Southern Strategy

by David Samuels

This column appears in the August 10 -17 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: August 15. 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

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows.



The Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio interview with Middletown Mayor and Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Dan Drew will air Tuesday, August 15 at 8:00 PM Eastern Time, 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Topics include police accountability, the state budget crisis, single payer health care, workplace bullying and urban policy issues that are ignored by the corporate media.

The podcast of the August 1 edition of Community Radio is available in the Resources section, at the end of this column. Topics include the concessions deal between Gov. Dan Malloy and state employee unions, and an exclusive interview with a Black state employee who is a survivor of workplace bullying. The employee, who we are calling Joanne to protect her identity, was sexually harassed by a white boss. We also provide an update on Colin Kaepernick.


Community Update 


Concessions Deal

Community resident Joan O’Brien succinctly summed up the concessions deal between Gov. Dan Malloy and state employee unions, that was approved by the Connecticut General Assembly last week. Joan posted her analysis on Facebook in response to the Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio segment on the deal  with guest contributor John Hollis, a retired state employee and former union steward.

“Good to hear some truth about the extorted so-called ‘concessions’ agreement which is wealth extraction from the middle and working class unionized state employees for the benefit of the wealthy and powerful. One pernicious provision is the degradation of current elderly retirees health care by involuntarily transferring them from government Medicare with wraparound supplement onto ‘Medicare Advantage’ administered by UnitedHealthcare. The retirees were not allowed to vote on this change. Despite the many stories about UnitedHealthcare’s aggressive and apparently legally and ethically improper practices, approximately 49,000 elderly state of Connecticut retirees are being transferred onto UnitedHealthcare ‘Medicare Advantage’, putting the health and financial security of vulnerable retirees in the hands of what appears to be a criminogenic private insurer. They then misrepresent that the increased enrollment in their plans shows that their plans are popular. The State is claiming that ‘Medicare Advantage’ is ‘more cost effective’ which is the opposite of the truth. This not only degrades retiree health care benefits, it makes the state government an accomplice in the destruction of the Medicare Trust Fund and the fraudulent bilking of Medicare through ‘upcoding.’ It appears that ‘Medicare Advantage’ denies expensive but needed care to the oldest and sickest which is why people tend to leave ‘Medicare Advantage’ when they get sick. ‘Medicare Advantage’ is a Trojan horse to privatize Medicare and should be eliminated and the billions of taxpayer money wasted on private profit should be used to improve Medicare. Let’s stop the ‘Medicare Advantage’ scam and put our health care dollars into health care for all.”

State employees have agreed to concessions three times since 2009, while Malloy and the Democratic Party controlled legislature continue to dish out unregulated corporate welfare, and refuse to implement a progressive tax system.


Corporate Welfare

The Community Party has contacted the Office of Legislative Research, for data on how many jobs were created by each Connecticut company that receives corporate tax subsidies. A report by CT Voices for Children found that corporate welfare in this state is basically unregulated, while the full cost is unknown.


Policy Watch

Racists?  We’re Not Racists! 

“You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger’. By 1968 you can’t say ‘nigger’—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, ‘We want to cut this’, is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘Nigger, nigger’. ” ~ Republican strategist Lee Atwater

I make it a point to share this quote periodically, because it’s a confession from a top political operative who helped Republicans win elections, including President George H.W. Bush. Atwater died in 1991. This is how structural racism works. I thought about Atwater’s words a lot last Wednesday; first in the morning as I watched the latest news on Colin Kaepernick, and again in the afternoon as I watched two Connecticut Valley Hospital managers become unhinged, as I confronted them about CVH’s systematic protection of white employees who engage in misconduct. Black employees are fired at a rate of 71%, compared to just 22% for whites.

Finally in the evening, I could hear Atwater’s southern twang as I watched CNN’s Jim Acosta call out White House senior adviser Stephen Miller on President Donald Trump’s racist immigration policy.



The RAISE Act mirrors lobbying by anti-immigrant groups including FAIR and NumbersUSA.


U.S. President Donald Trump has announced a huge shake-up of immigration laws that would halve legal immigration by 50 percent over 10 years by slashing family reunification visas, prioritizing English-speakers and cutting the number of refugees allowed into the country.
Promoted by the White House senior adviser Stephen Miller as a so-called “pro-American immigration reform,” the new bill – known as the RAISE Act – would prioritize high-skilled immigrants by setting up a merits-based system similar to those used by Canada and Australia while also doing away with green card preferences to the adult children or extended family of immigrants who already reside legally in the U.S.

