Archive for June, 2018

We Stand with Debbie Duncan Cook!

June 24, 2018

Tell Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney to rehire Debbie Duncan Cook, who was laid off after 32 years and is currently battling cancer.
https://www.change.org/p/president-joanne-berger-sweeney-bring-back-debbie-cook

A GoFundMe page has been started for Debbie. Please donate today.
https://www.gofundme.com/trinity-thanks-you-debbie-cook

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Herbst’s ‘Law and Order’ Task Farce / White Liberals’ Selective Outrage on Immigration

June 23, 2018

by David Samuels

An edited version of this column appears in the June 28 – July 5 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!
http://www.sometroradio.com/
Next show: July 3. 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

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio

 

We Stand with Debbie Duncan Cook

Go to our No Sellout blog for info on how you can support our friend Debbie Duncan Cook, who was laid off after 32 years at Trinity College.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2018/06/24/we-stand-with-debbie-duncan-cook/

 

Liberals Were Silent During Hillary Immigration Controversy

“It may be safer” (for the children to remain in the U.S.) but “they should be sent back.” – Hillary Clinton
source: Consortium News

Hillary Clinton supported a 2009 coup in Honduras, then said in 2014 that child refugees fleeing violence in the country should be deported. White liberals said nothing.  Liberals,
you say that President Donald Trump is Adolf Hitler for his clearly despicable family separation policy. Hillary Clinton supported a 2009 coup in Honduras that overthrew elected leader Mel Zalaya, who wanted to raise the minimum wage and implement other revolutionary policies for the people. Zalaya was replaced with a repressive military regime that murdered opponents, including environmental activist Berta Caceres. Hillary said in 2014 that child refugees fleeing the violence should be deported. What does that make her? What does that make you for remaining silent?

Zalaya wanted to reform the constitution. He supported a 60% raise of the minimum wage, which pissed off Chiquita Brands International and Dole Food Company. Zalaya wanted free education and meals for children, subsidies for small farmers, lower interest rates and free electricity. Companies fearing that Zalaya’s reforms would spread throughout Latin America asked the CIA to overthrow him. Caceres called out Hillary for her role in the coup.

“We’re coming out of a coup that we can’t put behind us. We can’t reverse it. It just kept going. And after, there was the issue of the elections. The same Hillary Clinton, in her book, ‘Hard Choices,’ practically said what was going to happen in Honduras. This demonstrates the meddling of North Americans in our country. The return of the president, Mel Zelaya, became a secondary issue. There were going to be elections in Honduras. And here she [Clinton] recognized that they didn’t permit Mel Zelaya’s return to the presidency.” Caceres was assassinated in 2016. Armed men broke into Caceres’ home and shot her.

Whenever I confronted a white liberal about Barack Obama deporting more immigrants than any other president, or not prosecuting killer cops, or bombing seven Muslim countries, or screwing over Blacks in general, the answer was always the same. “I don’t agree with everything Obama does, but…” Translation: “I’m white so that stuff doesn’t affect me. The Democrats are in power and that’s all I care about.” So these frauds will never get me to believe that they’re suddenly the champion of undocumented immigrants.

“Dealing with the conundrum of loving the people fighting for immigrant families & hating that many of those same people refuse to rally 4 blacks being killed by police. #AntwanRose ” ~ Twitter post by Tracy. White liberals are focused on the immigration issue, because it’s an opportunity to score political points against Donald Trump. Liberals don’t care about the June 19 police murder of Antwan Rose, because the case doesn’t present the same opportunity.

 

Fascism Alert

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Herbst outlined his plan to increase police repression of communities of color, in a Hartford News guest column last week. Herbst announced he has formed a “Law and Order Task Force” that includes retired Hartford cop Chris Lyons, who now spends his golden years spewing right-wing propaganda on social media. Herbst checked off all boxes, promising to obstruct police accountability, lock up more Black people, reinstate the death penalty and persecute undocumented immigrants. Watch this guy closely.

As fate would have it, Herbst’s June 21 column appeared 48 hours after 17-year-old Antwon Rose was shot three times in the back by rookie East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfield, as Antwon ran from a traffic stop. Shaun King of the New York Daily News reported that Rosfeld was fired from his job as a University of Pittsburgh police officer after a series of brutality incidents against Black students. The assault that got him fired involved the son of the chancellor at the university. Attorney S. Lee Merritt said on Twitter that Rosfeld never gave Antwon a verbal command to stop, before firing his weapon.  Rosfield had just been sworn in 90 minutes before the shooting.

 

 

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1985 that it’s illegal for police officers to shoot at “an apparently unarmed, nondangerous fleeing suspect.”  https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/471/1.html While Pittsburgh TV station KDKA went to the Black Male Shot by Police Playbook and attempted to smear Antwon, the fact remains that 526 people were killed by police as of June 1, according to killedbypolice.net. U.S. police kill at a rate of 70 times more than police in all other ‘first world’ nations.

Activists in Connecticut are mobilizing in support of 18-year-old Corbin Cooper, who was killed in a crash after a high speed chase with Bridgeport police June 14. USA Today analyzed police chases and came up with chilling statistics.

