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Hubert Harrison: Celebrating this Giant of Black History

By Jeffrey B. Perry

Hubert H. Harrison, who was born in 1883 and died in 1927,  is one of the truly important figures of twentieth-century history. A brilliant writer, orator, educator, critic, and political activist, he was described by the historian Joel A. Rogers, in World’s Great Men of Color as “the foremost Afro-American intellect of his time.” This extraordinary praise came amid chapters on Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, William Monroe Trotter, and Marcus Garvey.

April 27 is the anniversary of the birth of Hubert Harrison. And so people are encouraged to spread the word about Harrison and to keep alive the struggles and memory of this Giant of Black History.


225296_1839650105899_7527297_aRogers adds that “No one worked more seriously and indefatigably to enlighten” others and “none of the Afro-American leaders of his time had a saner and more effective program.” Labor and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph described Harrison as “the father of Harlem Radicalism.” Harrison’s friend and pallbearer, Arthur Schomburg, fully aware of his popularity, eulogized to the thousands attending Harrison’s Harlem funeral that he was also “ahead of his time.”

Born in St. Croix, Danish West Indies, on April 27, 1883, to a Bajan mother and a Crucian father, Harrison arrived in New York as a seventeen-year-old orphan in 1900. He made his mark in the United States by struggling against class and racial oppression, by helping to create a remarkably rich and vibrant intellectual life among African Americans and by working for the enlightened development of the lives of those he affectionately referred to as “the common people.” He consistently emphasized the need for working class people to develop class-consciousness; for “Negroes” to develop race consciousness, self-reliance, and self-respect; and for all those he reached to challenge white supremacy and develop an internationalist spirit and modern, scientific, critical, and independent thought as a means toward liberation.

A self-described “radical internationalist,” Harrison was extremely well-versed in history and events in Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, the Mideast, the Americas, and Europe and he wrote voluminously and lectured indoors and out (as a pioneering soapbox orator) on these topics. More than any other political leader of his era, he combined class-consciousness and anti-white supremacist race consciousness in a coherent political radicalism. He opposed capitalism and imperialism and maintained that white supremacy was central to capitalist rule in the United States. He emphasized that “politically, the Negro is the touchstone of the modern democratic idea”; that “as long as the Color Line exists, all the perfumed protestations of Democracy on the part of the white race” were “downright lying” and “the cant of ‘Democracy’” was “intended as dust in the eyes of white voters”; that true democracy and equality for “Negroes” implied “a revolution . . . startling even to think of,” and that “capitalist imperialism which mercilessly exploits the darker races for its own financial purposes is the enemy which we must combine to fight.”

Working from this theoretical framework, he was active with a wide variety of movements and organizations and played signal roles in the development of what were, up to that time, the largest class radical movement (socialism) and the largest race radical movement (the “New Negro”/Garvey movement) in U.S. history. His ideas on the centrality of the struggle against white supremacy anticipated the profound transformative power of the Civil Rights/Black Liberation struggles of the 1960s and his thoughts on “democracy in America” offer penetrating insights on the limitations and potential of America in the twenty-first century.

Harrison served as the foremost Black organizer, agitator, and theoretician in the Socialist Party of New York during its 1912 heyday; he founded the first organization (the Liberty League) and the first newspaper (The Voice) of the militant, World War I-era “New Negro” movement; edited The New Negro: A Monthly Magazine of a Different Sort (“intended as an organ of the international consciousness of the darker races — especially of the Negro race”) in 1919; wrote When Africa Awakes: The “Inside Story” of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World’” in 1920; and he served as the editor of the Negro World and principal radical influence on the Garvey movement during its radical high point in 1920. His views on race and class profoundly influenced a generation of “New Negro” militants including the class radical A. Philip Randolph and the race radical Marcus Garvey. Considered more race conscious than Randolph and more class conscious than Garvey, Harrison is the key link in the ideological unity of the two great trends of the Black Liberation Movement — the labor and civil rights trend associated with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the race and nationalist trend associated with Malcolm X. (Randolph and Garvey were, respectively, the direct links to King marching on Washington, with Randolph at his side, and to Malcolm (whose father was a Garveyite preacher and whose mother wrote for the Negro World), speaking militantly and proudly on street corners in Harlem.

