Passions Run High At Discussion On Racism

From Dan Tepfer, CT Post:

But it was an unannounced member of the panel, Police Chief Joseph Gaudett who was sitting in the audience, who took much of the spotlight and the heat of the discussion.

“After the slaughter in Trumbull Gardens, I pleaded with the City Council, ‘When are we going to see officers out there 24/7 on the beat. These folks are living in fear; they deserve better treatment,” Clyde Nicholson scolded Gaudett in the audience.

And while Gaudett responded that the Bridgeport Police Department had a plan in place, he resisted calls from the gathering to reveal them. Instead, Gaudett said all would become clear at a press conference by Mayor Bill Finch scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Full story here.



  1. Lennie, don’t expect too many posts on this subject. The followers of OIB typically respond to such conversations by jamming their fingers in their ears and yelling “nananana.” If the debate gets too loud to drown out, they might unplug their ears and lash out at anyone who challenges them to confront the nation’s painful legacy of racism and to consider it not fully behind us. The fixation on race, they claim, can only be the product of individuals who themselves harbor racial prejudice.

    This is a defensive reflex to a difficult topic of discussion–and in few circles is it exhibited more regularly than among white conservatives. Race is a particularly thorny issue for those who subscribe to a political ideology that insists racism has largely been eliminated from modern society. After all, to concede racism is still a deep-seated, systemic problem would likely complicate the long-held conservative position that policies designed to rectify inequities in criminal justice, economics, education, housing, voting and other areas are both unnecessary and unfair (to white people).

    1. Donald, one thing we know is both political parties, Republicans and Democrats have refused to deal with race, in fact both political parties use racism to keep blacks down going all the way back to slavery. The Confederate Flag for example is now making America take a second look at that flag and its true meaning and the fact both Democrats and Republicans supported and endorsed the Confederate Flag, which along with church burnings and the burning of a cross was used to scare blacks.

  2. Well said, Donald. Anyone who questions your comments should first read “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander.

    “Invaluable. … The New Jim Crow is a timely and stunning guide to the labyrinth of propaganda, discrimination, and racist policies masquerading under other names that comprises what we call justice in America.”–Daily Kos

  3. Health expert Sir Michael Marmot noted on a subway ride from southeast Washington, D.C. (an impoverished African American neighborhood) to Montgomery County, Maryland (an affluent white suburb), life expectancy of the surrounding communities rises about a year and a half for every mile traveled, amounting to a 20-year gap.

    For more, visit


    and take the brief quiz.

  4. I am interested in the plan and not the rhetoric. The rhetoric of over 50 years sound like nananana! Since nobody else from any community has been able to solve this problem, we should respectfully listen.

  5. I’d listen to the Mayor and the Chief. Ron, I will concede there has not been a winning formula on race relations for 60 years, so instead of being critical, I’d listen.

  6. If one doesn’t think there is still deep-seated racism in the US, just think back a short time to when President Obama was Candidate Obama and recall all the sick commentary flying about on the Internet and other commonly distributed print publications about the election being about accommodating racial aspirations.

    Maybe racism in the US was tempered slightly by the President’s election and service, but if one pays close attention to right-wing Internet commentary, it is apparent there is still extensive, deep-seated racism in this country.

    And, if as was pointed out by Donald Day, we take stock of how little has been done during the 60 years of the civil rights movement to address issues of economic/societal marginalization of people of color, we have to admit to ongoing prevalent racism–and classism. Actions speak louder than words, and in terms of action, we have been standing still or going in reverse for most of that time.

    Racism won’t end until the economic and social structure of this country is altered by an intense political effort to address the factors of economic marginalization.

    One place to start would be to create full employment, in the US in the context of European-style, socialized medicine.

    We are a country that is generally backward socioeconomically, and until that changes, the factors that nurture racism and classism will continue to determine racial/social relations in this country.

    In short, we need radical political change–a return to Roosevelt and Kennedy-style democracy.

  7. Steve, winning formulae don’t work because if you take the U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Brown v. the Board Of Education, the southern states refuse to enforce the law of the nation and that started private schools all over the south but it also brought out the Confederate Flag that flew over the capitals to show the court and America how much they hated that decision. America has never had a conversation on race.

  8. The problem with discussing racism is, white folks don’t want to talk abut it. Growing up in Simsbury, a lily-white suburb of Hartford, racism didn’t exist, at least not until local real estate agents were fined for “redlining.” Even then the issue was dealt with by NOT discussing it. The method of dealing with it was very Protestant–ignore it and it will not exist. (I couldn’t even say the word “racism” while I lived there, as if the mere utterance would call down the wrath of the Almighty.)

    Racism does exist. The recent death of Freddie Gray in police custody in Baltimore, Maryland, spawned rioting and looting that went unchecked for some time until the National Guard was called in. While not condoning the burning and looting that went on I do appreciate where the community was coming from. Too many unarmed African American men have had fatal encounters with law enforcement. Here’s a partial list of names going back to January 2014:

    • Rumain Brisbon, 34, Phoenix, Ariz.–Dec. 2, 2014
    • Tamir Rice, 12, Cleveland, Ohio–Nov. 22, 2014
    • Akai Gurley, 28, Brooklyn, NY–Nov. 20, 2014
    • Kajieme Powell, 25, St. Louis, Mo.–August 19, 2014
    • Ezell Ford, 25, Los Angeles, Calif.–August 12, 2014
    • Dante Parker, 36, San Bernardino County, Calif.–August 12, 2014
    • Michael Brown, 18, Ferguson, Mo.–August 9, 2014
    • John Crawford III, 22, Beavercreek, Ohio–August 5, 2014
    • Tyree Woodson, 38, Baltimore, Md.–August 2, 2014
    • Eric Garner, 43, New York, N.Y.–July 17, 2014
    • Victor White III, 22, Iberia Parish, La.–March 22, 2014
    • Yvette Smith, 47, Bastrop, Texas–February 16, 2014
    • Jordan Baker, 26, Houston, Texas–January 16, 2014
    • McKenzie Cochran, 25, Southfield, Mich.–January 28, 2014

    Too often police officers assume young black men are up to no good. This assumption caused a federal judge to order the NYPD to halt that department’s “stop and frisk” program.

    And then there was the shooting at Trumbull Gardens. The people responsible must be brought to justice for committing that horrific act. And the Bridgeport Police Department MUST do more, much more to make residents of all housing projects in the city feel safer and more secure. The rank-and-file uniformed officers working the city are to be commended for doing a job that is stressful even during the best of times. It is the department’s leadership and management, and the mayor’s office, that give the department a bad name. Joe Ganim and Mary-Jane Foster are trying to earn political capital out of this tragedy. Not surprising–both of them want to be the mayor of Fun City. And they are both right to criticize City Hall for not doing much of anything to deal with the problem. Gaudett “has a plan,” or so he says. Three weeks after the shooting incident there is still no police presence in Trumbull Gardens. So that is the chief’s plan: do nothing, see nothing, say nothing.


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