On Every Issue When Blacks Are To Benefit, Republicans Say, “hell No”…

One of the ques­tions that I ask par­tic­u­lar­ly of peo­ple of col­or is, why don’t you take a more active vot­ing posi­tion? Last year one 60-some­thing African-American man told me that he did not get into white peo­ple’s busi­ness, speak­ing of voting.
Normally I would try to tell some­one like that why it’s impor­tant to vote, but where there is no floor, where do you stand?
I told myself some things are best left alone; I was not going to make a dif­fer­ence in that kind of darkness.
It is easy to gloss over the strug­gles that African-Americans have waged to gain the right to vote. A right that white men bestowed upon them­selves and them alone. Yes, at one time, they did not even allow their white women to vote. No, even if her dad­dy left her wealth, her hus­band had great pow­er over her inher­i­tance. She could not pur­chase prop­er­ty or do what she pleas­es with her own money.
It would be easy for some­one to auto­mat­i­cal­ly assume that because of those strug­gles, African-Americans would be attuned to the pow­er of vot­ing, or at the very least be enlight­ened by the war that the white pow­er struc­ture has waged to pre­vent them from voting.
Unfortunately, this is not so, but to be fair Black women have been loy­al sol­diers in the strug­gle to reg­is­ter and get oth­ers to vote.….…… Today Charles Schumer owes his Senate Majority Leadership to Stacy Abrams and oth­ers who worked to deliv­er not one, but two Democratic US Senate seats in Georgia, the heart of Dixie.

New York Attorney General Letitia James

One of the mis­con­cep­tions that exist at the local lev­el, is that local Republicans are some­how less evil than nation­al Republicans. As if nation­al Republicans are from Mars.
Black vot­ers are fooled into think­ing that they can live with local Republican elect­ed lead­ers, not under­stand­ing that Republicans’ harm begins at the local level.
Like ground­hogs, they bur­row into the heart of our every­day lives, exist­ing in pre­tense, they vis­it our church­es, they pre­tend to be friends by throw­ing a few bones, but their inten­tions are nefarious.
On the issues that are of the great­est sig­nif­i­cance and impor­tance to African-Americans, Republicans at all lev­els are uni­tar­i­ly opposed.
No exceptions!!!
Please make no mis­take about it; vot­ing is not sole­ly about oppo­si­tion to a hate­ful white-suprema­cist agen­da. It is also about wolves-in-sheep­’s-cloth­ing-democ­rats who can­not get elect­ed with­out the African-American vote, but who vote in sup­port of a white suprema­cist Republican agen­da as soon as they are elected.

The New York Legislature recent­ly Voted to Legalize Adult-Use Marijuana; the Bill was signed into law soon after by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Over sev­er­al decades America’s war on drugs has wrought untold suf­fer­ing and death on African-Americans and oth­er Black and brown peo­ple, as police live out their blood-lust of hatred on inno­cent peo­ple they did/​do not like.
Using dra­con­ian stop & frisk, traf­fic stops, and raids on Blacks’ homes and prop­er­ty, police across the United States have filled jails to the over­flow­ing, feed­ing the hun­gry beast of mass incar­cer­a­tion as police plant drugs and engage in all kinds of abu­sive and dead­ly prac­tices against African-Americans.
Police have wrecked count­less lives and filled ceme­ter­ies with the bod­ies of those they killed in botched drug raids, in many instances hav­ing entered the homes of inno­cent peo­ple using bad intelligence.
The sad fact is that for the most part, those drug laws were the brain-child of Republicans and so-called mod­er­ate Democrats.
Although there is con­sis­tent data that shows that African-Americans do [not] con­sume drugs or alco­hol in greater quan­ti­ties than whites or any oth­er racial group, police have used drug enforce­ment to exact a dra­con­ian assault on peo­ple of color.
The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act passed the NYS Senate recent­ly by a vote of 40 – 23.
All 20 Republicans vot­ed against the Bill’s pas­sage, even with the knowl­edge of the destruc­tion that the nation’s drug laws have caused on Black people.
Let that sink in African-Americans, the next time they come into your church­es to tell you about them­selves and seek your vote, or to lull you into a false sense of secu­ri­ty because you refuse to be informed by the facts.