Harrison was not only a political radical, however. Rogers described him as an “Intellectual Giant and Free-Lance Educator,” whose contributions were wide-ranging, innovative, and influential. He was an immensely skilled and popular orator and educator who spoke and/or read six languages; a highly praised journalist, critic, and book reviewer (who reportedly started “the first regular book-review section known to Negro newspaperdom”); a pioneer Black activist in the freethought and birth control movements; and a bibliophile and library builder and popularizer who was an officer on the committee that helped develop the 135th Street Public Library into what has become known as the internationally famous Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

 Jeffrey B. Perry is an independent, working-class scholar who was formally educated at Princeton, Harvard, Rutgers, and Columbia University. Dr. Perry preserved and inventoried the Hubert H. Harrison Papers (now at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library) and is the editor of A Hubert Harrison Reader (Wesleyan University Press, 2001) and author of Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (Columbia University Press, 2008). 

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Choose One America: Obamacare or Reparations

By Ann-Marie Adams, Ph.D. | @annmarieadams

With only one day left to sign up for the Affordable Care Act, opponents are still removing common sense from the morass they call arguments to oppose the ACA and label the policy unsound. Basically, they don’t want to subsidize insurance premiums for Americans on the government exchange.

This debate, seen as another attempt to gut the law, comes weeks after the Congressional Budget Office released a report that says the ACA, or Obamacare, would nix 2.3 million jobs. According to some, this would shake the foundation of the American economy.  Most recently, a divided federal appeals judge said it was “an unmitigated disaster.”


Before we move into hyperbole, we should examine the drawn-out brouhaha (more than 50 attempts to repeal it) over the ACA in an uncomfortable context.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionThe health care law, otherwise known as Obamacare, allows uninsured people—mostly poor whites, the elderly and people of color—access to health insurance. The main arguments against it are that universal healthcare—found in other developed countries, is too costly for America—the richest nation on the planet. And Americans will become lazy and work less because they have access to healthcare.

Sounds ludicrous? It is.

But I would urge some opponents of universal healthcare to consider the life of Henrietta Lacks, a poor black woman whose cells were taken without her consent and then used to develop cures for polio, vitro fertilization and other vital scientific breakthroughs in science.

This fascinating topic was recently discussed at the Avon Free Public Library. Two of the Lacks family members participated in the discussion. The series offered an opportunity to explore not just health, ethics and race but the healthcare industry itself.

For more than 60 years, the healthcare industry made billions from Lacks’ cells. And today the Lacks family still wonders why their mother’s immortal cells did so much for science, and they can’t afford health insurance. After all, some in the Lacks family argue, their mother’s He-La cells benefited “the whole world and all they got was her Bible and medical records.”

The story of Henrietta Lacks’ immortal cells is both amazing and unsettling. And the question of how race played into her healthcare is not difficult for some of us to answer. That’s because we know that race is a central theme in America. And it is well established that race affects healthcare delivery and outcomes.

This is not an attempt at what some people would call “race hustling.” It’s about highlighting certain facts in American history. I’m aware that many Americans have not studied U.S. history. But that doesn’t mean the rest of us who did should acquiesce to them.

Consider this: In 1951, a scientist at Johns Hopkins took slices of the woman’s tumor and decided to grow them, so he could “figure out the causes of cancer.” This is long after doctors found a dime-size tumor on her cervix. They kept sending her home until she protested and begged for admittance, so she could be treated. By then, her body was riddled with cancer.

UnknownThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a book based on the Lacks family, details the encounter.  And people are rightfully asking whether this family is owed something for thier contribution to humankind. This is a good conversation to have amid the tired healthcare debate over whether to repeal Obamacare.

I think giving access to healthcare for the Lacks family and others in similar situations should be favorable over reparations. At least, this is one way of looking at it. Or perhaps it’s time Americans opposed to Obamacare choose: universal healthcare or reparations?

Some would argue for both.

Interestingly and ironically, the same argument used for not paying reparations has been used in the Lacks family’s case. Many are quick to offer statements and questions like: It’s impossible to calculate how much money is owed. Those who did the crime did their time on earth and died. And who would pay?

