Driving While Black:


Trump Presidency Culminates Republicans’ Consolidation of Power

December 1, 2016

by David Samuels

This column appears in the December 1 – 8 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! Next show: December 6. 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.
Community Party Radio Podcasts
Corporate Media = Fake News

The coporate media’s biggest lies come in the form of the stories they don’t cover. While CNN provided wall-to-wall coverage Monday of the Ohio State attack, the trial of domestic terrorist Dylann Roof, who fatally shot nine Black people including South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney, wasn’t mentioned. The incredible twist of US District Judge Richard Mark Gergel allowing Roof to act as his own lawyer wasn’t enough to get CNN to put aside their obvious bias, and report on the trial.  63% of mass shootings since 1982 were committed by white males.
Interview with Josh Elliott
Coming in January: A Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio interview with Representative-elect Josh Elliott, who will serve in Connecticut’s 88th District (Hamden). As the Donald Trump presidency looms and a civil war has erupted between establishment and progressive Democrats in Washington, Elliott will be a much needed voice at the State Capitol in 2017. Elliott supports taxing the rich and closing corporate tax loopholes, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and legalizing marijuana. Elliott also spoke out in opposition to state employee layoffs.
Safe Work Environment Act Report: Give Me a Break
Connecticut Valley Hospital continues to infringe on workers’ contractual right to three breaks per shift, by not providing break rooms. Employees have to eat lunch at their desks. Co-workers have complained to me that it often takes them over an hour to eat, due to constant interruptions. That’s not a break. 15 minute breaks in my building are often taken in the lobby of the campus buildings. Last week I was harassed by an officious nursing supervisor, who claimed that I could not use my cellphone in the lobby. Myself and others have only been doing this for years. Stay tuned for updates. Coming in 2017: the Community Party’s Safe Work Environment Act would empower workers who are targets of workplace bullying.
Policy Watch: Red Alert
All year, Gov. Dan Malloy and his henchman, budget chief Ben Barnes, have used the slogan “new economic reality” to describe their neoliberal attack on the Democratic Party’s voter base: the working class, including the public sector (largest employer of Blacks and women), the poor and communities of color. Neoliberalism has resulted in a new political reality for the Democrats: Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States in January, bolstered by a Republican controlled Congress. Thirty one states currently have Republican governors. Thirty two state legislatures are controlled by the GOP; if that number reaches thirty eight, the party will be able to ratify constitutional amendments. Malloy has a 24% approval rating, as the CT Republicans are launching an offensive to take the Governor’s Mansion, the Senate and the House of Representatives in 2018. The GOP won three Senate seats on Election Day to tie the Democrats, 18-18, and gained eight House seats. The Dems’ 79-72 majority is their smallest in thirty years. Last week Republican Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton announced that he is considering another run for governor, and has formed an exploratory committee. Boughton is notoriously anti-immigrant; certainly he will enthusiastically support Trump’s deportation plan. GOP Senator Rob Kane is also exploring the possibility of entering the gubernatorial race.
“Democrats now control only 13 state legislatures (26%). If they lose 1 more they fall below the percentage needed to stop constitutional amendments. And it doesn’t have to be proposed by Congress. It just takes two-thirds of states. Democrats now hold ‘the trifecta’ (governorship, Senate and House) in just five states: California, Delaware, Oregon, Hawaii, and Rhode Island. The weakest Democrat showing ever. The last big fight over amending the constitution was the Equal Rights Amendment, which fell 3 states short.” ~ education advocate Marc Porter Magee
“Nobody talking about the fact Republicans now hold both chambers in Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Virginia, Iowa. Only swing state chambers Democrats have: Colorado House of Representatives and Nevada.” ~ political blogger Brad Todd
“Dems weakness in states makes them want to get rid of the Electoral College, which can’t happen because they are weak in most states.” ~ Marc Porter Magee…/electoral-college-explained-presidenti…
“At the sub-presidential level, the Obama years have created a Democratic Party that’s … a smoking pile of rubble.” ~ Matthew Yglesias,…/1…/democratic-party-smoking-pile-rubble
As their party craters, Malloy and Barnes show no indication that they plan to alter the Democrats’ course of self-destruction. A $1.5 billion budget deficit looms in 2017. Malloy and Barnes plan more funding cuts for human services providers, and there is talk that state employees (I’m a state worker), the core of the Democrats’ voter base and the difference in Malloy’s narrow 2010 victory over Republican Tom Foley, will be approached again for wage/benefit concessions for the third time since 2009. Meanwhile Malloy continues to maintain a regressive tax structure, where the working class and the poor in this state pay more than the rich. Corporate tax loopholes cost CT $7 billion a year in revenue. Malloy refuses to change his policy of coddling the wealthy and corporations. Last year the Democratic controlled General Assembly killed a public bank bill. The Bank of North Dakota, the nation’s only publicly owned bank, has been a cash machine for that state since 1919: BND generated $70 million in revenue in 2011.
The neoliberal agenda of Malloy and the CT Democrats is modeled after the New Democrats ideology, introduced by the Clintons during the 90’s.
Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, summarized the objective of the New Democrats in April, following Bill Clinton’s heated exchange with Black Lives Matter protesters during a Hillary Clinton campaign rally in Philadelphia.

“Bill Clinton says that he ‘almost’ wants to apologize for his remarkable episode yesterday — you know, when he embraced long-debunked, racially coded ‘super-predator’ rhetoric, compared Black Lives Matter protestors to Republicans and insisted that they support murderers, and blamed his crime bill on black politicians. Personally, I am not demanding an apology from Bill Clinton. Instead, I would like to say thank you. Thank you, Bill, for giving the nation a ten-minute tutorial on everything that was wrong (and apparently remains wrong) with the ‘New Democrats’ and their approach to racial politics.
Unfortunately much of the mainstream media seems to be buying (yet again) much of what Bill was selling yesterday. So to recap what should be obvious by now: Black politicians and activists were not asking for ‘get tough’ measures and nothing else back in the 1990s. Some black politicians opposed the Clinton crime bill, and those who supported it weren’t seeking punishment and nothing more; they desperately wanted massive investment in jobs and schools so the young people trapped in communities where work had suddenly disappeared would have some hope of survival. It is a gross distortion to suggest that black people wanted billions of dollars slashed from child welfare, housing and other public benefits in order to fund an unprecedented prison building boom. It was Bill Clinton’s deliberate political strategy — one he championed along with the ‘New Democrats’ — to appeal to white swing voters by being tougher on struggling black communities than the Republicans had been, ramping up the drug war and gutting welfare. That strategy of ‘getting tough’ while at the same time eviscerating the federal social safety net was NOT supported by many of the black politicians he seeks to use as cover. Rep. John Lewis (who Clinton referred to yesterday as the ‘last remaining hero of the civil rights movement’) fiercely opposed welfare reform, accurately predicting that it would thrust more than a million more kids into severe poverty.
John Lewis said back then: ‘How can any person of faith, of conscience, vote for a bill that puts a million more kids into poverty? What does it profit a great nation to conquer the world, only to lose its soul?’
The young people challenging Bill Clinton yesterday were asking these very same questions. You may not agree with their tactics, but they were, in their own way, fighting for the soul of the Democratic party and American democracy itself. Whether our nation can be redeemed in the long run remains to be seen.”
Racism and corporatism has reduced the Democrats to a failed, minority party. Their only hope of pushing back against the GOP tidal wave is to implement egalitarian policies. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen. The Democrats are swimming in corporate money; businesses and the wealthy are their constituents. It will take a politically independent, grassroots movement to push the city and state Democrats to the left, and create a firewall against the Trump administration.
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