Self-appointed de Blasio watchdog Hakeem Jeffries gave Governor Andrew Cuomo an award from the National Urban League for his work on criminal justice reform:
.@RepJeffries on behalf of @NatUrbanLeague presents award to @NYGovCuomo for leadership in criminal justice reform. pic.twitter.com/WuOeMxsdYI— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 10, 2015
A day later, the NY Times connected criminal justice reformer Andrew Cuomo to a prison abuse scandal at Clinton Correctional Facility that saw 60+ prisoners allege they had been beaten, choked, threatened with waterboarding and otherwise tortured by corrections officers.
Cuomo himself set off the beatings by "staring down" a prisoner who was housed next to the cell of one of the escaped prisoners the state spent weeks trying to track down - this prisoner was beaten by guards hours after Cuomo left the prison, choked and threatened with waterboarding if he didn't tell what he knew about the prison escape.
Ironically, no other prisoners have been implicated in the prison escape - only prison employees have.
So far politicians in New York, included self-appointed de Blasio watchdog Jeffries, have stayed silent on the Cuomo prison abuse scandal, as have civil rights organizations like the National Urban League.
It seems criticizing Andrew Cuomo for overseeing systemic prison abuse isn't fashionable among the civil rights orgs, though coming down on the side of standardized testing is - the National Urban League couldn't let the release of the Common Core test scores in New York go without a statement:
In the newly released statistics, education officials framed the opt-out movement as more prevalent in white middle- and upper-middle-class districts, with Long Island a particular hot spot. In New York City, the refusal rate was less than 2 percent. Many civil rights groups have expressed concern about the movement, saying it risks eroding the integrity of data necessary to ensure that all students, especially those from disadvantaged communities, are being educated in decent schools.“As much as people may not like testing, it’s the only way available for us to document and to hold schools and school districts accountable,” said Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League. “We can’t close the achievement gap unless we know what it is and where it is and how big it is.”
The National Urban League is squarely on the pro-testing Gates Foundation payroll, having taken millions from Gates, so it's not a surprise that they came out yesterday to back testing.
I do think it says a lot about the soul of an organization like the National Urban League that it could give an award to Andrew Cuomo for criminal justice reform, ignore a prison abuse scandal that is reported upon by the NY Times a day later with Cuomo at the epicenter of it, then hail standardized testing a day after that.
Harris Lirtzman left this comment on another post I wrote about the Dannemora prison abuse scandal and the silence emanating from criminal justice reform advocates like Hakeem Jeffries and the National Urban League that puts some perspective on things:
Let us never forget that Dennis Walcott was President of the New York City Chapter of the National Urban League for many years before becoming Michael Bloomberg's Deputy Mayor for Education and then Schools Chancellor.
Sometimes the pieces of the puzzle fall ever so neatly into place that there's no need for conspiracy theories or paranoia. It just is what it appears to be and nobody feels the need to deny any of it.
This all isn't "hiding in plain sight." It's right there in plain sight for anyone with a bit of intelligence and memory to see.
Indeed - just something to think about the next time you see or hear something from a civil rights organization like the National Urban League.
Their civil rights advocacy comes with a price tag that says "For Sale" on it - something Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo know very well.
That's why they were happy to make a statement backing the Endless Testing regime yesterday while ignoring a prison abuse scandal that saw CIA torture tactics introduced in Governor Cuomo's Department of Corrections.