In both cases, the consequences of those past actions by individuals and institutions still linger. The Lacks story, among many, illustrates the need for universal healthcare in America.

Americans should consider universal healthcare as a human rights issue, or think of universal healthcare as payback for all the historical wrongs done not just to the Lacks family for “the good of humankind” but to all those other wrongs done in the name of science.

The most famous one in public memory is the Tuskegee Syphilis study, which began in 1932 and ran until 1972. In this study, the United States Public Health Service conducted an experiment in watching black men died from syphilis. The doctors didn’t tell these men they had syphilis. And they didn’t get healthcare. This story, like many, illustrates black oppression and medical neglect.

The Tuskegee case is more prominent, however, because it happened to black men. But there are other lesser-known atrocities, which happened to black women. Besides the Lacks case, we have the notorious J. Marion Sims, the so-called father of gynecology who used enslaved African women as experimental subjects.

These stories are known because the records exist. And unless we want to have more reasons to dig up America’s past medical atrocities, we should perhaps silence the chatter about repealing Obamacare.

If talk about a repeal of Obamacare persists, we should juxtapose that discussion with a public debate about reparations.

I’m so ready for that.

Dr. Ann-Marie Adams is the founder of The Hartford Guardian. Follow her on twitter @annmarieadams.

Photo: Ann-Marie Adams/The Hartford Guardian: ( l to r): Shirley Lacks, Victoria Baptiste, Dr. Robbin Smith.

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Access Health CT’s Appeal Process for Frustrated Residents Should Be Less Painful

By Ann-Marie Adams

Access Health CT, Connecticut’s official health insurance marketplace, reported a single-day record number of individuals applied for coverage by midnight on Dec. 23: more than 6,700. This figure, officials of the state agency boasted, puts the total number enrolled from Oct. 1 to Dec. 23 at about 62,000.


But people whose applications were not processed, or who had been waiting on the phone for more than 90 minutes, are not impressed.

Almost 300,000 Connecticut residents do not have health insurance.  In Hartford County alone, 98,000 people lack coverage. Of that amount,  34,000 are in Hartford. Most of the uninsured in the capital city and the state are people of color and would have surely benefited from the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. It’s the first nationwide health reform since President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society effort with Medicare in 1965.

Just think. If the state’s quasi-nonprofit agency had planned a more effective and inclusive enrollment period to meet the demand, many more people would have signed up, so that they could have had comprehensive health insurance effective Jan. 1.

Dr_AnnMarie_AdamsFor the thousands of people who did not get to enroll, hearing that they can continue to enroll up to March 31 without a tax penalty does not soothe the pain of learning they would have to wait another 30 days from enrollment for insurance to kick in, especially if they have a pre-existing need for insurance.  All they have to look forward to at this point is more snafus or bureaucratic mazes to navigate.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionConsider this: For one individual, enrolling online was a chore that failed. On Dec. 3, she filled out an application and submitted it through Access CT’s portal. By Dec. 23, she had yet to receive confirmation that her application was processed. She also tried to log in, but was kicked off the site. So at about 4 p.m., she called the 800 numbers listed on Dec. 23. She received a recording saying that she should leave her number and someone would return her call the next business day.

This woman tried again several times until her last call at 10:06 p.m. — hoping to get someone on the phone. After waiting for about 30 minutes, someone answered and asked her name and age then put her on hold for 90 minutes. At 10 minutes before midnight, another agent came on the line and said that it was too late to enroll her.

It was a curious experience that demands answers: was the woman put on hold that long because she was over 40? Was Access CT screening calls so they could sign up mostly customers under 40? Why was there a recording throughout most of the day on Dec. 23, saying customers should call back the next day? How many people of color were signed up? If the state doesn’t have that number as reported earlier, then can we know why? And most importantly, how many of the 34,000 uninsured people in Hartford were signed up?

There were other reported issues. But the main concern now is whether those individuals who were put on hold for waits lasting about an hour or who were locked out of the site, would be considered enrolled.

Although there are many assisters and navigators who have worked hard during the last several months, The Hartford Guardian has witnessed much bumbling during the enrollment period here. In fact, there were numerous warnings, one from Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra himselfsaying that “if you don’t market it and recruit people in an appropriate place, you could still end up with a lot of uninsured.” And that is the case — because of the incompetence and arrogance of those who guided the enrollment campaign.

