July 22, 2008

Civil rights panel needed in Bristol, some black leaders say

Bristol should have a civil rights committee that would “investigate civilian complaints against city employees” and endeavor to protect minority rights, a group of black leaders said Tuesday.
“Although we cannot change the past we can, however, change the future,” said a paper released by former NAACP President Monica (Ervin) Fore.
Fore and other black leaders are slated to meet today with Mayor Art Ward to discuss a request for a public forum on hate crimes in Bristol and to raise the issue of creating the new panel.
“I’m expecting to listen to what their concerns are,” Ward said. “I’m open to listening to hear more details as to everything and anything that’s proposed.”
Before endorsing anything, the mayor said, “my position is to sit down and hear what the concerns are” and to analyze the recommendations made to see if they are the best course for the city to take.
Though city officials deny that hate crimes have happened in Bristol for a long time, the report cites a handful of incidents between 2002 and 2006 that include vandalism in which swastikas were painted on a Jewish cemetery, the Beals Community-Senior Center and a golf club.
“Minorities in the city believe Bristol does have a problem,” the report said.
“It is sad that racism is still a very powerful subject that Americans argue over in this decade,
years after our forefathers marched through city streets and in Washington to change
the way minorities” are treated in America, the report said.
“At some point in time, change must occur because the future of our country is at stake,” it stated.
“We must come together and work to build a strong united front or we will be overtaken by our
enemies who desire to come into this country to blow up our buildings and kill as many people as possible,” the report continued.
“Our presidential candidates have recognized that the new president will have to address this problem as it has been one of the main focuses in this presidential campaign,” the report said.
“Together minorities and city officials in the city of Bristol, Connecticut can start this change that everyone is talking about and show our brothers and sisters across the country that change is possible,” it said.
The proposed minority affairs committee “will kick start this change in Bristol and ensure that everyone is respected and receives equal protection under law as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution of America,” the report said.
The mission of the new panel would be to try to ensure “there is no violation of an individual’s civil and human rights” in Bristol, the report said.
The committee would investigate charges about city employees, including the police, “and shall be responsible in reporting its findings to the mayor and proper authority for action.”
“The committee shall work with city officials to build stronger relationships with minorities in the community,” it said, and its members would become familiar “with policies and procedures of the various departments within the city in order to ensure that a fair review of the complaint brought to its attention takes place.”

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Why don't we put the question of whether to creat this panel on the November ballot???

Anonymous said...

Will Monica ever give the minority issue a break? Are there so many city employees making discrimination complaints that now we need a comittee, or is it that Monica wants to be on a committee so that she can stay in the lime light. I hope that the mayor will stand firm on not creating this committee, one because we don't need it and two because minorities employees, like other city employees already have steps to take through there unions to take care of any problems that need to be addressed.
I haven't heard of any minority issues that a committee needs to be created for, can you tell me of any?

Steve Collins said...

The committee sought would investigate complaints ABOUT city employees, not by city employees.

Anonymous said...

This committee would definately be an over reation to a non-exising problem. We have more important things to discuss on this blog anyway, like the petition. Not only that, but we already have an ethics commission in place which I believe is empowered to investigate complaints against city employees.

Anonymous said...

We don't need a civil rights panel in Bristol.

It is quite evident that given the overwhelming support of Barack Obama as a presidential candidate by many Bristol residents, and Americans in general, that Bristol, like much of America, looks beyond race. It is time for other members of the black community like Jesse Jackson to do the same and stop perpetuating behavior that segregates America.

It's not Black America, Hispanic America, Asian America, White America, etc. We're all Americans!

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Monica is attempting to create a problem where there is none. The most notable of these complaints seems to be the racist/anti-semitic graffiti appearing around town. What proof is there that these issues are not being caused by monority youth? The issue of vandalism needs to be solved by Bristol PD, not some overly reactionary comittee. Monica needs to stop rabble rousing and start doing something positive for ALL of the city's residents. Not just those who are black or hispanic.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that minority leaders want a committee to oversee complaints about city employees? Is it that they want to protect the rights of just city minority workers, what about the rest of the city workers, are they on their own? Apparently the NAACP means that they are only concerned with Black minorities because I have never seen them mention anything about protecting the rights of Hispanics, Asians, Caucasians or any other race.

When they say, "NAACP-National Association for the Advancement of Colored People", they seem to be talking only about one color.

Why don't they just say, "We want to protect the rights of all Black people".

Anonymous said...

Steve - do you know if there are any other cities in CT who have a civil rights panel? I've never heard of one in city govt before.

Anonymous said...

We need a white power pannel!

Anonymous said...

Guess Artie didn't accomplish anything at the meeting. Otherwise he would have E-mailed the world.

Where are we and where do we go from here?