dcf plantation

Posted: February 23, 2013 in Call to Action, Fight Back, Real Food For Thought, Solidarity

Comrade Cornell Lewis has long been in the fight against white privilege at the Department of Children and Families. We saw Cornell at a recent small demo in Hartford and he told us of his work. We have known of his work through our comrade Frank O’ Gorman an anti-racist social justice queer and want to follow up on and help to expose the injustice at dcf. We have formed a link in our link column to Cornell’s blog, dcf plantation and below have printed some ideas from the blog. After reading this we have to say we stand firmly behind Cornell and others who work to fight the dcf plantation.

Check out the dcf plantation blogspot. HERE

from the dcf planation blog: “Nat Turner Preaching to the Oppressed on the Plantation.”

About the blog dcf plantation Cornell writes:

“I created this website as a direct response to bias, discrimination and racism within the Department of Children and Families (DCF) plantation and Connecticut Juvenile Training School (CJTS). This is just a beginning introduction about state run agencies that oppress employees of color while claiming to help children & adolescents.”

Another article A Declaration Against Institutional Injustice is a must read. We publish it in its entirety below.

Peoples Manifesto:
Undoing Racism in the Dept. of Children and Families (DCF)!

We the People of Color and Working Poor of Greater Hartford are the victims of an unrelenting and systemic level of institutionalized racism and classism that permeates the Department of Children and Families, also known as DCF.
We the People know that children, families of color and working class poor represent a significant percentage of the DCF caseload, yet its Administrators, Senior Management and Policy Makers do not reflect the population it serves in either color or working class background.
We the People are informing all that this issue of racial and class bias within DCF has most recently been aggravated by the targeting of activists at Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown, Connecticut for disciplinary actions by DCF management. Also by the fact that a disproportionate amount of disciplinary actions throughout DCF are aimed at their employees of color.
We the People know very well that the relationships between our communities and DCF has always been a highly tenuous bond, and the People view the latest management actions by the DCF / CJTS unacceptable and simply adding salt to a very deep and festering wound.
We the People are telling DCF and the State of Connecticut that our children and families are NOT financial commodities of the State nor the Federal Government, and we demand that the Peoples Voices and Faces be given equal seats and representation at the DCF Tables of Power.
We the People are committed to assuring that the racial and class imbalance in DCF senior administration END TODAY, and that DCF’s Senior Management and Decision Makers finally mirror those in the community it serves and not mirror a pale and middle class representation of the community!
We the People can no longer accept our children, our mothers, our grandmothers, our families being victims not only of the systemic racism existing in Connecticut but to be re-victimized by a family support system that should be empowering our children and families as opposed to the current climate of fear and distrust.
We the People of Color and Working Poor of Greater Hartford are committed to:

  1. Ending the reign of racism and classism that permeates the senior management levels and policy makers of DCF
  2. Transforming, NOT Reforming, DCF into an organization that reflects in ALL aspects the communities it serves
  3. Developing a Child and Family support structure that reflects a progressive social policy reflective of the communities it serves
  4. Assuring that DCF is a partner with, not oppressor of, the Community Based Urban Organizations of whose families it serves

We the People Declare that until such action is taken, We the People of Greater Hartford hereby put DCF and its workers on notice that they are persona non-grata in the North End of Hartford, bounding the area from Garden Street to Vine Street to Capen Street and back to Garden Street! 
We the People call upon all members of the community within this designated area as a non-DCF zone and to respectfully let the DCF worker know that they are not wanted in our community due to policies by certain members of a “cronyistic” DCF system which promotes middle-class white women to leadership positions within DCF!
We close with the simple yet relevant words of Nehru:   “Action itself, so long as I am convinced is right action, gives me satisfaction.”

Listen to these words and you will know what people of color who are employed on the dcf plantation face daily.

“Seems as if little has changed in America relating to white skin privileges, and how it is viewed as a God given right. At the Connecticut Juvenile Training Facility in Middletown, Connecticut the same sort of scenario is enacted for a new cast of caucasian characters. The fierce war going on at this facility between management [95% white] and employees not in management [90% non-white] is about who drinks from the cup of white skin privilege. If you look at items/graphs/charts posted on this website it is clear something is wrong; in the school system at CJTS most teachers are caucasian, most clinicians with higher degrees are caucasian. In every aspect of running that facility whites drink heavily from a goblet of privilege; anyone or thing threatening this power base is destroyed or marginalized, activists such as myself et al. (and others) are called racist-loose cannons or worse behind closed doors.”

We will continue to follow this and report on any events, demos, or meetings for folks who may be interested.

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