There is also clearly conflict of interest and cronyism involved in how resources and marketing efforts were distributed, especially in Hartford. And these strategies and conflicts impacted the number of people and which segments of the population got enrolled on the exchange.

For instance, The Guardian couldn’t help but notice that the so-called Navigator for the city of Hartford was the Hispanic Health Council, an agency whose founding member is Mayor Segarra. We also couldn’t help but notice that Juan Figueroa, who was president of Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, is now Segarra’s acting chief of staff. Figueroa also had a hand in crafting strategies leading up to the state’s health reform push that began in January 2013. And he sits on the board of director for a news outlet charged with being the official organ of everything positive about Access Health CT.

We also noticed that resources were directed to community papers, which quietly ignored the fact that there was reportedly only one person in the North End to cover half that populous section. And that most of the marketing efforts in the city targeted the South End of Hartford, just one of the city’s 17 neighborhoods.

We are happy to see that Access Health CT has taken steps to correct its errors and is now “actively reaching out” to those people who were on hold Dec. 23. These frustrated applicants should indeed now be considered eligible for coverage effective Jan. 1.

However, appeal process in place for others should also take into account the insufficient recruitment efforts made in some city neighborhoods, which were seemingly overlooked because of sub-par marketing strategies and outreach.

An we hope the appeal process won’t be as painful as it was waiting online for 90 minutes without a positive outcome.

Individuals interested in filling an appeal should either call 855-805-4325 or mail their appeal to Access Health CT Appeals, P.O. Box  # 670, Manchester, CT 06045-0670. 

Dr. Ann-Marie Adams is founder and editor of The Hartford Guardian. Follow her on twitter.

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Williams to Malloy and Pryor: This is not a Test

By Yohuru Williams

With the effort to convert the Clark Elementary School into yet another Charter school in Hartford by the apostles of market driven education reform intensifying, there is now more than ever the need for statewide collaboration and action against the other venomous serpents formed from the Medusa’s head of such so called reform efforts in Connecticut. These include the adoption of Common Core State Standards, the teacher evaluation system aligned with student assessments, the promotion of charter schools, and inclusion of Teach for America educators in high needs, impoverished school districts. Each in its own way has contributed to the current crisis in public education in Connecticut, and will continue to exacerbate achievement gaps rather than close them.

Yohuru_WilliamsConnecticut politicians have played a critical role in bringing about this crisis. Along with promoting so-called reformers like outgoing Hartford Superintendent Christina M. Kishimoto and the equally divisive outgoing Superintendant in Bridgeport Paul Vallas, Governor Malloy and State Department of Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor eagerly embraced the Common Core State Standards as the panacea for boosting student performance. The preliminary results, as anticipated, have been less than stellar. The announcement of this year’s NAEP scores, which still showed Connecticut at both the top and bottom of the mountain, is a the-hartford-guardian-Opinionstrong indictment of the problems associated with this approach. While Malloy and Pryor tried to make the case for vast improvement, in Math at least, the gains were negligible with the state improving from a score of 242 in 2011 to 243 in year 2013. In the area of the achievement gap between white and minority students the results were more telling with Black and Hispanic students scoring just 14 percent and 19 percent respectively, while White and Asian students scored 58 percent and 64 percent.

With the persistence of such a wide achievement gap, one would hope that state officials would be moved to reassess their current prescription for reform. It would be a welcomed change if, in the process, state officials also looked to the state’s teachers as an authoritative voice and invested in them as  a resource to help solve these problems. They, of course, are the ones who work with Connecticut learners every day. They are the researchers, organizers, and educational consultants who have dedicated their lives to our public schools.

I suspect the reason politicians have avoided this approach is because they do not want to deal with underlying issue of poverty that remains at the root of the problem in public education, especially in urban school districts like Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, and Stamford. To invest equitably in all schools would require a true examination of the state’s zip-code apartheid.

