Archive | Editoral

Tags:

Halloween Hysteria Over Sex Offenders Unwarranted


Dear Editor,

After the salacious onslaught of sexual abuse news from the Brett Kavanaugh accusations, we should breathe a sigh of relief that focus might turn elsewhere, at least until the next round.

Not so.

Halloween is here and once again, false and misleading information will be disseminated regarding “saving” children from sexual predators – read: anyone on the CT sex offense registry. It’s an annual event when maps are often published about where people on the CT registry live, inviting vigilantism and public shaming including shaming of family members, disallowing persons on the registry from trick or treating even with their own children and all too often repeating false information about danger posed.

Of course, parents should look after their children closely. Most bad things that happen on Halloween are injuries from cars or wet roads, too much of a good thing ie:  candy or ill-fitting costumes that cause accidents. When it comes to sexual predators, the statistics are nowhere near these totals:  theft (32 percent), vandalism (21 percent), assault 19 percent, burglary 9 percent.

In fact, a study was done by highly regarded academic researchers to find out if parents should be especially alert to the dangers of abduction or assault of their children over Halloween. The study, “How Safe are Trick-or-Treaters: An Analysis of Child Sex Crime Rates on Halloween” found, “no significant increase in risk for non-familial child sexual abuse on or just prior to Halloween.

This emphasizes the fact that upwards to 95 percent of sex crimes are committed by persons known to the child, such as a family member, relative or trusted acquaintance – NOT persons on the registry.

Halloween hysteria is far out of proportion to actual fact. The State of CT Office of Policy and Management Study on Recidivism of Sexual Offenses cites the conviction rate for sexual re-offense after 5 years of leaving prison is 2.6 percent. Yet according to current Connecticut law, they often must stay on the registry for life.

What should we be more scared of – a nonexistent bogeyman or misuse of taxpayer money enforcing laws based on bogus fears?

Cindy Prizio

Executive Director, One Standard of Justice

New Canaan

Posted in Editoral, Hartford, Nation/World, NeighborhoodComments (0)

To Help Prevent Sexual Assault, Consent Needed


Dear Editor,

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and comes at a time when our country is experiencing a reckoning with sexual violence. Many people are sharing their experiences with sexual harassment and assault, more institutions are holding perpetrators accountable, and space is being created for authentic conversations about consent.

Now more than ever is the time to highlight the important role comprehensive sex education plays in our schools and communities. Providing young people with critical information and skills around seeking and giving consent, how to respond when someone is pressuring them, and ways to step in and help a friend, can help prevent sexual violence. Young people deserve access to education and it needs to happen before they start college and before they become sexually active.

At Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, we provide sex education, information, and resources that teach about consent and healthy relationships. We help people across Connecticut and Rhode Island communicate respectfully and confidently, make well-informed and healthy decisions, and engage in relationships that are healthy and positive. Now is the time to make strides towards a culture in which consent is the norm and everyone has control over their bodies and lives.

Pierrette Comulada Silverman
Vice President of Education and Training
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England
New Haven, CT

Posted in Editoral, Nation/WorldComments (0)

Tags: , ,

It’s Okay to be Black, Woman and Immigrant


The #JusticeforJazzy movement is akin to the #MeToo movement.

Just ask any black woman who has been the victim of white women and thier rage. Does this mean the #JusticeforJazzy like the #MeToo movement will topple white women, who use their positions in racist institutions to further oppress black women?

editorialbannerthumbThe response to the #JusticeforJazzy movement, which followed the news that a University of Hartford student was charged with criminal mischief after she spread bodily fluids on her roommate’s belongings, will give us that answer. It will also unveil a powder keg that has been evident since Susan B. Anthony and other white suffragists maligned black women activists in the 1920s, some say. That’s because black women are still burdened with the emotional labor to unpack white women’s privilege and to enter an amicable relationship on the job and in school.

The justice for jazzy movement came out of the experience of a University of Hartford student Chennel “Jazzy” Rowe, who learned about the smoldering hate of her roommate, Brianna Rae Brochu. Brochu, 18, was arrested after she admitted to police that she licked her roommate’s utensils and smeared bodily fluids on Rowe’s backpack. Brochu also bragged about her vile acts on Instagram, derisively referring to Rowe as the “Jamaican Barbie” forced out of her assigned room on campus. Rowe was born in Jamaica.

In the video below, Rowe details her discovery of the events that led to the outcry by NAACP leaders and others, who rally outside the West Hartford Police department. They are calling for Brochu to be charged with a hate crime and to let the world know it’s Okay to be black, woman and immigrant.

