Harrisburg – March 26, 2015 —Senate Democratic Appropriations Chairman Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery) today released the following statement concerning racially insensitive comments printed in the Allentown Morning Call. Senator Hughes’ Statement follows:
“According to the article, retired Trooper Anthony DeLuca referred to an African-American member of Col. Marcus Brown’s staff hired to handle diversity and recruitment as a “bootlicking ToTo.” DeLuca, as a trooper, was responsible for protecting the peace for every citizen in this commonwealth while holding this reprehensible mindset.
“This is outrageous and disgusting. It is this kind of negative rhetoric that takes us as a society back decades and perpetuates the struggles that unfortunately still exist.[divider top=”0”] [divider top=”0″]
“To refer to any person in such a derogatory manner is beyond ignorant and offensive; but this is the voice of the opposition to Colonel Marcus Brown. It is a voice of hate and intolerance and represents a way of thinking that should offend everyone, not just those to whom the comment was directed.
“The question is simple — Will the Senate Republicans do the right thing and confirm Marcus Brown or will they give life to the hateful comments of the ignorant leader of the anti-Brown group.
“I am calling on all elected officials to repudiate these types of comments and recognize it is sentiments like these that are driving the smear campaign and rabid opposition in an attempt to destroy Marcus Brown. It is clear now that the opposition is against not only Marcus Brown but also diversity and that is unacceptable. We, as people, are better than this.
“This type of hate speech heightens our concerns and demonstrates why we need someone with the experience, integrity and commitment to diversity like that of Col. Marcus Brown.”
Senator Hughes Offers Support to Acting Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Marcus Brown
Dear Governor Tom Wolf:
The recent report of a racist letter left anonymously at Acting Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Marcus Brown’s home causes me great concern, not only because of the substance (The use of the “N” word) of the letter but also because of the troubled history of the Pennsylvania State Police around the issue of race.
As you know, the Pennsylvania State Police has a poor record regarding issues of racial diversity and hiring practices. It is long and troubling. In fact, a lawsuit was filed and a Federal consent decree was ordered to improve the hiring practices of the agency. The lawsuit was filed in 1974 by William Bolden and resulted in the “Bolden decree” which was in place until 1999.
Here are the facts: After the Federal decree was put into place and there was regular monitoring by a federal judge for over 20 years, diversity among hires increased significantly. In fact, 20 percent of all state troopers were people of color and they served at every level of the state police organization. That caused the decree to be lifted, which resulted in the percentage of non-white troopers to drop down to a dismal 6.25 percent. As of December 1st, 2014, only 280 members of 4,479 state police force were minorities. That is where we stand today. This does not reflect the diversity of Pennsylvania’s population and is a throwback to an era when people of color were shut out of employment opportunities in state government, especially in the fields of law enforcement.
The letter delivered to Mr. Brown’s house also harkens back to those times. It also shows that some people who oppose his nomination are motivated by trying to keep the Pennsylvania State Police from becoming more diverse. Clearly, they are scared of Mr. Brown’s history of exemplary success in creating a diverse law enforcement agency in the communities where he has worked.
Needless to say, your support of his candidacy should be unwavering now more than ever. We have a choice. We can stand with someone who is an excellent officer and promotes a diverse and qualified workforce or we can stand with those who promote hate and intolerance through anonymous acts of cowardice.
I am choosing to stand with your nominee.
Vincent J. Hughes
State Senator, 7th District