The bill was developed by Republican senators David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and resembles the demands pushed for years by the so-called “nativist” anti-immigration lobby in the United States, such as the English language proficiency requirement and putting an end to the Diversity Visa Program.
The bill would also stop immigrants from joining family members already living in the U.S. – which nativists refer to as “chain migration.”
“Once you get here, you have a green card and you can open up immigration not just to your immediate family, but your extended family, your village, your clan, your tribe,” Cotton has said about the reunification process.
Refugee organizations said permanently limiting the number of refugees allowed in the country goes against the U.S. value of offering safe haven to people fleeing violence and oppression.

“The RAISE Act represents a stealth attack on our immigration system that would begin to unravel the reforms of 52 years ago, when Congress discarded a racist quota system that discriminated against people who weren’t white and northern European,” the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a statement. “Its provisions reflect the shameful agenda of nativists and white nationalists who fear the growing diversity of our country.”

Both (FAIR and NumbersUSA) were founded either directly or indirectly by John Tanton, a white nationalist who has ties to neo-Nazi organizations. In 1993, the eugenics proponent argued that a “European-American majority” was needed “for European-American society and culture to persist.”


Last week Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti solicited public prayer, along with conducting a poll of fans and sponsors, regarding whether or not the team should sign Colin Kaepernick. Bisciotti also asked retired Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis to weigh in. The Ravens have had players on their roster who were accused of murder (Lewis), and convicted of domestic violence and other crimes. The Ravens never took these steps before.


The Ravens feel the need to pray because they’re afraid of ticking off racist whites. Football is the true religion of White America, and Kaepernick is the heretic. These whites are fine with Negroes as long as they’re catching touchdowns, making 90 yard TD runs, sacking the quarterback, running back a Pick Six and dancing in the end zone, but an uppity Black man like Kaepernick must hang from the tallest tree.


White bigots definitely aren’t alone in terms of stupidity, when it comes to  Kaepernick. Last week on Facebook I read a post by someone who said some Black people think Kaepernick’s national anthem protest was a ‘publicity stunt because he wasn’t playing well.’ If you’re Black and believe this, you need a checkup from the neck up.
Kaepernick has donated $1 million dollars of his own money to grassroots social justice organizations, in addition to starting his own (Know Your Rights Camp where he’s actively involved) . The publicity stunt accusation is nonsense.


Athletes do publicity stunts to build their brand and get commercial endorsements. Kaepernick is radioactive: corporate America won’t touch him. Kaepernick is currently being blackballed by the NFL; his career may be over, but you don’t see him doing an I’m Sorry media tour, begging for a ‘second chance’. Kaepernick is clearly prepared to move on. Any Black person who’s bashing Kaepernick is just trying to rationalize their support of a racist football league. Stop being stupid.


Fox Sports 1 Undisputed host Shannon Sharpe used facts to counter the explanations being used to justify the Miami Dolphins signing Jay Cutler over Colin Kaepernick.
Sports commentators talked about Cutler having his best season in 2015 with the Chicago Bears, where Dolphins coach Adam Gase was an offensive coordinator. Sharpe pointed out that while Cutler’s personal statistics were indeed improved,  in 2015 the Bears ranked #23 out of 32 teams in both scoring and passing. Chicago finished the season with 6 wins and 10 losses.


It’s highly unlikely that the Dolphins would have signed Kaepernick if Cutler, who reportedly refused the Dolphins’ initial job offer, wasn’t available. Kaepernick drew a lot of heat last year for wearing a t-shirt with the photo of Malcolm X and Fidel Castro. Miami has a huge population of Cuban anti-Castro exiles. That issue rightfully would have required a resolution. The Dolphins got lucky, because they can justify signing Cutler as a football decision. has launched a petition calling for a boycott of the NFL,  including folks canceling TV packages such as NFL Sunday Sports Ticket,  if Kaepernick isn’t signed by a team this season.  Support Kaepernick by saying NO to the NFL!

The August 15 Community Party Radio interview with Middletown Mayor and Connecticut gubernatorial candidate Dan Drew includes a discussion about structural racism at Connecticut Valley Hospital. CVH is located in Middletown. I have filed another Freedom of Information Act request for internal CVH emails. Stay tuned.  You can get information on how to file an FOI request here.



Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio August 1 podcast.


Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. Listen to 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 ( Contact us at


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