It would also require politicians to investigate the solutions offered by teachers themselves including smaller class sizes, greater opportunities for professional development, the restoration of programming in music and the arts, and the flexibility to explore new interventions through the scholarship of teaching and learning. To address a heterogeneous population of youth including English language learners, they have adopted a homogenous assessment through high stakes testing and teacher evaluation. This is unlikely to provide any knowledge to help us reform schools.

Furthermore the insistence that untrained “teachers” from Teach For America can be the engine for this change is absurd and especially pernicious. Rather than ensuring that recruits have the opportunity to prepare for instruction by taking real education classes and working with veteran teachers, TFA opts for a five week training program that would not satisfy even the most cursory of professional credentialing bodies. Youth in urban schools deserve highly trained and qualified professionals and if political leaders in Connecticut believe this to be true, they will invest in resources that attract and keep the most highly trained and qualified professionals to these districts.

It also does not bode well for increased student performance—unless learning outcomes are limited strictly to student performance on standardized tests. In recent years, cheating scandals related to the adoption of high stakes testing-ushered in by market driven educational reform rocked Florida and the District of Columbia. Connecticut joined their ranks just last week with the revelation that someone tampered with dozens of Connecticut Mastery Tests administered at Betances Early Reading Lab School in Hartford earlier this year. Is this the model we wish to emulate?

Governor Malloy and Stefan Pryor, this is not a test. Connecticut teachers are among the best trained in the nation and are more than prepared to meet the challenge of reshaping the educational landscape. They must however have a voice and a seat at the table. The best teachers know that the greatest way to reach students is through listening to them and through building relationships to promote achievement. The same should be true for politicians in Connecticut. The future of Connecticut’s youth is at stake. Prove your sincerity in bringing about real change by having the courage to return to the drawing board with your best resources. Initiate dialogue with your primary stakeholders in this struggle: the parents and teachers of this state. Look to the Universities and Colleges in Connecticut for assistance – there is tremendous potential for what can be done to improve education. Blaming teachers for the social ills that come with poverty is too easy a scapegoat.

If you really believe in education, you’ll find better a way to invest in the local, professional resources we already have in Connecticut.

Yohuru Williams, Ph.D. is Chair and Professor of History at Fairfield University. Follow him on Twitter@YohuruWilliams

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What Do Republicans and Democrats Look Like?

By Glenn Mollette

I’ve heard a lot of discussion about political profiles in recent days.

The Republicans supposedly are the corporate greedy CEOs and the Democrats supposedly are all those standing in the government entitlement lines. Not true.

My father was a Republican. For thirty years of his life he drove an older model truck

glen mollettAlmost two hours one-way to Holden, W.Va. where he worked in an underground coal mine. He worked eight to ten hours a day and then came home to farm two to three hours before crashing into bed. We worked a small garden, cared for ten to twenty cows, had some hogs, raised a large corn patch and you get the idea. My father was always exhausted during the workweek.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionMy mother was a Democrat. For several years she worked in the school system. She raised five children, washed clothes with a ringer washer in the early years and when there was not enough rainwater we carried water from the creek. She made breakfast and had supper on the table every evening and kept the house immaculately clean. She worked with my dad in the garden, milked cows, tended her flowers and like my dad was usually exhausted.

On Sundays they got dressed up and went to church. They sang in the church choir and often sang in a quartet in other churches.  Life was not always easy and as with many families there were those times when we wondered if we would make it.

Looking back I can say my father was a hard working Christian Republican. My mother was a hard working Christian Democrat. Together, they built a house, raised five kids, entertained family and friends and both lived to be 85. They were not wealthy in retirement but with a thirty-year miner’s pension, Social Security and a balanced lifestyle they did fine.

If only all Republicans and Democrats today could be as blessed. Imagine what our states and nation might accomplish if we worked together? These are tough times. We have to make some unpopular decisions in this country. People are hurting, stressed to the max and even in the streets hungry.

We cannot go on with the “Us against them” syndrome. If we do we are only going to lose more jobs, incur more national debt, lose more corporations to other countries, increase taxes and watch our communities drown in drugs, violence and poverty.

Abraham Lincoln was quoting the Bible when he said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Glenn Mollette is an American columnist read in all fifty states. Contact him at  Like his facebook page at He is the author of American Issues,  Hear him each Sunday night at 8 EST on XM Radio 131.

