Don’t get us wrong, readers! If Donald Trump can be an effective or even great president, we’re all for him! The above videos – snap shots of Trump being on-message, funny and real – are glimmers of hope. After watching these videos and others, you realize there is something quite endearing – dare I say loveable?! – about the Donald!: #1 – He is authentic. Totally himself … and that is GREAT. It’s a lot of fun, kinda scary, ultimately mesmerizing. Trump doesn’t hold back or disengage or quit working at 6:30 p.m. every night to spend time with his family like President Obama did. Nope. Trump – with wife Melania MIA in another state – is ON 24/7. Like a great, bizarre ’round the clock reality TV show! And we’re all addicted to watching it! Last night I began watching an old President Obama video and shut it off. Boring!!! I tuned into Trump – and had fun. So what if we are all going to be incinerated?!!! Trump is one hell of a roller coaster ride! He is combative but takes his lumps, too – for his gaffes, hissy fits, open bathrobe and fumbling for light switches in a lights-out White House.
Donald Trump seems to crave unending adoration, but his emotional neediness often manifests itself as a kind of goofy friendliness… . President Obama was aloof. Trump is anything but. He’s a hugger, hand-holder, hand-shaker, glad-hander … a people person. Nutty. But gregarious. I like that. He could be Italian-American – a Rat Pack ba da boom kinda prez! Trump’s out-sized personality is why he has connected with so many – millions of – Americans. They love him! He’s like lots of great U.S. presidents/politicians – loves to, lives to swaddle himself in the hoi polloi and upper classes and everyone in between: FDR, LBJ, Teddy Roosevelt. You can tell Trump LOVES being president! Which is why he filed his papers for re-election immediately after Inauguration Day!!!
Trump’s manic energy encompasses all – sucks you in. He has bonded with the forgotten Americans: white working class regular folks who, on a number of fronts, most important, the economic one, have suffered for many many years. He says he will change their – our – lives. Tonic to the people!
Trump, for me, feels especially like Lyndon B. Johnson – a natural, gifted, LOVE ME NOW-PLEASE! kind of politician. Trump can’t mask his insecurity and he can’t get enough of Americans and our problems, feelings, food etc. The voters, miners, teachers, Congress – he’ll spread the Donald all over the place, like the special sauce on a Big Mac.
And it feels kinda nice. Fucked up. But nice.
Raise the federal minimum wage, Donald! Support our unions! Create a robust AMERICAN INFRASTRUCTURE REBUILDING federal program that puts millions of regular guys and gals back to work at GOOD PAYING JOBS rebuilding America’s highways, bridges, airports, etc! Quit stomping on the Constitution, and you just may make it, after all!🇺🇸🍦🍟🍔🍕
editor’s note: I’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.
By filmmaker Michael Moore
Friends, I welcome you to “The Michael Moore Easy-to-Follow 10-Point Plan to Stop Trump.”
First, let’s acknowledge what we all know to be true: Trump is in deep, deep trouble – in the pocket of Russians, surrounded by alt.right idiots, alone in his bathrobe in a mostly-empty White House – and caught inside a disgusting “shit-sandwich,” so said his supporter who turned down the NSA job.
Only one month into his So-Called Presidency – and yet there is good news, as this is what the American landscape looks like:
• Tens of thousands of citizens across the country have stormed Congressional district offices and town hall meetings to express their rage at the Trump agenda (a dejected Republican congressman, after a 3-hour verbal assault from his angry constituents, said on TV last night, “let’s face it – they [the Obamacare supporters] have won.”).
• A federal court halted Trump’s first Muslim Ban – actually, make that FOUR federal courts have ruled against him! He’s conceded defeat and will not appeal to the Supreme Court (though he will try a new ban – and good luck with that, you son of a Scottish immigrant).
• Progressive Democrat Congressman Keith Ellison appears to be the front-runner for this Saturday’s vote to head the Democratic Party – and to FIX the whole damn mess! Also, a recruitment drive has begun across the country to find the best local candidates to run for state and federal offices in 2018. Millions are committed to never letting the Debacle of ‘16 happen again.
• Our beautiful Army of Comedy – with its Platoon of Satirists led by Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy – is killing it! The devastating impersonation of White House spokesman Sean Spicer by McCarthy has Trump fuming to the point where he has considered getting rid of Spicer. Politico says he simply can’t watch one of his top aides being portrayed by … a woman!
