Tag Archives: classism and racism

First ever Black Lives Matter agenda …

… released today!

A coalition affiliated with BLM issued the following:

CLICK HERE to read entire document!

“We demand an end to the war against Black people. Since this country’s inception there have been named and unnamed wars on our communities. We demand an end to the criminalization, incarceration, and killing of our people. This includes:

“An immediate end to the criminalization and dehumanization of Black youth across all areas of society including, but not limited to; our nation’s justice and education systems, social service agencies, and media and pop culture. This includes an end to zero-tolerance school policies and arrests of students, the removal of police from schools, and the reallocation of funds from police and punitive school discipline practices to restorative services.

“An end to capital punishment.
An end to money bail, mandatory fines, fees, court surcharges and “defendant funded” court proceedings.

“An end to the use of past criminal history to determine eligibility for housing, education, licenses, voting, loans, employment, and other services and needs.

“An end to the war on Black immigrants including the repeal of the 1996 crime and immigration bills, an end to all deportations, immigrant detention, and Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) raids, and mandated legal representation in immigration court.

“An end to the war on Black trans, queer and gender nonconforming people including their addition to anti-discrimination civil rights protections to ensure they have full access to employment, health, housing and education. …  .”

CLICK HERE to read entire document!

Governor Charlie Baker’s proposal will do harm to the poor and communities of color

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Keep it real – and fair

By Gordon Davis

Disparate Impact is when a so called neutral policy has a more severe negative impact on one protected class than on other protected classes.

A local columnist wrote about Charlie Baker’s support for a change in the law that would change the penalties for assault and battery on a police officer to mandatory jail time.

This policy disparately impacts poor communities and communities of people with dark skin.

Poor people have more interactions with the police because we walk, take the bus and drive early model cars. Each interaction such as fitting the description, broken tail lights, and stop and frisk increases the likelihood of a bad outcome.

I have personal experience with these pretexts. In the 1970s I was walking home on Austin Street and a police officer, James Reardon, arrested me for walking without an ID. He charged me with being disorderly and rudeness.

The judge dismissed the case.

Another time at a demonstration a person pushed a woman protester and I got between them. The person then attacked me. I was struck in the back of the head by a police officer whom I never saw. He then charged me with assault and battery on a police officer. The police officer chose to protect the bully and cover up his battery on me with a pretext.

Again, when I told my story in court the judge dismissed the case.

The worst experience of pretext was when I was arrested at another demonstration. The police officer was out of shape. I heard the order from the sergeant to arrest “anyone.” The big cop arrested me for no apparent reason other than I was nearby. When in the police station the cops threw me on the floor and used a choke stick until I nearly blacked out. I was relieved when someone yelled out: “Stop it! He had enough!”

This case was also dismissed.

The city government of Worcester has used pretext to enforce a racist disparately negative policy. For years, and even today, the gang unit has a policy of stop and frisk without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion. Sometimes “fitting the description” is the pretext. Most of the time no explanation is given.

An example of this was when the Worcester Youth Center was located in Federal Square.

The alcove in front of the store-front was private property. The Youth Center kids would gather in the alcove and smoke and talk. The police did not have authority over smoking on private property. Authority or not, the police continually ordered the kids to go inside. When the Youth Center director complained, the police arrested him for assault and battery on a police officer. This case was like the other pretexts.

Governor Charlie Baker’s proposal will do harm to the poor and people of color communities.

It will contribute to racist mass incarceration.

The drug abuse laws have been written with a disparately negative impact on the poor and communities of color.

These laws creating mandatory prison sentences for assault and battery on police officers will be unfairly enforced and have an unfair impact.

Worcester Police Chief Sargent has stated that his policy for policing is the “Broken Windows.” This policy needs to be explained to our communities. Will it increase the negative interactions between the residents of Worcester and the police?

There is need in Worcester for a real discussion about race and police policy. City Council, city manager and our WPD should be transparent with the residents of Worcester.

Great city story …

It’s happening in the Canal District. From a farmers market that refuses to accept SNAP, WIC cards, a farmers market that refuses to let low-income seniors buy bread with their senior citizen farmers markets coupons … to the people who work the market, attend the market. The same person of color in every publicity picture doesn’t hide the facts: gentrification purposely, purposefully  excludes poor people and people of color.  ….

From THE BOSTON GLOBE.  – R.T.

Gentrification: white people following white people

When we think of gentrification, we imagine swarms of young upper middle class white people moving into previously minority neighborhoods, bringing pour-over coffee and higher property tax bills in their wakes. It’s a controversial migration, not least because of the existing residents who are displaced, but it’s also seen as a welcome step away from the segregation that set in after the “white flight” of the 60s and 70s.

Now an inventive new study using Google Street View and an archive of 1990s videotapes has found that gentrification may involve less racial mixing than we assume—and in fact, may reinforce residential segregation. …

CLICK HERE to read entire piece.