“More than 5,000 bystanders and passengers have been killed in police car chases since 1979, and tens of thousands more were injured as officers repeatedly pursued drivers at high speeds and in hazardous conditions, often for minor infractions, a USA TODAY analysis shows.
The bystanders and the passengers in chased cars account for nearly half of all people killed in police pursuits from 1979 through 2013, USA TODAY found. Most bystanders were killed in their own cars by a fleeing driver.” You can read the full article here.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/07/30/police-pursuits-fatal-injuries/30187827/

 

This week we’ll share a timely Black Agenda Report interview with the co-author of a new North Carolina study on traffic stops.

Traffic Stops: Pretexts for Racial Repression

Tanvi Misra 12 Jun 2018

Police have used the entire vehicle code as an excuse to use their discretion to pull people over who might appear suspicious to them for whatever reason.”
While traffic stop interactions with the police may be shrugged off as brief inconveniences for whites, for black Americans, they can lead to humiliation , violence , and even death . This has become clear over the last few years, as videos have surfaced, hashtags have trended, and reports have been released —opening up the black box of negative interactions between the police and drivers of color for the world to see.
A forthcoming book, Suspect Citizen: What 20 Million Traffic Stops Tells Us About Policing And Race adds to that conversation, taking an unprecedented, granular look at the traffic stops in one state.
In 1999, North Carolina became one of the first jurisdictions in the country to mandate data collection at traffic stops. The expressed goal was to suss out disparities in policing. The resulting dataset, which includes information about the demographics of the driver, the offense for which they were stopped, where they were stopped, and the outcome of the stop, was made public. But the state never actually released a comprehensive analysis of this information.
That’s where F rank Baumgartner and Kelsey Shoub at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Derek Epp , now at the University of Texas, stepped in. They took on this unfulfilled mission, analyzing data going all the way back to 2002 when the data-collection mandate expanded to include almost all police stops in the state. ”It is pretty much a census of every traffic stop,” Baumgartner said.
In the book, he and his colleagues lay out stark disparity in policing at North Carolina’s traffic stops, and unpack the reasons behind the trends they observe. CityLab caught up with Baumgartner to discuss these findings:

 

Q: So who was being stopped?

 

A:  There’s somewhere between a million and 1.6 million traffic stops in North Carolina each year and we [the state] have a population of about 10 million people. That gives us a baseline chance of being pulled over of about 10-15 percent per year. But we found the odds were significantly higher for blacks, than for white and even Hispanic drivers, compared to their respective population shares.
We also looked at a city-by-city comparison of the proportion of whites, blacks, and Hispanics who live in that town to the proportion that they represent in the traffic stop data. Again, we do this with caution, but still it shows that, on average, black drivers are much more disproportionately represented—about 60 or 70 percent more likely to be in that traffic stops data than in the population of that city.
But according to the [U.S.] Department of Transportation, white Americans are more likely to own or have access to a car than black or Hispanic Americans. So we think that the comparison of these populations is not really very accurate—it’s actually more likely to lead to an underestimate of any racial bias.

 

Q: What about searches?

 

A:  Our main focus in the book is who gets searched after a traffic stop because being searched is sign that the officer views you with suspicion. Hence the title of the book “Suspect Citizens.” I’m a white, middle-aged college professor, so the last time I was actually stopped for a traffic violation was 40 years ago, in 1974 … and I’ve never had my car searched after a traffic stop in my life. These things are quite rare for people of, for example, my demographic but they’re quite common generally.
We controlled for why you get pulled over, what time of day it was, what day of the week was that, what police agency was it, what month of the year—all of those things. We still saw these very, very significant, robust findings that young people, males, and people of color are much more likely to be searched after a traffic stop.

 

A:  What were the outcome of these types of searches?

 

A: Strangely—and this might initially appear surprising—populations who are more likely to be searched are also more likely to be let off with a warning or no action. And white, middle-class drivers are more likely to get a ticket. It would seem counterintuitive to most readers, but if you’re objectively breaking the law—you’re speeding or you run through a stop sign—you deserve to get a ticket. The officers will only pull you over after they observe you clearly violating the traffic code in an important way. Then they’re going to give you a ticket and let you go on your way. And that’s typically what happens to white drivers.
Black drivers are more likely to get warnings, overall. That seems like a good outcome, but the question in these cases is why did he or she get pulled over in the first place? Perhaps the reason was just that the officer had a vague suspicion and a desire to do a little bit of an investigation. So they stopped the person based on some kind of pretext, they investigated by starting a conversation with the driver, and [since nothing turned up], they said, “Well, thank you for your time. I pulled you over because you were speeding by five miles an hour. I just wanted to let you know to be more careful next time.”

Q: So you’re saying that in the cases of white motorists, it might be that they are more often given traffic tickets because there’s actually a concrete, observable evidence of a traffic offense. But in many cases of motorists of color, perhaps there is a less clear reason for the stop, so they may actually not end up being penalized through tickets.

 

A: Yes. There are two reasons for a traffic stop. One is a violation of the traffic law and the other, a desire by the officer to investigate a person because they think that they might be a suspect. So if you’re a person like me, a white middle-class male, there’s no reason the officer is going to develop a suspicion. So the only reason why he might pull me over if he observes me violating an important part of the traffic code, like running through a stop. A traffic stop leading to a ticket is really what should occur if the traffic stop is being used to enforce the traffic code, not as a tool for a criminal investigation.

