Spoiler: Condescending ass meets muddled messenger
Yesterday morning, school committee member called into the Jim Polito show on WTAG to — I think — try to defend school superintendent Maureen Binienda and school safety liaison Rob Pezella from perceived charges of racism. I say “I think” because it’s really hard to tell exactly what she was trying to do because Polito pretty much steamrolled over her every time she started talking about anything other than his favorite subject — the ruination of Worcester by the radical leftists who have taken over all of the city’s elected offices, not to mention his totally not-racist estimation that the city has fallen under the dastardly influence of the race-banter and race pimp in chief, Clive McFarlane, who is clearly driving the agenda for all city politics.
You don’t have to listen to the whole thing — I did it for you, and am sharing the transcript. While you read it, keep in mind that Ms. Biancheria is one of the people responsible for setting policies and providing guidance for the Worcester Public Schools.
Addendum: Go read Bill Shaner’s explosive piece in today’s Worcester Magazine for a little more insight on how politics (and racism) works in this town. In case you’re wondering, THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS, DIANNA!
Jim Polito Show April 2 2019
Polito: In Worcester, we’ve got a developing situation, and sometimes, when there’s big news stories, I just let John cover it cuz I don’t like to give attention to it. Why don’t I like to give attention to it? Because I think sometimes, when you give attention to stupid stuff, you just exacerbate it. But this time, well, we’ve got somebody from the school committee who wants to talk about it. There’s a lesson here for everybody. Not making a pun here, concerning education and allegations of racism in schools. And joining me now, Dianna Biancheria from the Worcester School Committee. Good morning.
Biancheria: Good morning, Jim, how are you?
Polito: I’m good, thank you. So. Let’s get into it here. Why don’t you frame up for folks, because you know you’re talking about Western and Central Mass, Dianna, why don’t you tell folks what’s going on?
Biancheria: Well, over the last few days, there’s been some articles and there’s been a tremendous amount of social media passed around and it’s discussing Worcester Public Schools and what we’re doing, consequences of suspension, students. They’re making different derogatory remarks, about staff members and so on. And as a school committee member, this morning what I’m asking — and this is the first time I’ve called you, Jim, so bear with me. So, I’m asking every school committee member, every City Council, every councillor, state representative, senator, to get involved in this, because there is clearly an issue of finger-pointing in the wrong direction.
Yesterday’s article talked about different issues in our schools. And it seems that the only thing that we’re hearing back from individuals, and I’m not sure who the individuals are, because the comments are never signed. It mentioned Worcester Interfaith, and I looked up the members. It’s a list of churches and so on. However, I left messages. I haven’t heard back from them to tell me that they are supporting what is on there on Facebook right now, under Worcester Public Schools Equity Policy Statement. It’s under upcoming and In the News, and…
Polito: All right.
Biancheria: on the statement. My problem is they’re pointing fingers at the superintendent, Maureen Binienda and they’re…
Politio: …and they’re calling
Biancheria: Rob Pezella
Politio: They’re saying that their policies are racist.
Biancheria: They’re saying that their policies are not only that but individually last night, on channel 3, I must say, that there were fingers pointed at Rob Pezella, and the statement this individual made is, he clearly misused his authority.
Polito: Okay. Let’s just, so everybody can understand, cuz there’s a really, really important point here to be made. First of all, Dianna, I do applaud you for calling the show and…stepping up and calling the show. But you might not like everything I have to say. But let’s have a really good, honest conversation about this.
First of all, you’re talking about Clive McFarlane, writing these columns. Is that what you’re referring to?
Polito: The man I refer to as Clive McMoron, and as you notice, I do not mention him on the air anymore because I don’t want to give him the time of … any attention that he so craves from my audience. I don’t want to give him any attention. I do that with a lot of people. But in this instance, Dianna, let’s bring it up. Okay. Clive McFarlane is the worst of the worst when it comes to being what I like to call a race baiter or race pimp. He sees race in every single issue. He sees white supremacy where it doesn’t exist. The man has issues.
Okay. So first of all, I don’t think he’s a big influencer here, but Clive McFarlane has his opinion about what’s going on in the schools. Now. Mr. Pezella and also Maureen Binienda. I happen to know both of them.
The concern is too many students who are minorities are being suspended. Correct?
Biancheria: That’s part of the issue.
Polito: Yeah. And so they’re saying, immediately, they’re jumping to the conclusion that because so many minority students are being suspended, that obviously, those two people are racist, have white privilege, and must be doing something to make this happen, right?