The case in Hartford Superior Court was continued to Dec. 18. And it should hold Brochu accountable.

VIDEO OF CHENNEL ROWE’S DISCOVERY

 

 

Posted in Editoral, Featured, Hartford, Nation/WorldComments (0)

New Tool Helps Track, Document Rise in Hate Incidents


Since the 2016 election there has been an alarming increase in reports of hate incidents around the country. Reports range from vandalism and hate-fueled graffiti to physical attacks and shootings.

The reports come amid heightened fear and anxiety within immigrant and minority communities, fueled by the rhetoric of the campaign, and by statements and policies from the current administration.

editorialbannerthumbExperts note such fear helps to tamp down reporting of hate crimes, which are already vastly underreported.

Ethnic media have long been attuned to such incidents, particularly when members of their own communities are the victims. NAM has been working with our ethnic media partners to help expand visibility of their reporting on hate crimes and hate-related incidents. You can see that coverage by visiting NAM’s Tracking Hate page.

NAM has also worked to help inform ethnic media on how to report and cover hate-related incidents.

But when it comes to accurately documenting hate, there is in fact no national system in place. The FBI maintains its Uniform Crime Reporting Program which is slow to update and relies on reports from law enforcement agencies that may or – as is often the case – may not report such crimes.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, meanwhile, has operated its own database, though verification of claims by victims, witnesses and the media has been an issue, with some claims having been proven false.

Which is why NAM has joined a national collaborative of media, civil rights groups and tech companies that is working to accurately track and verify reports of hate crimes and incidents of bias or harassment.

The Documenting Hate Project is spearheaded by the not-for-profit news outlet ProPublica, which has created the form below to allow witnesses or victims to come forward and report their experience. Reports will be verified before entering a national database that will be made available, with privacy restrictions, to newsrooms and civil rights organizations across the country. The form is not a report to law enforcement or any government agency.

If you are a member of the ethnic media, we encourage you to upload this form to your own website to allow your audiences the opportunity to come forward should they or someone they know be the victim of a hate crime.

Si usted ha sido víctima de un crimen de odio, por favor utilice este formulario para contribuir a esta base de datos.

如果您曾經遇到或目睹過仇恨罪,您可以使用此工具告訴我們您的故事。

Posted in Editoral, Featured, Nation/WorldComments (0)

Health Care Should Not be Political


Judy Tabar, Contributor

Planned Parenthood has been here for 100 years, and one thing is clear: we will never back down and we will never stop fighting to ensure that Planned Parenthood patients have access to the health care they need. All people, including immigrants, people of color, the LGBTQ community, people of faith, and more, are entitled to and deserve high-quality health care without barriers. Every morning, Planned Parenthood health center staff across the country wake up and open their doors, as they have this morning, to care for anyone who needs them, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, income, or country of origin. They will do so today, they will do so tomorrow, and they will do so every day as they have for 100 years.

 

Judy Tabar, CEO of Planned Parenthood

Judy Tabar, CEO of Planned Parenthood

Health care should not be political. Millions of people rely on Planned Parenthood for health care every year – including 64,000 in Connecticut. When someone comes to our health centers, they are seeking our health care services, resources and information. People from all backgrounds, zip codes and political affiliations need and are entitled to affordable, high-quality reproductive care. The majority of Americans – including those who supported President-elect Trump – support access to the vital services provided by Planned Parenthood health centers every day across the country.

 

However, much of the rhetoric used in the last several months has created a frighteningly more dangerous America for people of color: one where unlawful stop-and-frisk policies, that have been found unconstitutional, are enforced; where immigrants are at risk of facing immediate deportation; where Muslims may be banned from entering the country; and where discrimination against LGBTQ communities and disabled people is deemed acceptable. This cannot be what it means to live in America in 2016.

 

We know that many of the people we serve and work in partnership with may be concerned about their safety, and the safety of their families and friends. Together, we are immigrants, Muslims, Black, Latinx*, white, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, and everyone else who deserves access to health care in a safe and welcoming place. No matter how great the threat, nothing will ever overcome our commitment to providing high-quality, affordable health care and information to all people.

 

We will never stop fighting for our patients and all people. For 100 years, Planned Parenthood has faced many challenges and attacks from those opposed to our mission. Through every attack, we have come out stronger. We are going to use that strength in partnership with our allies across progressive movements to lead in the coming days, months and years for those who rely on us. The doors of Planned Parenthood stay open – no matter what.