You can read the full column here.

https://blackagendareport.com/traffic-stops-pretexts-racial-repression

 

Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary:
https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948

Listen to So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues:
http://sometroradio.com/

Check out our No Sellout blog:
https://hendu39.wordpress.com/

Contact us:
samuelssloflo@aol.com

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio Returns June 19

June 17, 2018

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio returns Tuesday, June 19. Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. The suicides by fashion designer Kate Spade and TV host Anthony Bourdain have sparked a national conversation about mental illness. We’ll talk about Mental Health and the Black Community. Our Policy Watch segment will feature independent media analysis of the June 12 Singapore summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Our Real Talk segment features Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale speaking about the Panthers’ Ten Point Program.  8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific.  http://sometroradio.com/

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. People who are uncomfortable with talking on the phone, or can’t speak for whatever reason can text the word HOME to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.

Resources

Snapping the Chain: Ending Mental Health Stigma in the African American Community

 

SPECIAL REPORT: The Release of Political Prisoner, and MOVE Member, Debbie Africa

http://www.aconsciousparty.com/reflections/release-political-prisoner-and-move-member-debbie-africa

 

Black & African American Communities and Mental Health

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/african-american-mental-health

 

Political Roundup: Singapore Summit Exposes Liberal Hypocrisy

by David Samuels

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/political-roundup-singapore-summit-exposes-liberal-hypocrisy/

 

You Can Be a Critic of Trump and Still Root for Diplomacy to Succeed in Korea

https://www.thenation.com/article/can-critic-trump-still-root-diplomacy-succeed-korea/

 

 

Political Roundup: Singapore Summit Exposes Liberal Hypocrisy

June 16, 2018

by David Samuels

This column appears in the June 21 – 28 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!
http://www.sometroradio.com/
Next show: June 19. 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

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio

 

Connecticut Valley Hospital Update

We’re having conversations with Republican Sen. Heather Somers about setting up informational sessions for Connecticut Valley Hospital employees, on the CVH task force bill that was passed by the General Assembly last month. AFSCME and 1199 have not cooperated with our requests to host sessions for employees about this legislation, which includes worker protection language that we got added to the bill. Stay tuned.

Josh Kovner of the Hartford Courant reports that three former Connecticut Valley Hospital employees have applied for accelerated rehabilitation, which would result in the dismissal of the felony cruelty charge for the abuse of patient William Shehadi. Three Whiting Forensic Hospital reports to the psychiatric security board on Shehadi failed to mention the abuse, and its impact on Shehadi.

 

Police Accountability

An 18-year-old boy was killed and another teen seriously hurt June 14 after a rollover crash on Route 8 in Bridgeport, following a high speed police chase. The car was driven by a 15-year-old; the teens were reported to be involved in an armed robbery. From policemisconduct.net: “High speed pursuits are inherently dangerous. They too often end in crashes that kill and severely injure people, including innocent bystanders. Although there are about 100,000 police pursuits and hundreds of casualties every year, policymakers have largely neglected this dangerous aspect of police work. State-wide policies should be in place to both restrict and track police pursuits.”

 

New Report on State Budget

“The (Connecticut) General Assembly passed a budget with broad bipartisan support for the second consecutive year, in a session marked by unexpectedly high tax revenues derived from federal tax changes. The additional revenue allowed legislators to protect, and in some cases expand, many education, healthcare, and early childhood initiatives. The final budget, however, still included significant cuts to higher education, behavioral health, and juvenile justice programs. As a result, the Children’s Budget, the share of state spending dedicated to children and families, sank to a new record low, at 27.3 percent.” You can read the full Connecticut Voices for Children report below.

http://www.ctvoices.org/publications/impact-final-fy-2019-budget-adjustments-children-and-families

 

Ranked Choice Voting

While mainstream media reports focus on London Breed (a centrist, corporate Democrat) becoming San Francisco’s first Black mayor, it’s important to note that the election took place under the Ranked Choice Voting system. Breed was challenged by two progressive candidates; the race was much closer than it would have been under the current plurality voting system in this country. The June 12 primaries in Maine were the state’s first under RCV.
http://www.rcvmaine.com

 

 

United Nations Poverty Report

“U.N. Special Rapporteur Phillip Alston, who toured U.S. cities to examine conditions of poverty, says extreme economic inequality is a ‘major threat to democracy’ in the country, citing measures that ‘consistently make life less manageable for people in poverty.'” Hartford has one of the highest poverty rates in the United States. While the U.N. report focused on the draconian Trump administration, the neoliberal  policies of Mayor Luke Bronin, Democrat members of the city council, Gov. Dan Malloy   and Democratic Party leaders at the State Capitol are on the same page with the President. See our Resources section for data on poverty in Hartford.

https://www.democracynow.org/2018/6/15/blistering_un_report_trump_administrations_policies

 

Democratic Leaders More Concerned About Power, Than Elections

Last week I listened to a lecture by Democratic Party insider Norman Solomon. Solomon said the first priority of party leaders is maintaining control of the party. Solomon said they would like to defeat the Republicans, but that is secondary to maintaining power over the progressive wing of the party. That’s why the Connecticut Democrats continue with their racist, neoliberal policies, despite losing their once dominant majority in the General Assembly over the GOP. The Democrats would rather lose an election, than go left.