Biancheria: Unfortunately, the finger is being pointed at the wrong place, yes.
Polito: Okay. Where do you think the finger should be pointed, Dianna?
Biancheria: School committee members, city councilors, mayor, superintendent, city manager, governor Baker, the Department of Education, (unintelligible) has to make some decisions about how to handle this. Worcester’s not the only one who has this problem.
Polito: Right. But let me go just a little bit deeper here. Okay. So, you’re saying that the school committee, Dianna, they’re the ones who are making problems here. How is it, I mean, wouldn’t it be safe to assume, that if in minority households, there’s a disproportionate percentage of minority households having maybe a single parent, receiving some time of public assistance, having some type of chaos in the home, I mean, we see it, it crosses minority and non-minority community, but isn’t it more prevalent in the non-minority community, that type of a setup?
Biancheria: At this particular time, I’m not going to go in the direction of that.
Biancheria: What I want to say, though is, funny you should use the word safe. Mr. Pezella (directive?) is to work, every day, and be responsible for continuing the keep the schools safe with the tools that we give him, the policies and procedures that we have given him.
Polito: I’m not…
Polito: I’m not faulting him. Dianna, I’m going to tell you something. This is a Frankenstein monster that the party you belong to has created. And I’m sorry to have to tell you that. But this is the monster that’s been created. Now it’s out of control. Now it’s eating its own. You see, because every member of the school committee is a Democrat. The mayor is a Democrat. Every member is a Democrat and now they’re being eaten by their own policy. That’s what’s happening, Dianna.
Biancheria: …responsibility for it, is stand up and stop the finger-pointing at the wrong people.
Polito: Well, Dianna, good for you for standing up and going against the party. But I’m going to tell you one more time. They are only doing what they’ve been saying all along. There’s obviously — if you have more minority students being suspended, obviously the policies are racist. I don’t agree with that. I don’t agree with that at all. And I want kids suspended and I want them out of school, but you see, the Democrats and the party you’re a part of has made up things like the school-to-prison pipeline, and you know Joe Petty is a true believer in that. A true believer in the prison … so, when you have a Dante, who’s a member of the school committee, who wants to run against Joe Petty, you’ve got going on locally here on the school committee, Dianna, what’s happening nationally in the Democrat (sic) party. You’ve got the extreme Left wing eating the moderate and middle of the road Democrats.
Biancheria: Well, I’m asking for City Council, Democrat or Republican…
Polito: Yup. Whoa whoa whoa whoa. Whoa. There’s no Republicans that I know of on the City Council as far as I know. It’s all Democrats, okay?
Even Konnie isn’t even a registered Republican.
Biancheria: Elected officials in the city need to take responsibility. If you want to have changes, that’s where you have to go.
Polito: Dianna, good for you for standing up, but the party created this whole mess. What’s happening is the chickens are coming home to roost. Cuz you’re going to see happen locally, in Worcester, politically, what has happened nationally. And do you think for one minute, that Joe Petty, the mayor of this city, is going to stand up and say, “I’m not going to put up with this. This is…”? No. He’s going to knuckle under. He’s not. He’s going to placate and he’s going to knuckle under, Dianna. I hate to disappoint you, but he’s not going to do it.
Biancheria: But the people that are being harassed with untruths are not the people who are responsible for what the discussion is supposed to be about.
Polito: Do you think — let me ask you honestly — do you really think that Mr. Pezella and Ms. Binienda, that they’re responsible for what’s going on at the schools, that they’re racists, and they’re destroying the lives of minority students?
Biancheria: Absolutely not.
Polito: Right. But you know what? Clive, when people listen to Clive and let him drive the agenda, people like your colleague Dante who wants to run against Joe Petty, this is what you get, Dianna. And you’re waking up and realizing, this is pretty bad. Unfortunately, Dianna, I hate to tell you, but that’s been your party and that’s where your party is going. That’s where it’s going. I wish I had a better answer for you and I think Pezella’s getting screwed and I think Binienda’s getting screwed. But I haven’t gotten into the issue. You know why? Because nobody wants to hear what I have to say about this.
Biancheria: But someone has to rise up above because it’s our neighborhoods, our schools, our community, our city.
Polito: Yep, I know.
Biancheria: And the elected officials, not just me, but every single one of them has to rise above this to correct a situatio, work on this, and come up with some solutions and stop the engagement of this one’s fault, that one’s fault, this one did this, this one did that.