In addi­tion to the Republicans, who have act­ed in lock-step with their coun­ter­parts in Washington DC, three (3) wolves- in- sheep-cloth­ing ‑democ­rats vot­ed [no] to the Bill’s passage.
Anna Kaplan, a Long Island State sen­a­tor, was one of the Democrats who vot­ed against the bill, using the flim­sy excuse that there is still a lack of tech­nol­o­gy to detect impaired driving.
I have long-held con­cerns and have spent the last few weeks speak­ing with con­stituents,” Kaplan said. “Long Island already leads the state in traf­fic fatal­i­ties.
Here is the thing, there is zero evi­dence in that state­ment that the traf­fic fatal­i­ties on Long Island have any­thing to do with mar­i­jua­na. Many fac­tors may be respon­si­ble for those traf­fic fatal­i­ties, includ­ing reck­less and dan­ger­ous dri­ving, poor roads, and even impaired dri­ving from alco­hol or syn­thet­ic drugs favored by the whiter pop­u­la­tion, the fur­ther out on Long Island you venture.
Under the new law, police will no longer be able to use the smell of cannabis to jus­ti­fy search­es. New Yorkers with con­vic­tions for mar­i­jua­na use will have their records auto­mat­i­cal­ly and imme­di­ate­ly expunged.
Tom, an African-American man (not his real name) who worked for years as a Corrections offi­cer and has recent­ly retired, told me the only rea­son that New York state passed this law is ‘mon­ey.
I told him that even though I was just as cyn­i­cal about the motives behind the new law’s pas­sage, I was buoyed at the restora­tive jus­tice that may be derived from it…

Marc Molinaro

Speaking of money…

The state will also be cre­at­ing the Office of Cannabis Management, which will set up reg­u­la­tors and licens­ing distributors.
Cannabis prod­ucts will be sub­ject to a 9 per­cent state tax and a 4 per­cent local tax. The local tax would be split, with 1 per­cent going to coun­ties and 3 per­cent going to cities, towns, and villages.
All cannabis tax­es would be direct­ed to the “New York State Cannabis Revenue Fund.” The rev­enue would cov­er the costs to admin­is­ter and enforce the program.
After that, 40 per­cent of the remain­ing mon­ey would go to a com­mu­ni­ty grants rein­vest­ment fund, 40 per­cent to edu­ca­tion, and 20 per­cent to drug treat­ment and pub­lic edu­ca­tion programs.
The idea we are told is to help heal the com­mu­ni­ties that have been dev­as­tat­ed by America’s war on drugs, which real­ly has been just one iter­a­tion of America’s war on African-Americans.
That con­cept of heal­ing is fraught with prob­lems as gen­tri­fi­ca­tion has changed the faces of the com­mu­ni­ties that were once the com­mu­ni­ties that were turned upside down by the aggres­sive polic­ing and the infu­sion of syn­thet­ic drugs aid­ed by ele­ments of the very said government.
So it fol­lows that the peo­ple who live in the expen­sive brown­stones in Harlem today are not the peo­ple who were dev­as­tat­ed by the drug wars.