Solomon talked about what he described as the “political economy” that exists in the Democratic and Republican parties. When an elected official’s political career is over, they make big bucks doing this and that for corporate donors. Solomon said 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean is now “making a killing” working for Big Pharma. Solomon said elected officials won’t take on corporations, because that will curb their income when they leave politics.

 

Immigration

“The Obama administration ‘did a lot of the same things the Trump administration is doing’ on immigration, from detaining immigrant families to putting children in military bases, says journalist Franco Ordonez. ‘However they stopped short of separating families.'”
source: democracynow.org

Trump’s policy of separating undocumented immigrant families is despicable. That being said, I found the behavior by reporters at the June 14 White House press briefing to be hypocritical. As Ordonez pointed out, Barack Obama’s immigration policy was almost identical to Trump’s, with the exception of separating families. I never saw this huffing and puffing from CNN correspondent Jim Acosta or other reporters at press briefings during the Obama presidency.

Obama deported more immigrants than any other president. No howls of protest from White House reporters during the eight years Obama was in office. Obama is a smiling fascist. Trump is a loud fascist.

 

Mental Health & the Black Community

The suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and TV host Anthony Bourdain placed a spotlight on mental illness. An overlooked aspect of this conversation is mental illness in the Black community. From thebodyisnotanapology.com:

African-American women are more likely than African-American men to attempt suicide.
Firearms are the predominant method of suicide, followed by suffocation.
Suicide is the 16th leading cause of death for blacks of all ages and the third leading cause of death for black males between the ages of 15 and 24.
Blacks men and women have similar rates of suicidal behavior to whites, including serious thoughts of suicide, making suicide plans, attempting suicide, and needing medical attention for attempted suicide.
African-American LGBTQ youth also have high suicide rates. Other factors that lead to suicidal ideation are sexual abuse (which raises the risk of a suicide attempt two to four times) and rape (a full 33% of rape victims think about suicide and are thirteen times more likely to commit suicide).

If you need help, get it. Now. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. People who are uncomfortable with talking on the phone, or can’t speak for whatever reason can text the word HOME to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.

 

We Stand with Debbie Duncan Cook

Tell Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney to rehire Debbie Duncan Cook, who was laid off after 32 years and is currently battling cancer.
https://www.change.org/p/president-joanne-berger-sweeney-bring-back-debbie-cook

A GoFundMe page has been started for Debbie. Please donate today.
https://www.gofundme.com/trinity-thanks-you-debbie-cook

 

Policy Watch: Peace Advocates Praise U.S. / North Korea Agreement 

 

 

“Another example of the moral bankruptcy of liberalism. They are actually making arguments as to why ending military exercises in Korea, a country the U.S. colonized, is a bad thing. And you wonder why I call the Democrats a war party. “- 2016 Green Party vice presidential candidate and human rights activist Ajamu Baraka

“This is a very constructive step. Imagine if it weren’t Donald Trump there, but if it were Barack Obama there having that kind of breakthrough. I think there would be a reaction from almost every progressive Democrat cheering that on… My disagreement with Senator Schumer in that letter is that’s basically parroting the talking points of John Bolton, saying that we should not engage in any diplomacy or make any concessions without complete denuclearization. That’s just not realistic… I think the Democrats risk looking like we’re being excessively partisan by attacking the president from the right.” ~ Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA

“Wow! Trump pledged to stop all joint action military exercises on the Korean Peninsula, offered North Korea security, and invited Kim to the White House, and they’re claiming he didn’t consult either side on the decision to stop the military exercises.

Anyone who says these are bad things has been so brainwashed by perpetual war that they’ve become the ideal sponge for the ‘legalized’ (National Defense Authorization Act) propaganda the United States government spews on American media outlets on the regular.

There is far more than meets the eye here folks. The fact both Korea’s acted historically and independently in peace talks before this meeting took place, and the United States has now officially pledged to stop what seemed to be the never ending military exercises that kept provoking North Korea is a huge tell.

To me that signals that Japan, China, and many of the other nations who have been reluctant of these peace negations might actually be ready for this conflict to come to a close, or it’s just another pissing contest that will eventually fail, and we will be right back in the same situation as before.

Regardless, it does appear that at this moment there are serious attempts and genuine efforts being made to pave the road to peace in Korea by all parties. Anyone who’s against this needs to seriously check their moral compass, regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum.

It’s far bigger than just the two ‘egomaniacs’ who are being presented as the main peace keepers. It’s about actually attempting to promote, and follow through on peace agreements, instead of just preaching about it, while constantly insulting and provoking one another in the process.

It’s called diplomacy, and even though tyrants and despots may be the featured speakers, if actual peace is achieved on the Korean Peninsula, that’s a great thing for the for the Korean people, and the world as a whole, no matter how it’s sliced.” ~ Facebook post by Dustin Frazier Lowery

As President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made their way to the Singapore summit site, conservatives were um, moist with anticipation. Liberals pouted and held their collective breath, turning blue for the next 12 hours. The rest of the world  watched. CNN’s comprehensive coverage of the summit included an interview with foreign policy expert Dennis Rodman.

