Columbus Leaders Urged To Employ Somali Police Officers For Better Integration
HowAfrica: The Rise of Africa
A university professor has asked the leadership of Columbus, Ohio, to recruit more Somali police officers for better integration of local Somalis into the American community. In her new book, Somalis in the Twin Cities and Columbus, Stefanie Chambers, an associate professor of political science at Trinity College in Connecticut, says Somali migrants in Columbus don’t feel well-represented in many sectors of the society like their countrymen in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“We can go a long way to better serve our new Americans. We can go a long way to breaking down barriers,” Chambers was quoted as saying by the Columbus Dispatch.
Chambers pointed out that the Minneapolis Police Department has seven Somali police officers, with several others in the academy, while Columbus has none…

To Grease Wheels of Congress, Trump Suggests Bringing Back Pork
The New York Times
Remember the infamous “Bridge to Nowhere”? The Montana Sheep Institute or the now-shuttered North Carolina teapot hall of fame?
Congress years ago eliminated funding for these types of pet projects, known as earmarks, after they became derided as government boondoggles, largess and a pathway to corruption.
President Trump now wants to bring them back.
In a freewheeling meeting about immigration with congressional Republicans and Democrats this week, Mr. Trump lamented the gridlock that has gripped the capital in recent years and suggested that earmarks, the practice of stealthily stuffing funding for pet projects into legislation, be exhumed from the legislative graveyard…
…Proponents of earmarks, which often include lobbyists, argue that the elimination of the practice has led to greater gridlock and polarization in Congress and that it is a legitimate part of the job to be appropriating funds to local programs and projects.
“It might help a return to regular order in appropriations if they can put earmarks in there,” said Diana Evans, a political science professor at Trinity College. “The problem is that the narrative, particularly among Republicans, has developed of earmarks being corrupt.”…

The Challenge of Fair Housing in CT’s Suburbs [podcast]
“Grating the Nutmeg: The Podcast of Connecticut History” – A Joint Venture of the State Historian and Connecticut Explored – with support from the Sue B. Hart Foundation
Americans moved out of the cities and into the suburbs in droves after World War II looking for single-family homes. In this episode, we talk with the experts about Connecticut’s history of steering certain people to certain neighborhoods through restrictive covenants, racial and religious discrimination, and federal housing policies—all of which helped determine where African American and Jewish homebuyers could purchase homes.
Using West Hartford as an example, learn what some common real estate terms really mean–“redlining,” steering, and exclusionary zoning–and how they affected West Hartford’s neighborhoods. Please note that this episode contains outdated language used in historical context.
View Trinity College’s Dr. Jack Dougherty’s accompanying presentation at and also visit his online book On The Line: How Schooling, Housing, and Civil Rights Shaped Hartford and its Suburbs at

New Debate Stirs Over Hartford’s Residency Requirement
Hartford Courant
By the time Marilynn Cruz-Aponte accepted the top spot at Hartford’s public works department, she thought she had proven her fealty to the city. … Her plight is one side of a growing debate over Hartford’s residency rule, a mandate that spans more than four decades and has provoked heated discourse around its benefits to the city…
Garth Myers, director of Trinity College’s urban studies program, said he disagrees with the notion that workers must live in cities to signal devotion.
“I think of it as a kind of vocation,” he said. “Nobody is going to stay with a job for the city if they don’t have that kind of commitment. You either care for the city, or you’re going to move on.”
Hartford’s unique rule puts it at a disadvantage in attracting skilled candidates, Myers added.
“My general perspective, especially when it’s out of line with what other cities and towns in Connecticut have, is that it would make sense … to get rid of the rule,” he said. “It doesn’t hold that New Haven or Bridgeport or Waterbury are in a different situation than Hartford.
“They’re all poorer, minority cities surrounded by wealthier suburbs. And they all have the same issues Hartford does with property taxes, mill rates and all of the things that might make it inconvenient to live in the city proper.”

An African country reckons with its history of selling slaves
The Washington Post
OUIDAH, Benin — Less than a mile from what was once West Africa’s biggest slave port, the departure point for more than a million people in chains, stands a statue of Francisco Félix de Souza, a man regarded as the father of this city.
There’s a museum devoted to his family and a plaza in his name. Every few decades, his descendants proudly bestow his nickname — “Chacha” — on a de Souza who is appointed the clan’s new patriarch.
But there’s one part of de Souza’s legacy that is seldom addressed. After arriving here in the late 1700s from Brazil, then a Portuguese colony, he became one of the biggest slave merchants in the history of the transatlantic slave trade.
In Benin, where the government plans to build two museums devoted to the slave trade in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution, slavery is an embattled subject. It is raised in political debates, downplayed by the descendants of slave traders and deplored by the descendants of slaves…
…Finally, the king arrived, surrounded by several wives wearing matching yellow-and-orange dresses. He shook de Souza’s hand. Glasses of champagne were poured.
“This ceremony reminds us of the connection between Dahomey and de Souza,” the king said, as a Beninese TV crew filmed.
“I wish good health, a long life and peace to the king,” de Souza responded.
Slavery was never mentioned.
“It’s a memory both families would prefer to forget,” said the professor escorting the students, Timothy Landry of Trinity College in Connecticut.
When the event ended, the de Souza family poured out of the building.
They wore outfits of bright, traditional African fabrics. On some of the skirts and shawls, a white man’s face had been printed, his eyebrows raised, his mustache curled.
In case he couldn’t be identified, the man’s name was printed in big letters.
“Francisco Félix de Souza.”