NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY
Incest-porn.me many-vids.net HOT TOPICS ▶ Climate Change     Undoing The New Deal     The Real Baltimore     Reality Asserts Itself     United Kingdom    


  June 5, 2015

The Vultures of Desperation


Paul Jay asks why did Rodney Todd and his seven children die?
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here
   


audio

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



Finally, News that brings out Facts usually concealed or edited out for Nielsen Ratings-Bravo! - Rev. David
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


biography

Paul Jay, is CEO and Senior Editor of The Real News Network. He currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to TRNN, Jay was for ten seasons the creator and Executive Producer of CBC Newsworld's flagship debate programs, CounterSpin and FaceOff.

Jay has produced and directed more than 20 major documentary films including "Return to Kandahar", "Lost in Las Vegas" and "Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows", a feature length documentary, that was screened in 25 major festivals and won more than a dozen awards. It's been called "one of the most acclaimed Canadian films in years" (Eye Magazine), "A tale as bizarre as Kafka and as tragic as Shakespeare" (Ottawa Citizen) and "one of the best films of 1998" (Peter Plagens, art critic for Newsweek).

A past chair of the Documentary Organization of Canada, Jay is the founding chair of Hot Docs!, the Canadian International Documentary Film Festival.


transcript

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Hi, everybody. I'm Paul Jay from The Real News Network.

The world has heard the name of Freddie Gray, who was brutally murdered by Baltimore police. Here's another name everybody should know: Rodney Todd. Mr. Todd lived in Princess Anne, about 130 miles southeast of Baltimore. Rodney was described by family and friends as a devoted parent and a hard, disciplined worker. Rodney couldn't afford to pay an electric bill, and had been cut off by the Delmarva power company. He bought an electric generator to give some light and give his children warmth. Why he ran the generator inside the house isn't clear. People speculate it was because it was noisy and would have kept his neighbors awake at night.

Rodney Todd and his five young girls and two young boys died of carbon monoxide poisoning. They were last seen alive on March 28th of this year.

The media reports focused on whether the power company had illegally shut off his power. In Maryland during winter months, non-payment of a bill is not supposed to be legal cause for cutting the cord. The power company said it was a safety issue because of the type of meter that was being used. They also said Rodney had never tried to set up an account. And while it's criminal, or at least it should be criminal to shut off power to a family under any circumstances, it's even more criminal that a working father can't afford to pay an electric bill. Rodney Todd, an African-American worker, was paid $8 an hour for a full-time job. That's Maryland's current minimum wage. He was supporting seven kids on $8 an hour.

What the major media didn't ask is, why was Rodney working for $8 an hour? When Baltimore exploded after the death of Freddie Gray, CNN and other such media outlets, when they weren't accusing the protesters of being thugs and criminals, which was most of the time, paid lip service to the fact that the underlying conditions of poverty and the savaging of communities by drugs, and they should have added and they didn't the war on drugs, helped create the anger expressed on the streets of Baltimore. What they didn't address is why poverty in Baltimore and cities across the country is chronic?

Why did Rodney Todd accept work for $8 an hour? Why are people working at Johns Hopkins Hospital for 14 years cleaning surgical rooms, taking special drugs to avoid HIV infection, and working for $13 an hour after 14 years of work? Because people are desperate for jobs. There's a class of people that makes money out of desperation, out of high unemployment. The more desperate people are, the lower wages they are willing to accept. Why are communities in Baltimore and across the country faced with chronic drug addiction and gang warfare? Same answer. There's enormous amounts of money being made out of the insane war on drugs. The mass incarceration system, police, lawyers, judges. The for-profit bail bonding industry alone is a multi-million dollar business, backed by massive insurance companies and trade associations with the money and political power needed to shape the criminal justice system in their interests.

In Baltimore it's only within the last year that an accused person had a right to be represented by a lawyer at all at a bail hearing. Now most people rely on a public defender, because now they can get one, but they don't get to see them for more than around five minutes before a bail hearing. The public defenders are overwhelmed with cases. Sometimes on a Monday morning, two public defenders are dealing with more than 150 cases. A dispute over $20 can mean bail of $25,000 for a homeless person.

In Baltimore City jail, a prisoner is not allowed a visit for 90 days, except by a lawyer. No family, no friends. If you're represented by a public defender you're likely not to see them again until a few days before you go to trial. What does this create? More money made out of desperation, people desperate to pay bail bondsmen to get out of a hellish prison.

The front line in this war to keep people poor is the police. Police violence against people of color, that is, illegal violence usually without consequence to the perpetrators, is not merely the product of too many law enforcement officers with racist attitudes. Their name says it all. Police are enforcing laws, including with deadly force, to make people obey legislation that at its heart protects people that own property. The more you own, the more you're served and protected. When police use violence they do so as agents of a legal system that must keep a lid on people who fight back against desperate conditions. Whether they fight back blindly and often self-destructively, or more consciously and politically, the elites have passed laws to keep people in their place.

If you want news that speaks to the interest of ordinary people that's not afraid to describe the world as it really is, then we need your support. We can't do this without you. Our matching grant campaign is only a couple of weeks from ending, and we still have a ways to go or we won't meet our target. If you're watching and not donating, please, we can't make real news without you.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.



Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

latest stories

A New 'Cancer Alley' for Appalachia
Colombian Peace Agreement with FARC on the Brink of Collapse
Philippine War on Drugs a Cover for President Duterte's Fascism?
Mother of Woman Shot by Baltimore County Police Speaks Out
South Africa: Criminality and Deep Rot in the ANC Will Continue Under New President Ramaphosa (2/2)
Do Russiagate Skeptics Go Too Far?
The Return of Berlusconi: Can A Fractured Left Defeat Him?
Potomac Pipeline Would Be 'Another Contradiction' From Larry Hogan
Police Union Keeps Audit Secret Despite Allegations of Massive Overtime Fraud
Guns, Toxic Masculinity, and the Alt-Right
Zuma's Catastrophic Presidency Ends in Forced Resignation (1/2)
Brother of Crooked Cop Says He Knows Who Killed Detective Suiter
Israeli Strikes in Egypt Kept Secret for Years
As the Opioid Crisis Deepens, Will Maryland Democrats Vote to Save Lives?
The Free Market Threat to Democracy
Finding a SALT Tax Deduction Workaround
Leader of Neo-Nazi Militia Says MAGA Hat-Wearing Florida Shooter Trained with Them
Charter School Principal: No Evidence Privatization Is Better For Students
Max Blumenthal in Gaza: Netanyahu Faces Scandal, Palestinians a Crisis
Trump's Infrastructure Fantasy a Gift to His Donors
Netanyahu Could Fall for Corruption, Not War Crimes
Climate Change Costs Insurance Companies Billions, And Price is Rising
Trump's Budget Declares War on Forgotten America
West Virginia Woman Removed From Legislature After Exposing Fossil Fuel Contributions to Lawmakers
Leftist Hopeful's Lead Signals Upheaval for Mexico
Wilkerson: From Trump Parade to Budget, There's 'Too Much Military'
Trump's Budget and Infrastructure Plans Threaten Environment
Catharsis and Corruption in Wake of Dirty Cop Conviction
Confronting Trudeau on Climate Lies and Kinder Morgan Pipeline
Two Cops Found Guilty In Massive Police Corruption Scandal

TheRealNewsNetwork.com, RealNewsNetwork.com, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Web Design, Web Development and Managed Hosting