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Senator Ted Cruz the Hispanic Candidate for President?

By Patrick Osio, OP-ED

Senator Ted Cruz has become the darling of the Tea Party and other extreme right Republicans. He is seen as their potential presidential candidate. He is a superb orator and the big plus – he’s Hispanic. One needs to put a pan below the chin of the right wing members to catch the drool.

They now know that in order to win the White House their candidate must take between 35 to 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. So having a candidate that not only thinks like they, is a great orator, with leadership qualities, and also Hispanic they feel is a winning combination.

Patrick Osio

Patrick Osio

If right wingers don’t know it, surely Ted Cruz does. Hispanic is a generic description for the various descendants of numerous Spanish speaking countries in the Western Hemisphere. Cruz happens to belong to one such group – Cuban-American.

According to Pew Research Center Cubans in the U.S. number 1.9 million; Central-Americans 4.3 million and the Gorilla, Mexican-Americans 33.5 million.

So the question is: Can Cuban-American Cruz appeal to the other groups; in particular to Mexican-Americans and Central-Americans? Without a significant number of their votes, Cruz would not be the next White House occupant.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionHow is Cruz going to explain to them why he brought the nation to the brink of economic disaster shutting down the government in a zealots attempt to rescind Obamacare needed by over 11 million Hispanics without health insurance? And while at it, how will he explain to the thousands of small business that were placed on hold by major clients due to the uncertainty he created?

How will he reconcile his belief that there is need for immigration reform, but not until the border is secure? What is his idea of secure? Not one person entering? Does this include drug traffickers? How are they attached to immigration reform? And why is only the Mexican border singled out?

How will he explain his opposition to the Dream Act that allows youngsters brought in childhood illegally to the U.S. to seek higher educations?

How will he be able to say that his family’s immigration experience is akin to theirs? Cruz’s own father was granted immediate entry not once, but twice. Cubans received favored treatment on arrival to the U.S. being granted immediate sanctuary, placed on a fast track for permanent residency and a path to citizenship. And how will he explain that on a boat full of Cuban, Dominican and Haitian refugees only Cubans were given sanctuary on arrival to the U.S., the others returned to their country and waiting arms of the dictatorships in those days?

How will he explain his silence when elected and non elected members of his own party speak so disdainfully of his fellow Hispanics? How will he explain his silence when several states pass draconian laws singling out Mexicans for enforcement?

Maybe Senator Cruz is not aware that there is tremendous discontent in the Mexican-American community towards the Republican Party, which does nothing to rectify the relationship. A considerable number of votes cast during the last presidential election were against the Republicans with Obama the beneficiary.

All ethnic groups within the Hispanic community want better education for their children and themselves, more economic opportunities, more available jobs, health care coverage – note Senator these are mostly the same issues as all Americans.

Most Americans, including the majority of Hispanics, are not in favor of illegal immigration or open borders as many of your colleagues claim. As you and your colleagues claim favoring legal immigration, so do Hispanics. They want an orderly process that U.S. businesses can comply with and be of benefit to our economy. But you’re stuck with simple sound bytes to please your patrons instead of working on immigration reform.

Be aware Senator that you have a tough road with the greatest number of “Hispanics” that speaking Spanish will not overcome. Don’t worry about Senator Rubio, he’ll have to face the same scrutiny as you if he beats you out of the nomination.

Patrick Osio, is the Editor of HispanicVista. He can be contacted at

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Letter: Tea Party Wasted America’s Time

Dear Editor:

Finally the nation and the world can take a breath of relief; the Senate and the House came up with a compromise for the President to sign off on.

As result of a Speaker caving in to the extreme members of his party, America and the world suffered physical and psychological damage. The nation and the world were put on hold because of inexperienced lawmakers’ attempts to demonize and defund the Affordable Care Act.

letterstohartfordguardianJohn Boehner, the Speaker of the House, should be fired for putting this nation through this type of stretch of uncertainty. It is my notion, many among the Tea Party members would probably fair better if they were on meds to help in their thought processes; they held the nation and the world financial reliance system hostage because of their bitterness against the Affordable Care Act.