 Judy Tabar is President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.

Posted in Editoral, Featured, Nation/WorldComments (0)

Catcalling Is Not a Compliment


Ed. Note: Video tape of GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump boasting of sexual assault on women has sparked a national conversation around the issue. For 15-year-old Juliana Taboada, catcalling by male classmates in and around school is an extension of the often demeaning treatment of women in our society. 

MECCA, Calif. — I’d always wondered if my school was as safe as I thought it was. At 15, I’m still growing up and pretty innocent. I know there are many things wrong with our schools, but there’s one issue that needs to be addressed now. That issue is catcalling and the over-sexualization of young women.

Earlier this month, I was verbally harassed by 3-4 boys at school. I was walking to my fifth period class, and as I was walking I saw these boys in a group pointing and staring at me. I knew what was going to happen. I’ve been catcalled once before, but this time it was different. No one was there to help me, to tell them they’re disgusting. I was alone.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionIt felt like these boys took complete ownership of my body and I couldn’t do anything about it.

Now, since it happened so recently, I’m still terrified of just walking to class. It’s a sad thing knowing that I’m not even safe in my own school, in a place that’s supposed to work for me, to benefit me.

I never thought such horrible behavior would be within the borders of schools, but I guess I’m wrong. Even freshman boys know how to objectify young women. They don’t realize the amount of damage they do by just whistling at me or commenting on my body. It’s a harsh reality women have to deal with and can’t escape. In all honesty, even though it pains me to say this, catcalling is inevitable for women.

It’s even worse to to know that I’m only 15 years old and I’ve experienced the over-sexualization of women.

catcalling_500x279But it’s sadly not new, I was taught at a young age that I need to cover up my body and always be attentive of my surroundings, even at school. My schools have told me to dress a certain way, with lists of clothing I could not wear but only a couple things boys couldn’t wear. I knew the playing field was uneven but it was never a big deal before. I always thought if I wore something too “risky” I would call unwanted attention upon myself and it was my fault, not theirs.

But I was wrong.

I now know that regardless of what I’m wearing, you should have the decency and respect to leave me alone. I’m not your property. Catcallers have absolutely no right to yell at me from the sidelines and expect me to acknowledge them.

I’m a young woman, I’m a person. And it’s about time I start getting treated like one.

About the author:

Juliana Taboada is a local Xicana poet and community activist from Mecca, Calif. She currently attends Desert Mirage High School and recently joined Coachella Unincorporated as a youth reporter.

Posted in Editoral, Featured, Nation/WorldComments (0)

Judge Orders Anti-Obama Filmmaker D’Souza to Seek Mental Health Treatment


President Barack Obama is serious about how he handles those who think they should slander him and his legacy without punishment.

One filmmaker is feeling his wrath after his quest to demystify Obama, the first black president.

On Monday, a Manhattan judge ordered Dinesh D’ Souza to continue his community service and get psychological counseling.

Obama’s staff will have some explaining to do about this approach to journalists/artists before  he ends his second term.

To be fair,  D’Souza’s critique of Obama is sometimes ridiculous. But it’s worth parsing.

Obama is a 1.9 immigrant. And many immigrants are looking to him to confront the rising racism and xenophobia during his tenure at the White House.  The hate is palpable. And it is affecting thier bottomline.

Perhaps D’Souza should bone up on United States history before he critiques the black president and the black experience in America . I think that’s where there’s a gap in his education and why the judge had a difficult time in his logic about the first black president.

According to Newsweek, D’Souza was sentenced to eight months in a work-release center, five years of probation, a $30,000 fine and community service after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations in May 2014.

The conservative critic had arranged “straw donors” to contribute $10,000 to the failed 2012 U.S. Senate campaign of his college friend Wendy Long.

Psychiatrists found no signs of depression, but U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman overruled their findings and ordered D’Souza see a new psychological counselor weekly.

Read More

Posted in Editoral, Featured, Nation/World, Opinion, PoliticsComments (0)

Tags:

Why Many Say Thank You to a Cosby Prosecution


By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
Disgraced actor-comedian Bill Cosby had two words to say to Pennsylvania District Judge Elizabeth McHugh when she ruled that he must stand trial for sexual assault. The words were “thank you.” The two words were more than simply a case of Cosby being polite. For dozens of women the words were a vindication. These are the women who came forth to say that Cosby drugged, fondled, molested, abused, intimidated, and of course, raped them over the course of many years. They suffered mightily for coming forth. They were lambasted from pillar to post as liars, cheats, sluts, publicity seekers, and every critic’s favorite, gold diggers.

earl-hutchinsonThousands of others never bought Cosby’s long, loud and bitter denials that he was the innocent victim of a giant the-hartford-guardian-Opinioncon game, or the serial denier’s favorite, the victim of a sinister plot by take your pick: the “white man,” “white media,” “white establishment” or simply some unnamed, nebulous white conspirators to bring down a fabulously popular, rich, supremely successful black man. They also said “thank you.”