Independent journalist Tim Shorrock and international peace activist Christine Ahn praised the summit, during the June 12 Democracy Now! broadcast. Shorrock and Ahn both emphasized the importance of Trump agreeing to end the U.S. / South Korea military exercises, which North Korea points to as justification for their nuclear program. Shorrock said the military exercises are called “decapitation strikes”; invading  North Korea and killing their government leaders is the focus of the exercises.

White liberals’ election talking point about Trump was that we couldn’t let him near the red button. When Trump was exchanging threats with Kim, liberals were saying, ‘I told you so’ to anybody who would listen. Now Trump eases away from the red button, and liberals are still complaining. Not a good look to be more irrational than Trump… Liberals are beating the ‘Kim is a threat to the U.S.’ drum. This is the same bs conservatives kicked about Saddam Hussein.

CNBC reported that stocks for military weapons manufacturers dropped after the Singapore summit. Conversely, stocks for Raytheon surged after their Tomahawk Cruise Missile was used in the U.S. attack on Syria in April.

The Democrats and their liberal supporters must be called on their war mongering bs,  as they goad Trump into conflicts with North Korea and Russia.

 

Resources

Trend CT report on poverty in Connecticut.

https://trendct.org/2015/05/27/connecticut-has-more-concentrated-poverty-and-wealth-than-most-metros/

You Can Be a Critic of Trump and Still Root for Diplomacy to Succeed in Korea

https://www.thenation.com/article/can-critic-trump-still-root-diplomacy-succeed-korea/

Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary:
https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948

Listen to So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues:
http://sometroradio.com/

Check out our No Sellout blog:
https://hendu39.wordpress.com/

Contact us:
samuelssloflo@ao

 

 

Democrats’ Neoliberalism Fuels Hartford Gun Violence

June 9, 2018

by David Samuels

This column appears in the June 14 – 21 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!

http://www.sometroradio.com/

Next show: June 19. 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

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio

 

Community Update

We Stand with Debbie Duncan-Cook

A Livelihood & Legacy Still on the Line!

by Alain Lopez

June 6, 2018 — President Berger-Sweeney replied to our request and said they will stay the course. The letter contains company lingo like “to achieve a balanced budget”, “to ensure the long-term financial health”, and “to align resources to our strategic priorities”. However, it doesn’t indicate how an employee of 30+ years who is fighting cancer and is less than two years away from retirement gets on a layoff list.

The letter adds that the affected received “as much as eight months’ full pay and health care benefits, depending on length of service.” Well, 30+ years of loyalty and work is only worth a same-day notice and 4 months of healthcare benefits. While Debbie did get around 7 months’ full pay, the salary isn’t going to cover the healthcare costs. Also, because of her age and health situation, it’ll be nearly impossible for her to get a job with full benefits.

The administration must really consider its actions on this decision and must not be afraid to acknowledge a mistake. Someone’s livelihood and legacy is on the line. That’s why I ask that you help by doing any of the following action steps:

1.  Write a letter – Send a message directly to President Berger-Sweeney (president@trincoll.edu).

2. Spread the word – Continue to share this petition with Trinity stakeholders.

https://www.change.org/p/president-joanne-berger-sweeney-bring-back-debbie-cook

3. Alert the Media – Share the petition with any media contacts you may have.

A GoFundMe page has been started for Debbie. Please donate today.

https://www.gofundme.com/trinity-thanks-you-debbie-cook

 

Policy Watch – Shootings in Hartford : Annual More Cops Band-Aid Not the Answer

“The number of homicides (in Hartford) has dipped slightly compared to this point last year – 10 so far, versus 12 in 2017. But shootings have risen – with 72, versus 53 at this time last year.” ~ Hartford Courant

Mayor Luke Bronin told the Courant the shootings are drug related. Tell us something we don’t know. It’s the annual summer drill: last week the Hartford Police announced that they’re going to increase patrols.  As usual no talk from Bronin and the Democrats about poverty and Black unemployment fueling the violence, because they’re too busy depriving Hartford of living wage jobs and resources. The 29 homicides in 2017 doubled the total of 14 in 2016.

The spike in shootings is an excuse to increase police repression of poor neighborhoods while ignoring the root causes of the violence: communities with no economy except for the drug trade and other forms of hustling, racial wage and wealth disparities, a lack of affordable housing, no access to health care, and the war on public education. Assistant Majority Leader John Gale and Democratic city councilmembers wrote a Hartford News op-ed, bragging about closing three Hartford libraries and laying off over 40 city employees. The Hartford Board of Education violated their own policies as they closed Batchelder School. Corporatists praised the austerity budget that was approved 7-1 by the state oversight panel June 7, because of the wage and benefits concessions Bronin squeezed out of municipal workers. The public sector is the largest employer of Black people and women.

A state level New Deal jobs program should be the core of a holistic approach to reduce urban gun violence.  Below is an excerpt from the Community Party Police Reform and Economic Justice Plan.

New Deal 2.0

U.S. Census data shows that child poverty, the poverty rate among families, the amount of people whose income is below the federal poverty level and the number of residents without health insurance in Connecticut have all increased since 2003. http://www.ctvoices.org/publications/poverty-median-income-and-health-insurance-connecticutsummary-2013-american-community-s The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) perpetuates the cycle of poverty, emphasizing low wage, dead end jobs over education and job skills training that will make clients more marketable, and increase their chances of obtaining gainful employment that will lead to financial independence. Black and Latinx unemployment rates are at Depression era levels. The jobless rate among Black males age 18-25 is as high as 50%. Poverty and lack of economic opportunity fuel gun violence in urban neighborhoods. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program employed over 8 million people at its peak, pulling the U.S. out of the Great Depression. A New Deal type of program could deliver the same results in low income communities of color and poor rural areas.