So the momentum is with us right now – and if we all just take a little time to do the Action Plan below, I’m convinced we’ll succeed in halting the dark force that is Trump. We can tie him up in knots at every turn, and eventually, we can bring him down.
So let’s get started with our…
10-POINT ACTION PLAN TO STOP TRUMP
1. THE DAILY CALL: You must call Congress every day. Yes – YOU! 202-225-3121. It will take just TWO MINUTES! Make it part of your daily routine, one of those five things you do every morning without even thinking about it:
1. Wake up.
2. Brush teeth.
3. Walk dog (or stare at cat).
4. Make coffee.
5. Call Congress.
It is impossible to overstate just how much power you have by making this simple, quick DAILY CALL. I know from firsthand experience the impact it has. These politicians freak out if they get just 10 calls on an issue. Imagine them getting 10,000! Holy crap – the dome will pop off that building!
NOTE: if you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t need to call because my rep is a Democrat!” — that is NOT true. They need to hear from you. They need to know they have your support. Don’t believe it? Our beloved Sen. Elizabeth Warren voted in favor of Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development! I’m sure no one in Massachusetts thought they had to call her. YOU DO! She and the other Dems need to hear from the boss — YOU! They work for us – and what boss doesn’t have daily contact with his or her employees?
It’s easy to make The Daily Call. To call your U.S. member of Congress or Senators in D.C., dial 202-225-3121 (or 202-224-3121 if busy). It’s even better to call their direct line. For Senators, find each of their numbers here: http://bit.ly/2kko0Ao. For the direct line to your member in the House of Representatives: http://house.gov/representatives.
Here’s some great news: Someone has created an app to make this very easy: Go to the App Store and get “5 Calls.” The app will dial the friggin’ phone for you and give you talking points for when you speak to your reps!
Here’s what a sample week of your DAILY CALL can look like:
On Monday, call your Congressman/woman and tell them you do not want them to repeal Obamacare. In fact, you want them to improve it so that we have single-payer universal health care like all other “civilized” countries.
On Tuesday, call the first of your two U.S. Senators and tell him to vote NO on Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy. He couldn’t even remember there was a Department of Energy – or what it did!
On Wednesday, call your other U.S. Senator. Demand she do everything in her power to block the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Thursday, call your local State House/Assembly representative in your state capital. Tell her you want the House to vote for legislation that prohibits the incarceration of nonviolent drug users.
On Friday, call your State Senator. Tell him you want him to support all efforts to reduce those activities which cause climate change.
If you’d rather to write to your reps, you can find the best way to do that for each of them here by typing in your address on: democracy.io.
I will post updates on the actions we’re fighting for each day and week on my Twitter and Facebook pages. If you want to know what to call your reps about, I encourage you to follow me right now on Facebook at facebook.com/MMFlint and on Twitter at @MMFlint. All my social media sites are at my website www.michaelmoore.com.
Remember – A call a day keeps the Trump away.
2. THE MONTHLY VISIT: To add even more pressure, SHOW UP! Your member of Congress has a local office in your town or somewhere nearby. So do both of your U.S. Senators (often in the nearest federal building). Go there and ask to speak to their aide about the issues we’re facing (again, I will continually post them on my social media sites).
Also, don’t forget to visit the local office (or the state capitol office) of your State Representative/Assemblyperson, and your State Senator.
And, if you’re lucky to live within driving distance of Washington, DC, show up on Capitol Hill and pay an unannounced (it’s legal!) in-person visit to your U.S. Senators and your Congressman/woman. They pay serious attention to this. It blows their mind that you’d drive that far to see them. Do it!
I know not everyone has the time to do THE MONTHLY VISIT – but if you can, please do!
3. YOUR OWN PERSONAL RAPID RESPONSE TEAM: You and 5 to 20 friends and family members must become your personal RAPID RESPONSE TEAM. Sign everybody up so that when we need to leap into action (like we did at the airports the hour after Trump signed his Muslim Ban), you can email and text each other and make an instant plan. On other days, you’ll share links to good investigative stories and TV news items. Come up with a name for your RAPID RESPONSE TEAM — mine is called “The V for Vendetta Rapid Response Team” and it consists of myself, my daughter and son-in-law (and their new baby!); my two sisters, their spouses and adult children; my cousin; 8 friends; 6 co-workers; and my next door neighbor. That’s 27 of us and we live from Seattle to Michigan to Maryland. And each of them are forming their own local Rapid Response Teams. So that means the 27 on my team are so far responsible 405 new Rapid Responders overnight! And each of those 405 are doing the same – they’re recruiting their own 5-20 people – and BOOM! 4,050 more Rapid Responders tomorrow — and growing!
