Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Ken Berwitz

Here is the latest entry in our "real racism" series.  It comes to us from what might nominally be thought of as an unlikely place:  East Haven, in the usually blue state of Connecticut.  

East Haven, apparently is a haven for hatred of Latinos:  a little oasis where they can be harassed and/or beaten at will, by members of the police force, while other members look the other way and the mayor's reaction to being questionned about it is sneering sarcasm.

Excerpted from the lead editorial in last Wednesday's Hartford Courant's editorial - complete with its extraordinary title, which is right on the mark:

The Mayor Is An Idiot


For those who are wondering why the East Haven Police Department is out of control, one possible answer is that Mayor Joseph Maturo is an idiot.

What other possible explanation is there for Mr. Maturo's comments Tuesday night following the arrest of four East Haven police officers for violating, often brutally, the civil rights of Latinos? A New York television reporter asked Mr. Maturo what he was doing for the Latino community. (See the interview, by all means, at http://www.courant.com.)


Mr. Maturo responded by saying that he that he might go home and have tacos for dinner.

In 2009, when a Catholic priest, Father James Manship, was arrested for filming an interaction between cops and minority store owners, some mayors might have discerned a possible problem. Mr. Maturo apparently did not. Rev. Manship's actions led to a probe by theU.S. Justice Department, which issued a scathing report accusing the East Haven Police Department of "systematically discriminating against Latinos," conduct that was "deeply rooted in the department's culture."

A related federal grand jury investigation resulted in the arrest of the four officers. On Tuesday, Mr. Maturo said he didn't believe the charges and stood behind the cops.

Mr. Maturo doesn't speak for Italian Americans, most East Haven residents or state residents, but he managed to embarrass all of us. His pathetic attempt at an apology doesn't wash. He ought to resign.

I watched video footage of maturo on Today this morning, in which he explained his comment by pointing out that people sometimes say stupid things. 

Yes, he is right.  We all say stupid things sometimes.  But his "stupid thing" was said in the course of blowing off the arrest of four of his city's police officers for racial crimes. 

That is a lot more than just stupid.  It clearly suggests maturo, at the very least, couldn't care less if Latinos in East Haven are abused - and at worst, that he's just fine with it.  Personally, I have no doubt that both shoes fit.

Real racism is ugly and disgusting.  Mayor maturo has displayed both.  Vividly.

I don't even want him to resign; I want the people of East Haven to rise up and demand his ouster. 

It is the least they can do, after electing this sack of manure in the first place.

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