Rocky Anderson, the Justice Party’s 2012 candidate for president, included in his platform a job creation initiative modeled after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Work Progress Administration program. Anderson described his plan during the Democracy Now! Expanding the Debate special, which aired in conjunction with the October 3, 2012 presidential debate between President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney. http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/4/expanding_the_debate_exclusive_third_party

“During the last 43 months we have had more than 8% unemployment. It is the only time in this nation’s history that we have had a president that has presided even over three years of over 8% unemployment. There are things that have been proven in our history to work. We could have put in place, and it needs to be put in immediately, a WPA Works Progress Administration kind of program where we are investing in the future by building up our nation’s rapidly deteriorating infrastructure, putting people to work. In the WPA project they put 8.5 million people to work. We could be putting 20 million to 25 million people to work and making that kind of investment in our nation’s future.”

The UFE State of the Dream report found that funding from Obama’s 2009 job stimulus initiative did not reach urban areas and focused on industries that mostly employs white people.

“Most of the job-creation projects in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and other federal initiatives are investments in infrastructure and transportation, ‘green’ building retrofits, and pass-through funds that help states maintain schools and other important programs. All are worthy, but there is no evidence that the jobs these initiatives create are going to the communities most in need. In some cases, the opposite is true.
• The Associated Press found that, across the U.S., stimulus money for transportation was directed away from where the economic conditions are most dire. More money went to areas with higher rates of employment.
• The New York University report Race, Gender and The Recession reported that federal recovery money is creating more jobs in construction and retail than any other industries. These are industries that traditionally have not been major job sources for African American communities.
If the rain falls on relatively well-watered areas of economic opportunity, it does little to revive the driest economic landscapes in our country. Targeted approaches are much more likely to be effective. Prioritizing our nation’s highest-unemployment communities is precisely the way to end the downward economic spiral in those places and start a real, broad-based recovery for the entire nation.
Congress must identify communities with the highest unemployment rates and target job-creation initiatives toward those communities, whether by census tract, zip code, or other method. This policy direction will lift up working-class white communities while narrowing the racial income gap. Congress should also ensure that as many of those jobs as possible pay a living wage. This report shows that broad-spectrum, universal solutions to the economic crisis will neither solve the pervasive racial wealth divide nor end gaping racial differences in income. We need job-creation and foreclosure-prevention programs that are targeted to communities most in need, including those with the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates. Such focused strategies will not only help close the racial wealth divide, but will lift up working-class families of all races.”
A federally funded, state WPA kind of program monitored through equity assessments would ensure that program dollars would reach low income communities of color in Connecticut. UFE explains how equity assessments would function.
“To ensure that stimulus funds reach working class and disenfranchised communities, equity assessments should be required for all federal spending. A proper equity assessment will track where funds go, what jobs are created and in what communities. Demographic data on race, ethnicity, gender, class, and geography will be required for an equity assessment. This information will help future government programs reach the disenfranchised and the working class, the communities who must be at the center of an economic recovery.”

Racial Economic Disparity

Black/Latinx workers currently earn about 60 cents for every dollar whites make, and possess about 10 cents of net wealth for every dollar whites have. Houses are the primary wealth asset for Black and Brown people. The toxic mortgage scam that contributed to the 2008 economic collapse disproportionately targeted people of color, who subsequently have lost their homes at a higher rate than whites. UFE recommends a plan to build wealth in low income communities of color.

The plight of the Clay Arsenal Renaissance Apartments tenants, who scored a victory over slumlord Emmanuel Ku in the form the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development revoking Ku’s $1 million federal contract, is just the tip of the iceberg regarding tenants’ rights issues in Hartford. Eviction rates are spiking nationwide.

From the New York Times,  ” In 2016, about 1 in 9 renter households in Richmond (Virginia) were issued eviction judgments. Judgments issued in majority white neighborhoods were far less common…  (Princeton sociologist Matthew) Desmond’s team found records for nearly 900,000 eviction judgments in 2016, meaning landlords were given the legal right to remove at least one in 50 renter households in the communities covered by this data. That figure was one in 25 in Milwaukee and one in nine in Richmond. And one in five renter households in Richmond were threatened with eviction in 2016. Their landlords began legal proceedings, even if those cases didn’t end with a lasting mark on a tenant’s record.

The new data, assembled from about 83 million court records going back to 2000, suggest that the most pervasive problems aren’t necessarily in the most expensive regions. Evictions are accumulating across Michigan and Indiana. And several factors build on one another in Richmond: It’s in the Southeast, where the poverty rates are high and the minimum wage is low; it’s in Virginia, which lacks some tenant rights available in other states; and it’s a city where many poor African-Americans live in low-quality housing with limited means of escaping it.
‘This isn’t by happenstance — this is quite intentional,’ said Levar Stoney, Richmond’s mayor. A quarter of households here are poor, leaving many people a car repair or a hospital visit away from missing the rent check. But that poverty collides with a legal structure that responds to such moments swiftly.”

