Thursday, August 29, 2013

Local African-Americans... good reason for concern

I attended the MLK celebration at King’s. I am not in the shoes of an African-American, but if I was I would have a number of concerns.

I scanned the audience multiple times for public officials. I especially scanned the front five rows. I recognized only Eddie Day Pashinski. No one else. If I missed somebody, please message me.

It is obvious that Gerard Dessoye and Mayor Leighton don’t care about “trivial” matters such as racial equality. Perhaps they figured that since the fruit punch bowl wasn’t spiked they had better places to be. But you would think that they could at least appear as though they cared.

Are there any African-American attorneys in Luzerne County?
There is one African-American WB school board member.
How about city officials? County Officials? Magistrates? Judges?
There is one WB cop. Any others? What about firemen?

I give credit for those African-Americans who showed and were enthusiastic. But really… isn’t there miles of ground to be made up? Are you actually happy with the status quo?

The choice of King’s College was interesting. I wonder how many African- Americans and Hispanics know what King’s College has viewed as “the wrong crowd” in the recent past. Do they also know that Joe Noone, James Noone, JJ Murphy, Drew McLaughlin, Gerard Dessoye, and Thomas Leighton are all alumni of King’s? Based on perhaps the biggest civil rights lawsuit in NEPA history… here are some allegations from a current lawsuit based on occurrences from four years ago regarding “The Mines” nightclub (only open 3 days per week).

Let me begin by saying that this night club had a perfect safety record. No violations whatsoever. Defendants in the case are four King’s employees (some of whom may have retired) and Chief Dessoye and Mayor Leighton and others. Here are some allegations taken from legal documents.
-         The Mines’ patrons were approximately 30 – 40 % African-American and Hispanic.
-         WB police Chief Gerard Dessoye advised “The Mines’” owner Thom Greco that the clientele of “The Mines” was not a “good mix” with King’s College
and it was the “wrong crowd.”
-         Father O’Hara of King’s College advised Greco that the clientele was not a “good mix” with King’s. He said he would try and have them shut down.
-         King’s College claimed that parents were going to pull their kids from school because of “The Mines?” (my note: Really? No problems with Senuna’s, Gonda’s, Beer Boy’s, Liam’s, and the Hardware Bar? Parents targeted just the Mines. Hard to believe.)

Slash and Burn
-         Robert McGonicle (VP of student affairs) and John McAndrew (Dean of Students) sent an e-mail inviting students to a forum on how to file LCB complaints against “The Mines.”
-         Paul Lindenmuth (Chair of Criminal Justice and Sociology) falsely told students that there had been drug busts at “The Mines” and that the nightclub had lost its licenses.
-         The city began harassment by falsifying police reports to make it appear as though crimes were being committed.

Engaged were 30 law enforcement agencies, 3 LCB agents, a WB Swat Team, 8 police vehicles, a motorcycle, and two K-9 dogs. A “shock and awe” campaign against “The Mines” was launched and it was shut down.

My hope is that King’s College and its alumni have had a spiritual and racial awakening. The words above represent allegations from legal documents. I felt it necessary to inform the public of this incredible story.