Black vot­ers who are fooled into think­ing that local Republicans are harm­less must under­stand that in our coun­ty of dutchess, the coun­ty exec­u­tive Marc Molinaro, pres­i­dent of the State County Executives Association, said instead of leav­ing it up to the state to admin­is­ter and dis­trib­ute those funds, more fund­ing should be direct­ed straight to counties.
It is safe to say that if Marc Molinaro had a vote in the state sen­ate, he would have opposed the bill the same way that Sue Serino did.
My call to Serino’s office to hear direct­ly from her why she opposed the bill was met with an auto­mat­ed mes­sage that direct­ed me to leave a mes­sage or email her.
I did neither!
However, her web­site fea­tured the fol­low­ing statement.
“At a time when we have all been told repeat­ed­ly to ‘fol­low the sci­ence,’ sci­en­tif­ic and oth­er con­cerns put forth by pub­lic health offi­cials, law enforce­ment, and mem­bers of our school and busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties have been ignored so the state can prof­it off a bill that unfor­tu­nate­ly remains dan­ger­ous­ly flawed.
Unlike with alco­hol, cur­rent­ly, no accu­rate road­side sci­en­tif­ic test exists to detect mar­i­jua­na in an impaired dri­ver, mak­ing it incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult to deter impaired dri­ving and even more dif­fi­cult to hold those who dri­ve while impaired account­able for any harm they may cause. A lack of avail­able detec­tion meth­ods will also pose a num­ber of health and safe­ty chal­lenges in the work­place — whether on a con­struc­tion site, in a health­care facil­i­ty, or else­where. Most impor­tant­ly, while this bill intends to legal­ize only adult-use recre­ation­al mar­i­jua­na, I remain incred­i­bly wor­ried about the unin­tend­ed con­se­quences it will have on our kids.
I gov­ern by lis­ten­ing, and I have spent sig­nif­i­cant time lis­ten­ing to those on both sides of this debate. While I under­stand and respect the points all have offered, [sig­nif­i­cant health and safe­ty con­cerns] remain unad­dressed in this par­tic­u­lar bill. Therefore, I could not in good con­science sup­port its pas­sage at this time.” 

Senator Sue Serino

Serino’s response is a clas­sic Republican talk­ing point. One that engages in a cir­cu­lar nar­ra­tive that gives law enforce­ment sup­port when­ev­er the ques­tion of law-enforce­ment abuse and the need for restora­tive jus­tice comes up. It is the very same faux nar­ra­tive that cre­at­ed the Republican war on drugs in the first place. It is a shock­ing act of dis­re­spect to the mil­lions of African-Americans who have been incar­cer­at­ed and insti­tu­tion­al­ized and killed due to the war on drugs over the decades that this war was first autho­rized as an assault on Black people.
Last year as the entire world reg­is­tered out­rage at the bla­tant mur­der of George Floyd by Minneopolic cops Derek Chauvin and oth­ers, Sue Serino was gloat­ing on social media about the police groups that endorsed her.
I point­ed out the insen­si­tiv­i­ty of the social media post in a point­ed response.
In response, Serino again reit­er­at­ed the same gib­ber­ish about being proud of law enforce­ment sup­port with­out address­ing the role the said law enforce­ment has played in oppress­ing seg­ments of the population.
There should be no mis­take about their inten­tions when they default to sup­port of law enforce­ment or [sig­nif­i­cant health and safe­ty con­cerns when chal­lenged on the harm law enforce­ment has wrought on peo­ple of color.
Supporting good police offi­cers who do their jobs with pro­fes­sion­al­ism and respect, and work­ing to remove bad cops, and right­ing the wrongs they do are not mutu­al­ly exclu­sive tasks, both are fun­da­men­tal­ly necessary.
It has noth­ing to do with con­cerns for health and safe­ty, but every­thing to do with secur­ing blocs of cop vote, and cur­ry­ing favor with police unions.
Here in the coun­ty of Dutchess, the County Sheriff, the Judges, Police brass, County Political lead­er­ship, the city’s Mayor are all cut from the same Republican cloth.
A vote against The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act was a vote against restora­tive jus­tice for African-Americans in New York state.

A Statement from Governor Cuomo before he signed the bill into lawImage

A state­ment from Attorney General Letitia James.Image

Mike Beckles is a for­mer Police Detective, busi­ness­man, free­lance writer, black achiev­er hon­oree, and cre­ator of the blog mike​beck​les​.com. 

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