In February 27, 2021 LA Progressive, Why Black Lives Still Don’t Matter, Sonali Kolhatkar briefly discusses the death of Daniel Prude in Rochester, New York.
“[Daniel] Prude, like countless other Black people killed by police—whether they were women like Breonna Taylor, or children like Tamir Rice—are sacrifices to the altar of white supremacy.”
Sonali Kolhatkar’s claim that Daniel Prude was sacrificed on the altar of white supremacy ignores the fact that Rochester, New York is a minority run city. Here’s a list of its mayor, city council, police chiefs, and school board followed by their race, ethnicity, and gender. Which one is a white supremacist?
City Mayor Lovely Warren (2013-present), Black female
City Vice Mayor Willie J. Lightfoot, Black male
City police chief Cynthia Herriott-Sullivan is black female, prior police chief La'Ron Singletary was black, male; before that police chief was James Sheppard (210-2013) Black male
President of city council Loretta C. Scott, is black, female
Vice president Malik D. Evans (Bd Pres 2008-2013) is Black male
Councilmember Mitchell D. Gruber - Jewish, male
Councilmember Miguel A. Meléndez, Jr. Hispanic, male
Councilmember LaShay D. Harris, Black, female
Councilmember Mary Lupien - White, female
Councilmember Michael A. Patterson Black, male
Councilmember Jose Peo - ostensibly Hispanic, male.
Rochester NY School Board members:
(1) Van Henri White, Board President – black,
(2) Cynthia Elliot, Board Vice President black
(3) Ricardo Adams, Commissioner black
(4) William (Bill) Clark, Commissioner black
(5) Beatriz LeBron, Commissioner Hispanic, female
(6) Amy Maloy, Commissioner female white
(7) Willa Powell, Commissioner female, white
Letitia “Tish” James is the 67th Attorney General for the State of New York is a Black female who chose not to prosecute the RPD officers involved in Daniel Prude’s death, while saying she thought there was adequate evidence to justify a prosecution. That would have been a good place remind people of the saying, “A prosecutor can get a Grand Jury to indict a ham sandwich.” Yet, AG James failed to get an indictment on any charge including criminal negligence. An indictment merely says there is enough evidence to charge the officers; it is not a conviction.
When Sonali Kolhatkar accuses someone of being a white supremacist, she has a duty to tell the reasons why Mayor Lovely Warren and vice mayor Malik Evans, both who are Black, are white supremacists. Are three Black police chiefs white supremacists? Are the Black school board president and vice president white supremacists? Are the other city council and school Board members white supremacists? How do so many Black officials become white supremacists? (Sar)
Sonali Kolhatkar Turns Reality Upside down
It would be much harder for Ms. Kolhatkar to blame white supremacists for Prude’s death if she admitted that for years, Rochester has been a Black run city. Rochester has problems, but Mayor Lovely Warren’s and police chief La'Ron Singletary’s being white supremacists is not one of them.
It Is a Serious Matter When a Journalist Gins up Race Hatred
Ms. Kolhatkar’s falsely portraying Rochester as a White Supremacist city is as an outrageous defamation as one can make against public officials in these times. Nowhere does she even hint that Rochester’s elected officials are predominately Black, minority and female.
Rochester police have a history of harassing and brutalizing. In May 2011, Emily Good (white female) was arrested in her own front yard because she videotaped an unlawful RPC stop of a car driven by a Black person. It was the Black Police Chief James Sheppard who defended police’s false arrest despite undisputed video footage of the police misconduct. Was Ms. Good one of the white supremacists to whom Ms. Kolhatkar referred?
In September 2020, after the Daniel Prude death, there was a shakeup of the RPD’s top brass. The city had been responsive in the aftermath of Prude’s death. On January 29, 2021, the RPD pepper sprayed a 9-year-old Black girl. Did the new Black leadership result in a kinder and gentler RPD?
Predators Victimize People with less Power
Because power tends to corrupt, one should not be surprised that people with the least amount of power will experience the most abuse. By pretending that the problems which Blacks have with the police and other institutions is due to white supremacy is a fraud upon the nation.
The Problem Which Plagues Our Nation Is Predatory Abuse by the Powerful. Racism Is a Secondary Factor
If police or the courts, for example, were not predators, they would not abuse anyone. In a non-predatory system, police or judges might not like Blacks or Jews but their psychology and procedures will not result in abuse of anyone. As long as our institutions are run by predators, however, the abuse will not stop. The false scenario that our woes are due to white supremacy is designed to keep Americans divided. Ending white supremacy will not help Rochester’s Blacks.
A Divided Nation is Great for Politicos
The white supremacy mantra is great for Dems’ and GOP’s fund raising as it divides the nation by inflaming the passions. The Dems focus on the white supremacists while suppressing any in depth news analysis of the January 6th attempt to violently overthrow the government. It is very easy to demonize demons and fools like Q Shaman with his silly costume. You know Q Shaman is out of touch with reality since only the fat lady at the end of an opera is supposed to wear that get-up with Wagnerian horns.
Because white supremacy is indefensible, it is difficult for people to recognize that the Dems are using white supremacy to further divide the nation and also to raise untold hundreds of millions of dollars. By defining the problem as white supremacy rather that predatory abuse, Dems and GOP can keep the nation divided. Just as GOP prejudice pretty much locks out Blacks and other minorities except for tokenism, increasingly the Dems are locking out whites, especially Poor White Trash whom the Dems have branded with the D-word, Deplorables. One should not think that anything herein justifies the abhorrent conduct of the majority of the GOP politicos.
A wiser alternative for everyone would be to support President Joe Biden who sees individual human beings and not gin up racial and ethnic hatreds.
Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: Rickleeabrams@Gmail.com. Abrams’ views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.)