Gun violence in Hartford  is a symptom of systematic racism, perpetuated by Bronin, Gov. Dan Malloy, and the Connecticut Democrats.

Follow CP on Twitter @communityparty1 for state, national and world news headlines.

Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary:

https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948

Listen to So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues:

http://sometroradio.com/

Check out our No Sellout blog:

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/

Contact us:
samuelssloflo@aol.

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio Returns June 5

June 2, 2018

Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio returns Tuesday, June 5. Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. We will discuss police accountability with Kimberly Phillips. Kimberly’s son A.J. died during an encounter with San Jose police officers August 10, 2015. Kimberly will also talk about California police accountability legislation S.B. 1421, which would give the public access to the misconduct history of police officers. Our Policy Watch segment will feature analysis of the austerity budget that was passed by the Hartford, Connecticut City Council last week, and commentary on the two party political system, which is a trap for Black people. Our Real Talk segment will feature an excerpt of a 1971 speech by former Black Panther Party communications secretary Kathleen Cleaver. The speech at UCLA took place after a falling out between Kathleen’s husband Eldridge Cleaver and Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton, which led to the expulsion of the International Branch of the Black Panther Party that was led by Eldridge in Algeria. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. http://sometroradio.com/

Resources

Kimberly Phillips Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/kaphillips5

Kimberly Phillips presents evidence that contradicts the San Jose police narrative of her son’s death.

Bad cops shouldn’t get to operate in secret. Lawmakers, it’s time for transparency
By The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board

http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/editorials/article211625659.html

SB-1421 Peace officers: release of records.

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB1421

Political Roundup: Neoliberal CT Democrats, Puerto Rico, Police Accountability
by David Samuels

This column appears in the June 7 – 14 edition of the Hartford News.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2018/06/02/political-roundup-neoliberal-ct-democrats-puerto-rico-police-accountability

 

Political Roundup: Neoliberal CT Democrats, Puerto Rico, Police Accountability

June 2, 2018

by David Samuels

This column appears in the June 7 – 14 edition of the Hartford News.

Updated 6-4-18 at 10:26 PM

 

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! http://www.sometroradio.com/

Next show: June 5. 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

Visit No Sellout to listen to podcasts of past shows.

https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/podcast-community-party-radio-on-so-metro-radio

 

We Stand with Debbie Duncan Cook

The petition demanding that Debbie Duncan Cook be reinstated to her job at Trinity College has surpassed 1,000 signatures. You can sign the change.org petition below. Debbie underwent cancer surgery last week and is home recovering.

https://www.change.org/p/president-joanne-berger-sweeney-bring-back-debbie-cook

 

Victory for Clay Arsenal Tenants

Congratulations to Clay Arsenal Renaissance Apartments tenants on their victory over slumlord Emmanel Ku. Last week the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development notified the tenants that they’re revoking their $1 million annual contract with Ku, and relocating the North End residents to “properties that are in decent, safe and sanitary condition.”

 

Hartford Democrats Pass Neoliberal City Budget

Last week  the Hartford City Council voted 8-1 to approve a $570 million austerity budget, that decreased spending by $43 million in 2018. The budget now goes to the state oversight panel for approval. Mayor Luke Bronin, Democrat councilmembers, Gov. Dan Malloy and Democratic Party leaders at the State Capitol remain silent, as  shootings plague the city.

Democrats are depriving Hartford of living wage jobs and resources. Poverty = violence. Hartford annually has one of the highest poverty rates in the U.S.  The $43 million budget spending decrease includes city employees union concessions and city department cuts. The public sector is the largest employer of Black people and women.

 

Puerto Rico Death Toll Ignored by Corporate Media

Media Matters reports that cable news networks covered the Roseanne Barr racism scandal for over 10 hours during their morning shows May 29 and 30. The results of a Harvard University study on the Hurricane Maria death toll in Puerto Rico was covered for just over 30 minutes. Fox News covered the story for 48 seconds. The study found that as many as 8,000 people have been killed by the storm. The official total from the Puerto Rican government is 64.
sources: democracynow.org and CBS News

 

Nothing Exceeds Like Excess

The Hartford Courant reported that last month Bloomfield Town Council members spent $2500 on meals, including a $49 hamburger, during budget deliberations. I’m picturing the conversation. Town Council member: “Yeah, we need to do something about this deficit, y’all. Time to trim the fat! Excuse me while I make this call… Hello, Burger Express? I’d like a Super Corruption Burger with everything on it.”

 

Russiagate and Liberal Hypocrisy

Thirty three House Democrats voted with the Republicans to roll back banking regulations May 22, but white liberals only get upset about a photo of Jill Stein sitting at a table with Vladimir Putin. Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes is one of the Democrats who voted with the Republicans.

 

Fight for 15 

“There are many companies that take the lead on this by walking the walk, like Costco. This representative just happens to not be one if them.” ~ Comment posted on Rep. Josh Elliott’s Facebook page.

I’ve got no love for the right-wing think tank Yankee Institute, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. Elliott can and should pay his employees more, if he’s going to portray himself as a champion of the $15.00 minimum wage. Yankee Institute recently did a story on Elliott paying employees at his two health food stores $10.50 an hour.

