Friday, September 19, 2008

VIOLENCE, RACISM (AND INCOMPETENCE) AT WORKFORCE1 IN STATEN ISLAND.

UP FRONT News July 18, 2008
Published by Tom Weiss
Editorial Advisor: Willard Whittingham
"The paper that can't be bought and can't be sold."
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UPFRONTNewsdiscussionforum
http://www.tomsupfrontnews.blogspot.com/

By Tom Weiss

Allen Dawson is a racist thug from Staten Island who doubles as a job-seeking client of Workforce1 in Staten Island. He and his collaborator, client Olga Gordon, have, on multiple occasions, whispered clearly ethnic slurs at me and, in Dawson's case, followed it up with explicit threats of violence, on of which was witnessed by Vincent Savoca, a formerly Sottile-employed security guard at Workforce1. Dawson has also threatened me on the street (three times on Bay Street Staten Island and once in Greenwich Village in Manhattan).

Workforce1 is a privately (Arbor Education & Training) run agency that contracts with the City of New York (NYC Department of Small Business Services) and the U.S. Department of Labor to provide employment and training services. As an internet-dependent free lance journalist, I have been a client at the Workforce1 Center at 60 Bay Street in Staten Island for months, regularly using primarily the first floor computer resource room.

As far as I am aware the Arbor-employed director at Workforce1 is Robin Johnson, whose office, significantly, is on the second floor. Ms. Johnson, who has covered up the multiple abuses against me, is without question one of the most inept and dishonest administrators I have ever encountered. And I speak as a former director of a social work department. Ms. Johnson is also living proof that, even though we still live in a class-based racially segregated society, racism is ironically interracial. Allen Dawson and Olga Gordon are black and former Chicagoan Johnson is white.

A major racist ingredient in this situtation, which is known to the NYPD and is being inves- tigated by Office of Deputy Mayor Bob Lieber, is a perhaps 280 lb sadistic character named Anthony McCarthy, who practices what might be called racial "McCarthyism." McCarthy, an African-American, is the Sottile-employed security guard who to my knowledge has been at Workforce1 in Staten Island for several months. McCarthy is acquainted with the racists Allen Dawson and Olga Gordon. He sees his role in terms similar to those used by guards in Nazi concentration camps. His role is to blame and persecute the victim.

On a number of occasions when McCarthy willfully mishandled Dawson's and/or Martin's abuses against me, I was able to obtain assistance from the then Arbor-employed Staten Island Workforce1 Strategic Operations Coordinator Biguita Hernandez, who has since left the agency and now, interestingly, works for the aforementioned NYC Department of Small Business Services. Ms. Hernandez' office was on the first floor and she in fact often served as the second in command at an agency where Ms. Johnson's absentee landlord-style of administration repeatedly generated serious breakdowns in service and other chaos. (In fact, for example for several days the computer printer was useless because it needed new toner and no one knew where Ms. Johnson had hidden the supply closet key. Indeed, Ms. Hernandez, who later located the key, sent me a nice e-mail thanking me for bringing the problem to her attention. For days clients had to circulate resumes on colored photocopy paper because of the Robin Johnson-caused absence of white paper. Ms. Johnson should be George W. Bush's next choice to run FEMA).

On June 12, the day before Ms. Hernandez' scheduled departure from Workforce, she was not at her desk in the morning. I arrived at the entrance door at about 8:55 AM. At around 9:07 McCarthy lumbered to the door, unlocked it and made certain to let it fall on me. I en-
tered and placed my belongings on a computer chair. I then returned to the McCarthy-run
sign-in area at the reception desk where a line had formed. McCarthy ordered me to cut in line and sign in. Since such a step would have inevitably led to an argument, grounds for at least a one day expulsion, no matter who is at fault, I refused. He repeated his order and I told him that I would get at the end of the line and sign in. When he repeated his demand again and began advancing in my direction, citing the absolute fact that I was feeling some discomfort from an injury I had sustained at home earlier that morning, I said that I would first go to the bathroom and then sign in.