There were also more than a few legal experts who did not buy the virtual article of faith that there were no legal grounds to prosecute him because the statute of limitations had long since run out on most of the claims. There were just too many alleged victims. That meant that there had to be a case somewhere that fit the bill for a legal prosecution.

Meanwhile, Cosby fed into the conspiracy paranoia and the public trashing of the women by filing motion after motion to duck a prosecution, and defamation of character counter suit after countersuit against his various women accusers. His holding action sufficiently muddied the stream to cast doubt while delaying what was almost certain to be the inevitable. That was his painfully long delayed plop into a court docket.

In the much cited unsealed affidavit Cosby swore to in 2005, he confessed to giving drugs to one woman and getting drugs for other women he wanted to have sex with. This was tantamount to a smoking gun confirmation of what many of his alleged victims claimed, and that was that he plied them with drink and drugs before he sexually waylaid them.

Even without the affidavit, it was not true that a sexual abuser could get away with their crime simply by waiting out the calendar. More than two dozen states have no statute of limitation depending on circumstances in the nature and type of sexual assault. If the evidence was compelling, a Cosby could indeed be prosecuted even decades after the assault in those states.

This gross misconception about prosecuting sexual crimes implanted the dangerous public notion that rape or sexual abuse could be minimalized, marginalized or even mocked because the clock had wound down on when the crime could or even should be prosecuted. A Cosby prosecution rightly tosses the ugly glare back on the wrong public perceptions about rape and sexual abuse and how easily the crime can still be blown off. And it is.

The Iowa Law Review, in March, 2014, found that rape is routinely underreported in dozens of cities. The rape claims were dismissed out of hand with little or no investigation. The result was there were no report, no statistical count, and no record of an attack.

The study zeroed in on the prime reason for this, namely disbelief. It’s that disbelief that assures men such as Cosby are reflexively believed when they scream foul at their accuser. They lambaste their character and motives. If things get too hot, they toss out a few dollars in hush money settlements and the screams are even louder that it was all a shakedown operation in the first place and the victim is further demonized.

This wasn’t the only reason it took so long to prosecute Cosby. He wasn’t just another rich, mediagenic celebrity whose wealth, fame and celebrity status routinely shielded him from criminal charges. Cosby and men like him have deep enough pockets to hire a small army of the best PR flacks around to spin, point fingers, and hector the media that their guy’s pristine reputation is being dragged through the mud precisely because of their fame, wealth, talent and, of course, goodwill.

Cosby was a special case even by the standards of the rich and famed celebrity world. For a decade he reigned as America’s father figure, not black father figure, but father figure. He embodied the myths, fantasies, and encrusted beliefs about the role that a caring, loving, engaged dad is supposed to have with his family. This rendered him almost untouchable when it came to casting any dirt on his character. That’s all past now, Cosby is now just Cosby, the accused rapist, and that’s reason enough to say “thank you.”

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His latest book is How “President” Trump will Govern (Amazon Kindle) He is an associate editor of New America Media.

Posted in Editoral, Featured, Nation/WorldComments (0)

Carly Fiorina Urges GOP Unity, Yet Won’t Speak Trump’s Name


STAMFORD – Carly Fiorina seemed to endorse Donald J. Trump, if only by inference Tuesday night. She never allowed herself to say his name, yet vowed to do everything “to make sure that Hillary Clinton is not our next president.”

Presumably, “everything” includes entering a polling place to cast a vote for Trump, even if he is, at least for the moment, the Nominee Who Cannot Be Named, right?

Fiorina, 61, who lingered to chat with well-wishers after her speech at the Connecticut Republicans’ annual fundraiser, the Prescott S. Bush Awards Dinner, just smiled when a reporter interrupted with that question.

“I’m sorry, I’m meeting with voters right now,” Fiorina said, keeping her gaze directed at the Republicans who wanted to shake her hand and pose for pictures. “Sorry, you heard the speech. That’s all there is.”

Fiorina stopped only when the question was repeated.