4. JOIN! JOIN! JOIN!: We all know it’s time for all of us to be part of a greater whole, so let’s actually physically sign up online and JOIN some of our great national groups. I’ve joined Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, and ERA Action. Some charge money to join, so if you don’t have much, pick the lowest amount ($5 for ACLU for example) — or join groups that don’t charge anything (but if you can help them financially, please do). They will keep you informed of national actions and fight for us in court.
5. THE WOMEN’S MARCH NEVER ENDS: The historical, record-breaking January 21st Women’s March on Washington — and the hundreds of other Marches that day across the US and the world, with over 4 million in attendance! — brought massive numbers of people out who had never protested in their lives. It inspired millions of others and ignited so many local movements we still can’t count them all. The day after the Women’s March, another two dozen protests took place. The day after that, 2,000 Utahans jammed into their state capitol in Salt Lake City. Then, on the following Saturday, tens of thousands of Americans occupied their local airports to oppose Trump’s Muslim ban. And on and on and on. Every day — still! — dozens of actions continue to take place as if the Women’s March never ended. It hasn’t. Join it!
I and a group of friends have set up THE RESISTANCE CALENDAR (www.resistancecalendar.com) that is updated daily, where you can find out what actions are taking place near where you live. All you have to do is type in your city or state in the search bar.
It’s critical that large numbers of us continue to march, protest, sit-in, and be very visible – to Trump, so he knows we are the majority; to put the Dems on notice that we expect them to grow a spine; to our fellow Americans who live in Boise or Tulsa or Grand Rapids and have been feeling alone and afraid since the election. Our mass presence reminds them the people didn’t elect Trump. And it is good for each of us to operate in concert with each other, to feel the solidarity and the hope.
And the official Women’s March on Washington – they’ve called for a national Women’s Strike on March 8th. Let’s join them!
6. TAKE OVER THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: The old guard of the Party has twice in 16 years presided over the majority of Americans electing the Democrat to the White House – only for us all to see the losing Republican inaugurated as President. How is it that we have won the popular vote in SIX OF THE LAST SEVEN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS — the Republicans have only won ONCE since 1988 — and yet, we hold NO power in any branch of government?! That, plus losing 1,000 local seats in this election that the Dems use to hold — plus watching many Dems in Congress unwilling to stand up to Trump — PLEASE, the old leadership has to go. God love ’em for their contributions in the past, but if we don’t enact a radical overhaul right now, we are doomed as far as having a true opposition party during the Trump era. And that, more than anything, will help to usher in the vice-grip of a totalitarian culture.
You must do two things:
1. Let the DNC know that THIS SATURDAY, February 25th, the Democratic National Committee MUST elect reform and progressive candidate, Congressman Keith Ellison, as the new DNC chair. Keith is a former community organizer, the first Muslim elected to Congress, and a key backer of Bernie Sanders. He not only has Bernie’s support -and mine-but he’s also backed by Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Gloria Steinem, John Lewis and many others. Sign his petition of support at www.keithfordnc.org/howyoucanhelp. Let the DNC know how you feel.
And locally, you need to start attending your county Democratic meetings. If possible, organize your friends and others and take over your local Dem organization. More on this at a later date.
7. HELP FORM BLUE REGIONS OF RESISTANCE: People keep saying to me, “Mike – I live in a Blue State – what can I do?” If you live in a Blue State, you have one of the MOST important tasks to complete: Show the rest of America what it looks like when Trump isn’t in charge! Blue States and Blue Cities must do an end-run around Trump and create the America we want to live in. That means New York goes ahead and offers Free College for All. California can create its own Universal Health Care. Oregon can stop mass incarceration of African Americans. Hawaii can enact its own climate change laws. Blue States can show the rest of country how much better life can be. Important historical note: Before Roe v. Wade made abortion legal, California and New York passed their own state laws to make it legal. This greatly helped pave the way for CHOICE being the new normal — and the enactment of Row v. Wade.