They did not listen to the seniors in their party; and they went out on a limb that had to be pulled in. Consequently, the effort to defund Obamacare was in vain. It was a waste of time, and lot of people suffered. This will not be forgotten in the 2014 elections.

 –Alfred Waddell

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Road Terror, Motorcycles, SUVs and the Second Amendment

By Glenn Mollette

Everyone who has watched the news has seen the SUV being attacked by a gang of motorcyclists in Manhattan. We watched a husband, wife and baby surrounded by terror whose lives were seemingly going to end right before our eyes.

Most of us have imagined ourselves in a similar scenario and played out in our minds how we might react.

Such a scenario happened to my wife several years ago as she was traveling on Interstate 75 south of Cincinnati. A group of motorcyclists surrounded her car. Several got in front of her with several others to the side and others behind her car. As the cyclists in front of her drove slower and slower it was obvious to her they were trying to force her to pull off to the side of the road. Gripped with fear she motioned that she was moving forward and floored the accelerator. Fortunately for the cyclists in front of her they had a moment of rational thinking and got out of her way as she sped forward at 85 to 90 mph to get away from them.

glen mollett The highway is no place for games, rage or acts of violence. Cyclists, truckers and automobile drivers should be courteous and share the road. We are all paying taxes on America’s highways and all should be respectful of each other.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionIn the days ahead we will hear from the driver and wife of the SUV. I would have called 911.  Even today, not everyone has a cell phone.   In such cases we all need one to call for help. More and more phones today are capable of taking pictures and videotaping. When you are afraid for your life you do not always have time to be a photographer but criminals and bullies do not want to be photographed. Without the videotape airing across the nation who knows how this story might have been spun.

Finally, what if the family could have pulled a handgun out of the glove box? NYC law makes that very difficult in comparison to most of our country.  However, residents of NYC should make every effort to achieve a legal permit and push every day for second amendment rights. What man or woman would not have begun firing the moment the window of that SUV was crashed? I would have fired away to protect my family if I had a gun.

Obviously, the cyclists could have been armed as well and thus several people could have ended up dead. This brings us back to the extreme necessity that we must all utilize respect and common sense as we travel our highways. There is zero need for violence. We need to be grateful for freedom and the privilege to drive and chill out.

Give people some room. Don’t ride people’s bumpers. Don’t cut people off. Do not use hand gestures with people as this only escalates driving tension. Do not harass people. Do not stop your car to get into a yelling match with someone.

There have been moments that all of us have felt like other motorists on the highway were jerks. Pursuing an altercation leads to nowhere. Try to keep your cool and drive responsibly.

And, in case such a scenario happens to you that happened to the Manhattan family remember your Second Amendment rights.

Glenn Mollette is an American columnist read in all fifty states. Contact him at  Like his facebook page at find his books at



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Sergio Garcia: In Defense of the American Dream

By New America Media

Traducción al español

Editor’s Note: Sergio Garcia, the 36-year-old Chico man whose struggle to practice law was the subject of a California Supreme Court hearing earlier this month, inspired a last-minute bill that passed last week in the state legislature. An undocumented immigrant who has wanted to be a lawyer since the age of 10, Garcia writes that the legislation represents the realization of his American dream.

I must have been no older than 10 years old when I dreamt of one day becoming an attorney. That dream has brought me great satisfaction, but also considerable heartache. At that innocent age I was exposed to the horrors of injustice. I saw innocent people being locked up and kept in jail because they were unable to buy their freedom. Justice should never depend on one’s ability to pay for it. It should apply equally to all.

People say it doesn’t cost anything to dream and I am glad it doesn’t because otherwise I would have never been able to afford such a big dream. In 1987 I lived in Mexico with my mother and four younger siblings. Many times we didn’t even have enough money to eat, much less for clothes or shoes. I recall often going to school hungry and embarrassed by my old torn shoes. With all of this poverty you would think I was an unhappy child, but I wasn’t. Money isn’t everything in this world and you don’t miss what you have never had.

It’s hard to believe that 26 years have gone by since the birth of my dream. I no longer struggle for food or shoes. I have grown, but so have my problems. With a great deal of hard work and sacrifice, not only from me but from all of those around me, I managed to realize my dream and finish my education as an attorney. Sadly, given my lack of status I have been prevented from taking the last step towards the achievement of my dream.