Like Elliott,  the Moo Cluck Moo burger restaurant in Detroit has two locations. They started out in 2012 paying their workers $12.00 an hour, and raised the wages to $15.00 an hour in 2014.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/12/04/368442087/a-burger-joint-pays-15-an-hour-and-yes-its-making-money

The verbal gymnastics progressives have gone through apologizing for Elliott is a prime example of why 46 million people sat out the 2016 elections.

 

NFL Player Protests

The NFL outlawing national anthem protests is bs. That being said, the white liberals and Black Democrats who are railing against the NFL owners’ decision need to check themselves. Black Parkland students held a press conference in April, to speak on how they’ve been marginalized in the gun violence debate. They asked if gun control advocates were going to speak up for victims of police shootings and urban gun violence. Hartford high school students have voiced the same complaint. White liberals and Black Democrats are doing NOTHING on the city, state and federal level to push the Democrats to implement radical policies (body cameras don’t count) that will hold the police accountable. NOTHING.

 

It’s great that New York Jets owner Christopher Johnson will pay any fines, if Jets players kneel during the national anthem. However if Black Democrats and white liberals don’t move beyond lip service and push the Democrats to implement racial justice policies, NFL players will be kneeling for the next 50 years.

Last week Colin Kaepernick’s attorney Mark Geragos told the Straight Aim podcast that at least one NFL owner testified under oath he changed his mind about signing Kaepernick, after President Trump publicly criticized player protests against systematic racism and police brutality. Geragos is representing Kaepernick in his collusion grievance against the NFL

 

Police Accountability

In Georgia, police officers who are accused of committing crimes are given an immunity hearing. The judge can throw out the case before it even goes to trial.  An immunity hearing is being held in the case of former DeKalb County officer Robert Olsen. Olsen is charged with murder for the 2015 fatal shooting of #AnthonyHill, a mentally ill military veteran. Olsen shot Hill as Hill ran towards him naked and unarmed, clearly experiencing a mental health crisis.

Milwaukee police chief Alfonso Morales apologized May 23 for the brutal assault of NBA player Sterling Brown by five Milwaukee police officers, over a PARKING VIOLATION. Morales said the officers were “disciplined”. Brown released a statement.

“My experience in January with the Milwaukee Police Department was wrong and shouldn’t happen to anybody. What should have been a simple parking ticket turned into an attempt at police intimidation, followed by the unlawful use of physical force, including being handcuffed and tased, and then unlawfully booked. This experience with the Milwaukee Police Department has forced me to stand up and tell my story so that I can help prevent these injustices from happening in the future.

Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community. Being a voice and a face for people who won’t be heard and don’t have the same platform as I have is a responsibility I take seriously. I am speaking for Dontre Hamilton of Milwaukee, Laquan McDonald of Chicago, Stephon Clark of Sacramento, Eric Garner of New York, and the list goes on. These people aren’t able to speak anymore because of unjust actions by those who are supposed to “serve and protect” the people.

The common denominator in all of these situations has been racism towards the minority community, the abuse of power, and the lack of accountability for officers involved. The lack of repercussions for the police officers involved in so many of these cases is offensive. This is a slap in the face to the victims’ families and communities.
Black men shouldn’t have to have their guard up and instantly be on the defensive when seeing a police officer, but it’s our reality and a real problem. There must be mutual respect and both sides have to figure out how to accomplish this.

There are no easy solutions to this problem, but there are strides that can be made to create change. I will do my part in helping to prevent similar incidents from happening to the minority community in the future.

This is bigger than me. My family, friends, legal team, Priority Sports, Milwaukee Bucks, the black community and the communities of all who stand against injustice plan to continue the fight. Peaceful support to ensure no further damage to our community is the only way to respond. I know many of you will share my anger and frustration, but for our community to progress and grow, we need to build on what we already have and not destroy it. I will take legal action against the Milwaukee Police Department to continue forcing change in our community.”

 

Terrorist Dies in U.S. a Free Man

Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who personified U.S. hypocrisy on the so-called War on Terror and immigration, died May 23 in Florida at 90. Posada Carriles was a CIA asset who opposed the Fidel Castro regime. Posada Carriles blew up Cubana Flight 455 in 1976, killing 73 people. Posada Carriles was jailed after entering the U.S. illegally in 2005, but was not extradited to Cuba or Venezuela. There were Venezuelan citizens on Flight 455. Posada Carriles was released in 2007 and lived in Florida until his death.

 

North Korea

White liberals understand this: you’re dead wrong in rooting for U.S. talks with North Korea to fail. Peace on the Korean Peninsula would be a good thing.  It doesn’t matter who the president is. South Korea deserves the credit if there are any positive results; anybody who is actually following this issue knows that. Everything isn’t about your #BlueWave bs obsession with regaining power in the 2018 midterms.

 

Resources

Data on Poverty in Connecticut

https://trendct.org/2015/05/27/connecticut-has-more-concentrated-poverty-and-wealth-than-most-metros/
Follow CP on Twitter @communityparty1 for state, national and world news headlines.

Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary:
https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948

Listen to So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues:
http://sometroradio.com/

Check out our No Sellout blog:
https://hendu39.wordpress.com/

Contact us:
samuelssloflo@aol.