8. YOU MUST RUN FOR OFFICE: I know, that’s the LAST thing you want to do. But if we keep leaving the job up to the dismal, lame, pathetic political hacks who have sold us all down the river, then what right do we have to complain? This is only going to get fixed when you and I decide we are willing to put in our time — even if it is a brief time — and run for office. I ran when I was 18 and got elected. You can, too. We need good candidates for the 2018 elections — and not just Congress and State Houses, but also school boards, city councils and county commissions. Why not take out a petition today and run next year? Heck, I’ll bet I’ll even support you!
I realize most of you can’t do this — but there is one office every one of us can and SHOULD run for next year: PRECINCT DELEGATE. Every precinct, every neighborhood can elect x-number of Dems to the county Democratic Convention. It’s on the ballot and it’s usually blank – no one runs for it. So the precinct delegates end up being appointed by the party hacks. And that’s who ends up eventually at the national convention to pick the next presidential candidate. So this is an important position to run for. The time commitment is just 3 hours a year! You attend the county convention — that’s it. Call your city or county clerk and find out how to get on the ballot. If you’ll do it, I’ll do it. It’s the first step to making sure we put a candidate on the ballot who can win.
9. YOU MUST BECOME THE MEDIA: Stop complaining about the media, stop wishing they were something they’re not, find the ones who are doing a good job and then start your own “media empire” by sharing their work and your work on the internet. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media sites to spread news and information. Make sure all your friends and family are signed up. Yes, I’m talking to you, Baby Boomers. Get over it, put down your postage stamps and your “TV clicker” and find a six-year old to show you how to start tweeting. You can be your own reporter, your own editor. You can curate the news for your friends. And now Facebook lets you have your own network with Facebook Live! It’s all free. Get on social media now. Imagine, your own CNN is in the palm of your hand…
10. JOIN THE ARMY OF COMEDY: Trump’s Achilles heel is his massively thin skin. He can’t take mockery. So we all need to MOCK HIM UP! Not just the brilliant people at SNL or Colbert, Seth Myers or Samantha Bee — but YOU. Use your sense of humor and share it with people. Get them to do the same. Keep sending around the SNL links spoofing Sean Spicer, Trump and Kellyanne — there’s no such thing as watching them too many times! Hahaha. I truly believe the final tipping point for Trump will be when he implodes from all the laughter — the mocking, the unbearable ridicule of tens of millions of Americans that will discombobulate him and force him out of the White House. I know this seems like Mike’s fever dream, but I believe it can work. I don’t know what happened to Trump in boarding school at 13 and I don’t care. Whatever it was, let’s use it. He’s used all the other things he picked up over the years – misogyny, bigotry, greed – against the powerless and the unfortunate. It’s time to laugh him outta town. And if there’s one thing we all could use right now is a good laugh — AND the possibility of a much-shortened presidential term.
So, there you go! The 10-Point Action Plan to Thump Trump. Something for everyone. And every one of us needs to do them. Please share this and spread the word. We can stop him. We can nonviolently block and obstruct halt the damage he’s doing. But it’s going to need – and take – ALL HANDS ON DECK!
****** editor’s note: from Congressman Jim McGovern’s office. I’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.:
Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat, joined 26 of his fellow lawmakers on a letter to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) demanding a full investigation of potential ethics violations concerning Kellyanne Conway’s recent public comments encouraging Americans to purchase items from the fashion line produced by President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. The letter was led by Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI).
In an interview from the White House Press Briefing room, Conway, who is a Counselor to President Donald Trump, appears to have violated Office of Government Ethics laws by promoting Ivanka Trump’s brand on Fox News.
According to the Office of Government Ethics, “An employee shall not use his public office for his own private, for the endorsement of any product, service of enterprise, or for the gain of friends, relatives, or person with the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.”
Congressman McGovern and his fellow lawmakers are calling on Chairman Chaffetz to “examine potential ethics violations concerning Kellyanne Conway’s recent public comments encouraging Americans to purchase items from the fashion line produced by President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.”
“Across the government, federal employees are expected to be held to a high standard of ethics. As a federal employee, Kellyanne Conway appears to have clearly violated these standards with her recent comments,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is especially troubling that Kellyanne Conway appears to have used her position of power in the White House to directly enrich the Trump family through Ivanka Trump’s fashion line. Such a blatant disregard for federal law and ethics standards set for public servants undermines public faith in our government.”
McGovern and House Democrats criticized Chaffetz for failing to exercise any oversight of the Trump White House up to this point. “To date, you have shown little inclination to conduct even basic oversight of President Trump or his top advisers. Appearing last night on CNN, you stated repeatedly that you would not request information about the President’s massive conflicts of interest, referring to such oversight efforts as a ‘fishing expedition.’ However, you did promise to investigate future incidents when ‘something goes awry,’ as it clearly has here.”
