We have a City Council full of opportunists, and unfortunately for Hartford, a vacuum when it comes to leaders on the Council.
Recently Councilman Cotto referred to Caucasians as "lily white", I guess in his liberal mindset that racism only applies to non-white people. As the "self appointed" equalizer for Islamic people, I find it hypocritical that he is championing an Imam's right to lead the Council in prayer while also using racially decisive rhetoric against others.
After his recent introduction of an ordinance to tie the hands of the Police when it comes to intelligence gathering, his apparent explanation was that he wanted to start a discussion on racism. I might suggest that if he wants to start a discussion, then act like a leader and actually organize a time and place for an honest discussion. Cotto's actions only add to the divide and conquer mentality that has been pervasive in Hartford for years, if not decades.
Hartford is perceived as a racist City by actions like Councilman Cotto's. Has anyone ever seen a press release for previous Council meetings announcing who would be giving the prayer at any specific meeting? Why did Cotto see the need to announce the occasion of an Imam giving a prayer before the September meetings? The explanation is simple, GRANDSTANDING, pure and simple.
Wouldn't it have meant more that in the normal course of business an Imam was placed in the mix to give the invocation? But no, just days after the September 11th memorials, Cotto saw fit to interject an Imam. And I don't believe Imam's have been excluded in the past. I don't recall ever seeing a Rabbi in prayer before a Council meeting or a Mormon but I don't proclaim to have attended every Council meeting.
The way that this has been handled is classic of this Council ,unfortunately. No class, no regard to how it affects the City overall and totally lacking in sincerity.
The one shining star that has come out of this issue is one of the people who you would expect to be the most upset. Imam Muhammad Ansari has shown to be a total class act in this matter by saying he doesn't need to pray before a September meeting and is willing to wait for the proper time. This will do more to further any image of Islam than any "in your face" actions Councilman Cotto could dream up.
For anyone that doesn't know Muhammad Ansari, he is probably one of the most genuine, softspoken persons you'd ever meet. He is currently also the acting Executive Director of the Open Hearth Shelter/Mission. I have had the opportunity to meet and get to know Mr. Ansari through the African-American Alliance.
Like it or not, the incidents of 9/11 and the terrorist attacks on our country were spearheaded by Muslim extremists. To brand a whole faith or group of people by these actions is wrong, the same as branding every Catholic priest a pedophile because of the actions of some.
If Councilman Cotto really wants to stem the tide of "Islamaphobia", maybe a frank and honest discussion with the likes of Imam Muhummad Ansari will put a much different face on an image that is being driven by hysteria due to actions like Cotto's. I would argue that Cotto's actions have done more to set back relations with the Islamic community than to move any image or understanding forward.
And Councilman Cotto needs to understand that racism is not a "one-way" street, it cuts in all directions and affects all people, even the "lily" white ones.
Hartford Police Reverse Themselves On Accident Involving Segarra’s Chief of Staff - Jared Kupiec, the chief of staff to Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, is making the news again. First, it was for his use of a city credit card to pay a $700 N...
3 days ago