On October 17, 2011, Clark seemed perplexed when he wrote, “for these people to feel so empowered that they would break the law in the middle of the day and across the street from a police station is unbelievable”. This comment responded to the Elmont Online posting titled “Campaigners Intimidate With Sexist, Racist Comments Outside Opponent's HQ”, which documented Ciotti’s ex-campaign employee Prisco at “work” in front of the Solages Campaign Office.
Clarks’ puzzlement reverberated among visitors to Elmont Online and in private conversations among residents. The vast majority of Elmont who viewed this video on Elmont.org are asking themselves a simple question “Could two black men walk into an ethnically white neighborhood (or on their own stoops), conduct themselves in a near similar fashion and not be arrested or worse?
Truth be told, most objective observers say “no!”
- The December 20, 1986, baseball bats, tree limbs, and fists assault on three African-American men, Michael Griffith, 24, Cedric Sandiford, 36, and Timothy Grimes, 20 “in Broad Channel says no!
- The February 5, 1999 forty-one (41) shots police killing of “Amadou Diallo, an unarmed West African immigrant with no criminal record” say no!
- The November 25, 2006 fifty (50) shots police killing of Sean Bell, on the eve of his wedding says no!
- The October 17, 2010 police killing Pace University Student Danroy Henry says no!
And we all remember the legally registered guns carried openly to President Obama’s press conferences at the height of Tea Party protests. Too farfetched for Ciotti’s Prisco? Well, I think not!
This brings me back to Clark's point, empowerment. John Ciotti, a then sitting County Legislator represented Prisco in a criminal case which according to court documents, had the requisite conditions of a race based hate crime. Prisco, it is alleged, beat an African-American man with a pipe in a parking lot. After Ciotti’s Law Firm’s artful defense of Prisco, he gets off lightly. Prisco is then hired and rehired by Ciotti and Nassau Republicans over the next decade and used as a weapon of voter intimidation and suppression in minority communities in Nassau County. They, Nassau Republicans, knowingly hired a man who proved his willingness to commit battery against minorities and assault and intimidatewomen. The Nassau Republicans should be made to answer why they endangered county residents by unleashing Prisco on voters and candidates in Nassau County.
But it did not end there, according to Prisco’s mother he is also a gardener for John Ciotti and we know he is a supervisor at Sanitation District 6, the local Republican Jobs Program.
In my opinion Clark, Prisco is empowered because the Republican establishment has his back. Add the willingness of some well known local residents to dogmatically defend Prisco and the Republican Party by uttering reckless statements like “it’s all politics” or “it’s Solages campaign worker’s fault”. Moreover, some of those same residents say “…black people don’t vote anyway, so what if they are split up?” Clark, these are some of the reasons why Prisco could “break the law in the middle of the day and across the street from a police station” in Elmont - Our Community!
The entire Elmont community is victimized here. We have a legislator who every time he is shown "new" video footage of Prisco's "work" responds “this is the first time I am hearing..., seeing … it disgusts me …” Legislator Ciotti is a perpetual Prisco virgin, but we know better.
This election is not about lowering our rising property taxes, creating jobs or mailing tons of flyers with paid-for African-American images. This election is about empowering Elmont, all of Elmont. This election is about preventing Republicans from diluting our vote by cracking, packing and stacking most of us on a long narrow socially, economically and educationally disconnected strip of land on the western border of Nassau County.
Of course these are tough economic times and many of us are focused on our next meal, but many of us are also focused on our community's dignity and collective strength. This election is about saying "no" to Ciotti’s Prisco and Prisco's local enablers because lowering our rising property taxes is a constant refrain that bears no real fruit for the middle class - Republican or Democarat.
Vote November 8. Vote or Die . . . remember that? It’s time again to Vote or Die.
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