“We encourage you to examine the blatant and inappropriate remarks made by Kellyanne Conway immediately and ensure members of the Trump Administration do not continue to use their positions of power to enrich members of the Trump family.”
Joining McGovern and Pocan on the letter are Representatives Brendan F. Boyle (PA-13), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Val Demings (Fl-10), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Theodore E. Deutch (FL-21), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Gwen S. Moore (WI-04), Richard M. Nolan (MN-08), Jared Polis (CO-02), David Price (NC-04), John Sarbanes (MD-03), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Darren Soto (FL-09), Mark Takano (CA-41), Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02), and Nydia Velázquez (NY-07).
Full Text of the Letter from House Democrats to Chairman Chaffetz:
February 9, 2017
Chairman Jason Chaffetz
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Chaffetz:
We are writing to request the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform examine potential ethics violations concerning Kellyanne Conway’s recent public comments encouraging Americans to purchase items from the fashion line produced by President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to President Trump, is a federal employee and appears to have clearly violated federal ethics laws delineated by the Office of Government Ethics.
According to the Office of Government Ethics, “An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.” In a February 9, 2017, interview from the White House press briefing room with the Fox News Channel, Kellyanne Conway urged Americans to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff…It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it…I fully—I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
Across the government, federal employees are expected to be held to a high standard of ethics. As a federal employee, Kellyanne Conway appears to have clearly violated these standards with her recent comments. It is especially troubling that Kellyanne Conway appears to have used her position of power in the White House to directly enrich the Trump family through Ivanka Trump’s fashion line. Such a blatant disregard for federal law and ethics standards set for public servants undermines public faith in our government.
To date, you have shown little inclination to conduct even basic oversight of President Trump or his top advisers. Appearing last night on CNN, you stated repeatedly that you would not request information about the President’s massive conflicts of interest, referring to such oversight efforts as a “fishing expedition.” However, you did promise to investigate future incidents when “something goes awry,” as it clearly has here.
We encourage you to examine the blatant and inappropriate remarks made by Kellyanne Conway immediately and ensure members of the Trump Administration do not continue to use their positions of power to enrich members of the Trump family.
“We the People is a nonpartisan campaign dedicated to igniting a national dialogue about American identity and values through public art and story sharing.
“Print [these posters], paste it, post it — just don’t sell it. Share this art with your community!”
By Shepard Fairey:
By Jessica Sabogal:
By Ernesto Yerena:
****** Last week’s Worcester rally in support of immigrants and refugees… (photos: Mayor’s Office)
We the people!
Black Culture Movie Night
At the Worcester Public Library
Compiled by Parlee Jones
Feb 15 – Wednesday
Black Culture Movie Night
Hidden Colors – Part 1
Hidden Colors is a documentary about the real and untold history of people of color around the globe. This film discusses some of the reasons the contributions of African and aboriginal people have been left out of the pages of history. Traveling around the country, the film features scholars, historians, and social commentators who uncovered such amazing facts about things such as: *the original image of Christ * the true story about the Moors *the original people of Asia *the great west African empires *the presence of Africans in America before Columbus
*the real reason slavery was ended *And much more.
Feb. 22 – Wednesday
Black Culture Movie Night
Trials of Muhammad Ali
No conventional sports documentary, THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI investigates its extraordinary and often complex subject’s life outside the boxing ring. From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali,to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality, to his global humanitarian work, Muhammad Ali remains an inspiring and controversial figure. Outspoken and passionate in his beliefs, Ali found himself in the center of America’s controversies over
race, religion, and war. From Kartemquin
Films, this film examines how one of the
most celebrated sports champions of the
20th century risked his fame and fortune to follow his faith and conscience.
Feb. 25 – Saturday
Black Culture Movie for Children
Under the cover of darkness a small boy,
Maki, loosens the shackles that bind him and escapes into the desert night. Pursued by slavers across the moon-lit savannah, Maki meets Zarafa, a baby giraffe – and an orphan, just like he is – as well as the nomad Hassan, Prince of the Desert. Hassan takes them to Alexandria for an audience with the Pasha of Egypt, who orders him to deliver the exotic animal as a gift to King Charles of France. And so Maki, Zarafa and Hassan take off in a hot-air balloon to cross the Mediterranean, setting off an adventure across Northern Africa, the bustling port of Marseilles, and over the snow-capped peaks of the Alps, arriving at last in Paris. But all the while, Maki is determined to find a way to return Zarafa to her rightful home.