Allow me to explain. My father, who is now a U.S. citizen, applied to have my status adjusted, for me to have a green card. This was 19 years ago and I still don’t have one.


Not having a green card has opened a Pandora’s box for me. I have had to fight for my right to be able to one day fight for others. On Sept. 4, 2013, I reached the highest court in the state of California — perhaps something that to most would seem a lofty goal in their law careers, but not to me, since I was there to fight my own case. And given the limited amount of time provided by the court, I was not even able to say a word. I allowed the grown-ups to do the arguing for me: private counsel, the California State Bar attorney and the attorney for our very own state Attorney General.

They fought with courage. However, a fight can only be won if the opposition is open to engage. Here, the court appeared impotent against a federal law that, based on their reaction, they feel ties their hands and prevents them from allowing me to fulfill my dream and issue me a law license. Even though I was discouraged by their response, I did not take it as a total defeat. I took it as an opportunity to help them help me. As soon as I left the courthouse, I reached out to some of my friends in the California legislature. I knew that passing a law that would free the court’s hands to grant me a license was my last hope to fulfill my dream — short of taking my fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Luckily, my friends had been paying attention to my plight and were quick to step in, in defense of the American dream. Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) was quick to assemble the troops and encourage them to pass a favorable law quickly.

Soon all members of the Latino Legislative Caucus had heeded the call to action and had picked Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to lead the effort. I was ecstatic at their quick response. It made me feel like someone shared my passion for justice. Those who lead by action and not mere words have always been my heroes and it was refreshing to find so many like-minded people all at once.

Once Gonzalez introduced AB 1024 — the bill that could potentially open the door to my dream, and that of many others — my excitement increased exponentially. With less than a week left in this year’s legislative session, the measure was written, debated and passed by the state legislature. The bill is now headed to the governor’s desk.

Nothing that is truly worthwhile comes without effort or sacrifice, but I am out to prove that the American dream is still out there for the taking.

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Hartford Native Reacts to Chappelle, WNPR

By Rondale Williams

WNPR’s recent show titled, “A New England Kind Racism” missed the mark on discussing race and racism in Connecticut.

The conversation came after an article about Dave Chappelle’s visit to Hartford’s Comcast Theater on Aug. 29. The article shattered the myth that the state don’t have black people and is postracial.

It is beginning to be commonplace for media professionals to bring on a blogger, an academic, and/or political or civil right activist to discuss social rondaleissues. But this show misused someone’s excerpt from a taped interview, a problem that has longed plagued race-based discussions in the media. In this case, that someone was Ann-Marie Adams.

The questions that followed Adams’s excerpts seemed to not be in agreement what she articulated in her article. Her excerpts seemed to try and make notice that Dave Chappelle mistook Hartford for being a predominantly white community filled with racist hecklers. It is not. Her article helped to change the national perception that Connecticut is a liberal an all-white state with mostly rich people.. Therefore, the WNPR host should have asked questions about the article and about how we can inform others as to what the racial climate in Hartford is really like.

the-hartford-guardian-OpinionBut instead, the discussion, like many others, becomes lectures on sociology, psychology, and history, which is fine. But Adams’ article was written to change minds, not add information to a textbook.

Why?  That’s because much of Connecticut is thought to be liberal and post-racial. By others, we are also known to be proponents of the abolitionist and civil rights movements. Many people have no idea that Connecticut practices redlining today. Nonetheless, that is an article for a different day.

The issue here is when will we get others to take notice that Connecticut isn’t the Connecticut that they see on television? This image of Connecticut is that of Fairfield County, filled with rich, well-educated people with big homes. And it is an image that is deeply implanted in the minds of people who live in California, Florida, and even our tri-state neighbor New York. I know this because I’ve been to those states, and have heard about what people think about Connecticut.

When he performed in Hartford, Chappelle encountered It is people who usually fear coming into Hartford.  Had he been informed about Hartford and what it is actually like, then maybe he would never have made those statements about Hartford, including a wish that a nuclear bomb drops on Hartford. He would have realized that most people who live in Hartford look like him.

Rondale Williams is a native of Hartford. He lives in New York.

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