Polito: I notice when you went up the line and blamed everybody, you didn’t include Congressman Jim McGovern. You went up to Charlie Baker, which, I don’t know what Charlie’s got to do with this, but you didn’t include Congressman Jim McGovern in that. Don’t you think he…don’t you think… have you ever listented to his rhetoric about these issues? You don’t think he has anything to do with it?
Biancherria: He has not been in the finger-pointing stage, and when we look at what we’re doing in our schools, perhaps the congressman at some time has voted on certain rules and policies and funding for our schools. Of course However, in this stage, we need to start with school committee members, city councilors, our mayor, our city manager. I realize that our city manager is appointed, but I believe Ed Augustus needs to be engaged in this because it is a true city issue. It’s not just a school issue.
Polito: No no no no no, the mayor can take care of this tomorrow. Joe Petty can take care of this tomorrow but, I’m sorry. Joe Petty’s not the guy one, who can, because he doesn’t have the skills and two, who will. I mean the city manager is supposed to be separate under the charter from the operation of the schools.
Polito: You can not bring the city manager into this. You can’t. He’s not supposed to be there. So what you’ve got is Joe Petty, the guy that the machine, that the McGovern crime family, made mayor. And that’s what you have. That’s why you’ve got everybody eating their own. He’s not a leader. He’s not — do you think this would have happened — and I’m not just saying this because he’s my colleague — when Jordan Levy was mayor? Do you think Jordan Levy would have tolerated this kind of stuff being said?
Biancheria: I don’t know. I can’t – I don’t want to compare who’s doing what —
Polito: I think you should because you know what? I give you cre– Listen, Dianna, you can make a big impact here. The fact is, you called this show, which everybody knows how I feel about what’s going on in the city with the politics
Biancheria: I know, but I promised myself that if I was going to call Hank and I was going to call Jordan that I was going to call you also, because you start the morning off in the city.
Polito: Okay. But the point I’m making with you is I’m giving you a perspective of you guys created this monster and now you want it to stop. It’s something that I’ve been telling everybody for years was going to happen. This city is going the way of a Lowell, of a Lawrence, of a Fall River, of a New Bedford, and it never did in the past. And it’s going that way now. And now, Dianna, you’re waking up and realizing this is pretty bad. I was saying —
Biancheria: We need to start a new chapter, then. People need to be accountable that are elected officials in the city of Worcester.
Polito: Okay. It’s not going to…
Biancheria: It shouldn’t be finger-pointing at two individuals.
Polito: It’s not going to Oh, I agree with you there. I agree with you there. But you have to realize that you have someone, you have a bomb-thrower at a paper that’s dying, that nobody reads any more and nobody pays attention to him, and yet, you guys are allowing that to dictate the agenda. Okay? I would stand up and I would say, “I’m not putting up with this and that’s it.” And I would start making bold proposals. And I would say to Joe Petty, “You clean this mess up because your lack of leadership has created it.” It’s pretty simple and pretty straightforward, Dianna.
Biancheria: Well, I have to say it’s my first time calling and I certainly appreciate you speaking with me and you giving me the time. I just want to make sure that I’m going to be watching because I’m waiting for the other elected officials in the city to stand up and be accountable for actions that are occurring th —
Polito: Listen, I’m glad
Biancheria: …to make the changes.
Polito: I’m glad you’re awake. I’m glad you’re woke to this issue, but I’m telling you it’s way down the tracks already okay? Way down the tracks. And this kind of stuff is going to destroy the city of Worcester. Just take a look at what’s happening nationally, Dianna, in your party — I’m not making this partisan politics. I’m telling you, take a look at what’s happening nationally with Democrat eating Democrat and why do you think that it’s happening here? It’s simply a microcosm of what’s happening nationally. And we’ve got weak people in positions, and we’ve got people with agendas, people who use race as a weapon. That’s what’s happening. Bottom line. Maureen Binienda and Mr. Pezella they are up against it and they are scapegoating them.
Biancheria: Well, they shouldn’t be scapegoating them
Polito: and by the way, you’ve got a whole audience in Western Mass listening right now…
Polito: and they’re saying, “Wow. What a mess. Makes our stuff look simple.” And who’s going to buy a house in Worcester? Who’s going to buy a house in Worcester with this going on? We can build all the stadiums we want, but if the schools are a mess and there’s claims of racism and then you’re not going to suspend kids who don’t belong in school — you’re not going to suspend them — good luck. Dianna, call in anytime. Safe travels to you.
Dianna: Thank you.