“We’re not doing interviews,” she said. “You heard the speech. That’s what you got.”

It was good enough for her audience. Her vow to do anything to deny Clinton the White House was rewarded with hearty cheers and a standing ovation, as was a call for unity. Republicans shrugged off the refusal by Fiorina, who has said she is “horrified” by Trump, to explicitly endorse him.

“She gave an endorsement to Trump without mentioning him by name,” said Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven.

“That’s what I thought,” said Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton.

Carly Fiorina.

ctmirror.org

Carly Fiorina

Linda McMahon, the two-time U.S. Senate nominee and major GOP donor who will be a Trump delegate in Cleveland, said Fiorina told her before the speech she intends to campaign for down-ballot Republicans. A willingness to campaign for Trump didn’t come up.

“She and I didn’t really talk politics in that way,” McMahon said.

It’s been a tough month for the 61-year-old Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive who lost a U.S. Senate race in California to Barbara Boxer. On May 2, she fell off a stage while introducing Ted Cruz in Indiana. A day later, she fell off political radar screens, her brief time as Cruz’s running mate ended by Trump’s smashing win in Indiana.

Before Cruz dropped out, the Connecticut GOP faced the unnerving prospect of a keynote speech by a woman intent on telling them they erred by voting for Trump by a landslide in the April 26 primary.

Fiorina offered wan praise for Trump at the outset of her 30-minute speech.

“Our nominee has raised Twitter to an art form. Let’s face it,” she said.

Fiorina said she never mastered how to pack a punch into its 140-character form, but she read that potential Hilliary slogans were trending. She offered a few.

“ ‘It’s my turn, dammit.’ ‘Four out of 10 people find me tolerable.’ And my personal favorite: ‘Experience you cannot trust,’ ” she said.

Fiorina quickly dropped the jokes and delivered a scathing appraisal of the candidate who would be the first female president, a fact that does not seem to be exciting the Democratic base, male or female.

“So, now they are beginning to continuously remind people abot the historic nature of her candidacy, that she is a woman and therefore women must vote for her,” Fiorina said. “So, Mrs. Clinton, I have news for you. I am a woman, and I am not voting for you.”

The crowd whooped and applauded.

Fiorina said Clinton’s gender was no basis for other women to support her for president.

“Feminism is what each and every woman has an opportunity for to live the life she chooses and to use all of her God-given gifts,” she said. “That is feminism, and as a feminist I will do everything in my power between now and November to make sure that Hillary Clinton is not our next president.”

The crowd stood and cheered louder. Their speaker would not say the name of their nominee. She would not promise to vote for him. She would not urge others to vote for him. Maybe she would one day before November.

For now, it was enough that they knew what she meant.

Posted in Business, Editoral, Featured, Nation/WorldComments (0)

Tags: ,

Letter: Gov. Malloy and Hartford’s Stadium


 

letterstohartfordguardianDear Governor Malloy:
We are writing to urge you not to use state taxpayer dollars to bail out Hartford’s Dunkin Donuts Stadium.
As a result of construction of the stadium exceeding the agreed upon deadline, we understand that costs are now likely to increase for the project. We are also aware of comments from the Hartford Stadium Authority indicating that they will not go back to the city to seek the needed added capital. That needed capital should not come from the state and our already overburdened taxpayers.
We want to remind you of multiple statements from you and your administration that promised the state would not get involved in this project which taxpayers and the lawmakers who represent them at the Capitol never had a say in authorizing. That commitment will be broken if you sign the state budget passed by Democrats that allows taxpayer dollars through the admissions tax to go towards stadium construction debt service. That commitment will also be broken a second time if any additional aid is given to Hartford for this project’s new costs due to missing its deadline.
We fully understand the predicament Hartford is in and truly empathize with the people of Hartford who have serious concerns about the Yard Goats’ stadium project and the burden it places on the city. But the state is in no position to hand out any additional funds. Democrats just passed a budget that slashes from core social services, cuts state education funds, and hurts some of the most vulnerable populations in this state. Yet at the same time their budget gives up $400,000 annually in taxpayer dollars to go towards the Hartford stadium. It is not right that at a time when support for the poor, sick and elderly is being cut, a project that had zero taxpayer support is profiting.
No state taxpayer dollars should go towards the delayed stadium.
                                                                             Senate Republican Caucus Chair Len Fasano, et al
From:

Posted in Business, Editoral, HartfordComments (0)

  • Latest News
  • Tags
  • Subscribe
Advertise Here