We love our Mayor Joe Petty – a good man, a modest man, a family man, a man we’d like to claim our Urban Superman! Since he’s been mayor I’ve availed myself of his services! I’ve called/texted Petty about illegal dumping, drug houses, street lighting problems here on Ward Street – the nitty gritty of inner-city life that you need to stay on top of 24/7, if you want to create a safe, liveable city. I’ve contacted him many, many times. I’d say weekly!!! He and his staff have come through for our ‘hood every time!
And Joe’s talked of the finer things too – stuff we in-city denizens would love to see happen here: a dog park for our pits and huskies and hounds, a sports field for our kids in our three deckers, mounted police on real horses – magical nature! These “good things in life” are sometimes out of our reach – but they blunt the sharp edges of our lives here, take some of the sting out, make people feel GOOD, like we MATTER.
ALL LIVES MATTER!!
But Joe Petty’s only human – we all screw up sometimes…the hot mic, the cold truth (which we may never know)…the evil Gaffney calling for a resignation so he can be our mayor. GAK!
IT’S TIME FOR FORGIVENESS, PEOPLE!
Petty’s done a lot for this town! Let’s let go…let God!
Petty is not a racist or classist – he’s been there for all the diverse ethnic and cultural groups that call Worcester home. For years. He works to turn the cacophony of 21st century Worcester life into JOYFUL NOISE! America! I am proud of him for that – and forever grateful. For me, that’s what city life’s about – DIVERSITY! The excitement as we discover new and different perspectives, foods, music, religions… I love mixing with all the folks in my neighborhood – I’m the minority here! And, always, everyone, for almost four years, has been great: Beauty and her little brother, the teens walking down my street, the Latino guy across the street who jumped my car battery just a few days ago, in the brutal cold. Our conversation was pleasant, comfy in the January ice box of Woo! He was so nice to me – and vice versa.
The people just new to America – or almost newbie – is the Worcester of today! Mayor Joe Petty gets that – he embraces our new city – unlike Turtle Boy and his folks who want to see Woo whiter, more upper-middle class … more suburban, with cool stuff to do. Just minus the other REAL stuff! If you cannot dig in and enjoy or at least try to understand the new city, then maybe you need to move on – as Turtle Boy Aidan Kearney has (to Jefferson, MA) – and watch the grass grow green…
I remember one especially fine Mayor Joe Petty moment: It was a weekend a few years ago and he attended a gathering of new immigrants to Worcester – a group whose name I can’t even remember, so obsure to me (shame on me). There were maybe 20 or so folks who came together for the cultural event. All were poor, few could speak English. But there was the news story about Joe at the event. There was Joe smiling and meeting and greeting – letting these people (refugees?!😌) know that they had a seat at the Worcester table. That they mattered.
Of course, Aidan Kearney on his Turtle Boy blog and his minions in the comment section had a field day: What’s Petty doing there? What a waste of time and energy!!! When Woo has so many urgent problems that need solving NOW! What a dope!
But Aidan and his followers, including his biggest supporter the politically conniving City Councilor Michael Gaffney, don’t get it! When the mayor does this kind of stuff – it’s outreach – he is nipping potential urban problems in the bud: Getting new people – especially kids – to trust Worcester govt and all her branches: our police, our schools, our city councilors. Why feel disconnected?, he is telling them with his hand shakes, hugs and food sampling. Why feel alone?
A sense of not belonging makes it easy for kids growing up to join a gang, hate City Hall, eschew voting, embrace damaging parkland, the hood where you live. Better to shower them and all the people with love! We’re a Catholic, Muslim, Old Time Religion kind of town that embraces LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING. We know how to do the right thing. The smart thing! The American thing!
Forgiveness, people! Let’s move on!
Go, Joe, go! We know your a good mayor – a good man! We’ve got YOUR back!