Anthony McCarthy, who, despite his apparent age, may have been trained at Auschwitz, moved further in my direction, told me I couldn't go to the bathroom and said that he was
calling the police. At that point Arbor staffer Sal Fuentes, whom I have dubbed the person
with perhaps the worst manners in Staten Island (I think he is a racist), emerged from his office and told McCarthy to go ahead and call the cops.

They needn't have bothered because I called the NYPD. That was a very reasonable thing to do because, with the assistance of Sgt. Al Fiore of the NYPD's Intelligence Division (whom I first met some years ago when the severely paranoid and maritally CIA-linked NYC Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, with whom, via a family member of mine, I've been acquainted since 1979, tried to have me arrested at her office when I was there to discuss staff abuse of homeless people in drop-in centers and shelters) I have filed a criminal complaint (#6401) against Dawson and Gordon.

Sgt. Fiore is also interested in Anthony McCarthy and has not received a return call from the Sottile Corporation, which employs the sadist McCarthy and has placed him at Workforce1 in Staten Island. Indeed Sgt. Fiore on his own traveled to Staten Island and had a very unsatisfactory meeting with Ms. Johnson, who aside from her other offenses, is now guilty of a potentially very serious one in lying (about me) to a police officer.

Not too long ago McCarthy (who once called the police when I talked to a client named Danielle McClain whom he had been bothering to the point where she was near tears) made a veiled threat of possible consequences to me should I return to Workforce1. At considerable internet cafe expense to myself I have stayed away for the time being. But, as Gen. McArthur once said, "I shall return" - and he did.

In the meantime I have telephone informed Arbor CEO Paul Dunn at his office in Texas that he has a serious problem named Robin Johnson of which he needs to rid himself. Arbor has been the subject in the past of one very critical article in the Daily News.

I have also made a formal complaint to the NYC Department of Small Business Services, which itself was the subject of a very unflattering article by Wayne Barrett a few weeks ago in the Village Voice.

Since I've gotten little in the way of a response from SBS I contacted the Office of Deputy Mayor Lieber, who has administrative responsibility for SBS. I spoke at some length by telephone with his Senior Policy Advisor, Nnenna Lynch, who asked me to formalize my complaint with an e-mail to her. She received my e-mail on July 11.

Complaints as needed will go to all relevant government and private human rights and con- sumer complaints groups.

There is general agreement that racism is alive - if not well - in America. There is no question that much of the racism is anti-Semitic in nature. Some of that has been fed by people such as the Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.-connected African-American racist Lenora Fulani. That association of course makes nice Jewish boys and men like Michael Bloomberg very uncomfortable because, even as she spouts pseudo-populist black nationalism, she had the Independence Party of New York, of which she was the dictator, give Bloomberg the IPNY ballot line which enabled him to squeeze by Democrat Mark Green to win the mayoralty in 2001. Fulani endorsed Bloomberg again in 2005. The Mayor has responded by helping her and her mentor, the Jewish racist and cult leader and LaRouche ideologue "Dr." Fred Newman, get large Industrial Development Agency tax breaks for their front organizations known as the All Stars Project (Fulani) and the Castillo Center (Newman).

Perhaps in part because some in my family did not survive the Holocaust I am more sensitive than some others to any sort of racism.

As a great many people know I am a member of the largely African-American First Central Baptist Church in the Stapleton neighborhood of Staten Island. The eloquent pastor Rev. Demetrius Carolina, a major civil rights leader in Staten Island and beyond, and I are friends.
A number of FCBC members are Workforce1 clients. I have asked them and I am asking all FCBC members, not to speak of the general community, to refrain from using Workforce1 at least in Staten Island, at least until my rights as a client are fully restored. As far as I am aware, only one FCBC member has expressed any objection to my request. Church regular Lillian Rodriguez, quite abruptly interrupted me as I was briefly describing the situation at Workforce1 to her, declared "I have to go there", and walked away. In fact, there are plenty of places, no doubt much better run, where Ms. Rodriguez and anyone else can go for employment and/or training.

The bottom line here is that there is racism at Workforce1 in Staten Island and the place should be boycotted. There's no point in waiting until some like the violent Dawson, now very well known to the NYPD and elsewhere, decides to integrate the message of the KKK and burn a cross on Staten Island.
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