AFL-CIO & SEIU Urge Klarides to Demand Fishbein's Resignation Over Racist Tweet

June 1, 2020

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides
Legislative Office Building, Room 4200
300 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106

Sent via E-mail

Dear Representative Klarides:

We write to you today in regard to the racist tweet that a member of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, Craig Fishbein, recently posted.

At best, this displays remarkable tone deafness and stupidity and at worst  reveals a racist nature.  Either of which disqualifies him from public service.

In the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic and the worst economic downturn in ninety years, Representative Fishbein decided now is the time to re-tweet a racist slur denouncing Americans rightly outraged by the murder of George Floyd as criminals and arsonists.  This is no partisan joke, no subtle dog whistle, but a straight up declaration that Black Americans are lawless thugs.

While this base pandering to the extreme right wing is fashionable in certain ugly sectors in the Trump Republican party, it has no place in the Connecticut General Assembly.

It is important to note that COVID-19 deaths are disproportionately high among front line workers, as well as people of color.  Thousands of Connecticut workers struggle with the calls to re-open Connecticut and return to work in a pandemic without appropriate health care, personal protective equipment, or even the solace of knowing that if they get sick and die due to their work, their families will get burial benefits,  They need to know that the General Assembly is comprised of compassionate and caring individuals that work for the common good for all of Connecticut’s citizens. Although it might be difficult for racists to comprehend this, that means even the Black ones.

Compounding this outrage is the fact that Representative Fishbein is also a member of the Judiciary Committee which oversees the meting out of justice in our State and the Public Safety Committee which has oversight of our police forces.  His comments show a contempt for the pain that too many of us - Black, Brown, and White, are going through in these troubling times. How can Connecticut’s citizens trust him to work for justice and humane policing policies if this is what he thinks?

This monstrously stupid and racist tweet demands swift action.  We call on you to demand his resignation immediately.

Sincerely,

Rick Melita, State Director
SEIU State Council

Jennifer Berigan, Legislative Director
Connecticut AFL-CIO