I’m the grand-daughter of immigrants… Rosalie and her Polish grandpa many moons ago🌃
All of us Americans, if we look far back enough, or just over our shoulders to our parents, have roots that lead back to other lands, places that often persecuted us, kept us down, treated us like second and third class citzens and worse …
These past few years the blood has flown in Syria – horrible oppression and chaos and war. Maybe President Obama should have sent troops into Syria, U.S. combat boots on the ground, especially after the country’s “leaders” began using poisonous chemicals to kill dissidents, killing the children, too. Horrific. Many Syrian families swarmed into inflatable “boats” to cross the ocean to leave their hellish country for new countries … They had hope. But they were poor…So many of the people, little children!, didn’t make it…
“Turkish media identified the boy as three-year-old Alan Kurdi and reported that his five-year-old brother had also met a similar death. Both had reportedly hailed from the northern Syrian town of Kobani, the site of fierce fighting between Islamic state insurgents and Kurdish forces earlier this year.” The Guardian
When Donald Trump bans Syrian refugees from American soil for months, this can happen…
“A Turkish police officer carries the young boy who drowned in a failed attempt to sail to the Greek island of Kos.” The Guardian. Photographs: Reuters.
And this …
Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney has sunk to a new low, and his toxic political shell game could have brought our city to its knees. But instead the people were glorious and rose up and rallied! – HUNDREDS IN A JANUARY SNOWSTORM OUTSIDE OUR CITY HALL! Where, in the snow and raw New England cold, they shouted, NO! NO! NO! NEVER IN OUR CITY! Refugees and immigrants ALWAYS welcome here!
And then, inside Worcester City Hall, people whose roots extend to countries all over the globe got up to testify – tell their family stories. Armenia. Vietnam. Central America. Italy. Ireland. Africa. They were saying: Listen to our stories. The refugee and immigrant stories of today are our stories! AMERICAN stories!
The Gaffney resolution went down to defeat tonight. So will City Councilor Konstantina Lukes’ miserable proposal. A toxic after-thought cobbled together by – get this! – the daughter of Albanian immigrants who owned and operated a diner in Connecticut! (What would your father think of your shit-sandwich, hold the compassion, Konnie? You were the apple of his eye!)
Worcester is not Trumpland! We are not a police state where people are bullied into doing what our impetuous, vindictive, dangerous new president wants them to do! As Worcester Mayor Joe Petty said to the peaceful, yet ebullient (cuz they were on justice’s side😇) crowd before the City Council meeting: He – WE – will not allow WALLS TO GO UP BETWEEN GROUPS OF PEOPLE. In Worcester, the walls COME DOWN!
Go, Mayor Petty, go!!!
No one, no child, should fear that he or she will be forced to leave Worcester, their home: friends, school, church, work, sports teams, a routine they call their own … a place where they’ve begun to realize their unique American Dream!
Power to the people! We, the people, can do amazing things! We did, here in Worcester, TONIGHT!!!
This is how Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney describes tomorrow’s rally for refugees and immigrants. His every word toxic, divisive … DELIBERATELY misleading. He’s a bright guy – full of himself – he knows how to make his every word glow evil:
“Joe Petty, the Mayor of Worcester, calls for a mob to descend on our City to coerce local officials to violate their oath of office.”
Calling Joseph P. McCarthy! Calling Joseph P. McCarthy!
This, on the other hand, is how Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty and his office describe the event. Petty is a good, intelligent, sensitive city leader. He’s a great listener, a great bridge-builder between our communities – a perfect fit for the Worcester of 2017: diverse, striving, multi-lingual, up and coming!
From the Mayor’s Office:
“Good evening …
“Tomorrow evening, January 31 at 6 PM in front of Worcester City Hall, Mayor Joseph M. Petty, will be addressing a crowd that is peacefully protesting President Trump’s executive actions on immigration and recent, divisive city council orders.
“Hundreds are planning to attend the Solidarity Rally in support of Worcester’s refugees and immigrants.
“The event is sponsored by dozens of organizations.
“All are welcome to attend.”
Michael Gaffney, we’re begging you: Get some therapy! You’re not well. The mayoral seat isn’t worth all your scheming, your contorting the truth like a midway pretzel, your scapegoating minority groups … hurting so many people – that means the City of Worcester!
This demonstration, in support of Worcester’s immigrants and refugees, is to show THE CITY AND THE WORLD that Donald Trump and City Councilor Michael Gaffney’s hate-filled demagoguery has no place in Worcester! They will not score political points with our most vulnerable people – most of them women and children (under 12 years of age!)!
Let’s stop the madness in Worcester!
This demonstration is organized by Showing Up for Racial Justice Worcester. To learn more and sign up, check out their FB page!