By Josh Resnek
The political world here has been turned upside down since US Attorney Rachel Rollins announced a probe into racism, discrimination and retaliation at the highest level of Everett City government two weeks ago.
Never in this city’s modern history has racism been confronted here as it is being examined right now.
Juneteenth in all its mightiness is a part of the new reality now highlighting the city’s racist, discriminatory and retaliatory city government.
The Federal government has finally stepped in to do what the city government has failed to do for those living here about meting out what is fair, just and right for people of color, race and ethnicity.
Rollins is demanding the city turn over all its records regarding racism, discrimination and retaliation that goes back at least 5 years.
The city is under demand not to alter any of the information being sought – no deletions or alterations of information will be tolerated.
Those who know her and who believe in her say she will leave no stone unturned in her quest for justice.
This is a new and potentially dramatic twist for an old industrial city, with old ways, antiquated by color of nation of origin hiring habits, where the city’s rules tend not to apply for many of those who are connected.
Everett is a place where slightly more than 2% of the city’s workforce is non-white.
Everett is a city where 65% of its residents are Black, Brown and Hispanic.
Everett’s public schools are 80% Black, Brown and Hispanic.
The vast majority of the teaching staff and administrative staff are white.
The white population continues to shrink.
Overall, the city has the look and feel to those passing through or living here as a multi-cultural American melting pot city.
However, the politics of the place has remained steeped in what came before, tending not to change very much or at all, excluding newcomers instead of welcoming them, discriminating against them instead of joining in with them, retaliating against them as a measure of showing them who the boss is.
Make no mistake, city hall is the boss.
The mayor acts as though he has the power of a king.
This fact coinciding with Juneteenth Day makes the new holiday a moment filled with bitterness and some irony.
During the past three years, Everett elected its first Black member of the city council.
During a tumultuous one term stay, and several subsequent runs for higher public office, Gerly Adrien experienced discrimination, racism and retaliation.
DiPierro led his colleagues on the city council with efforts, public hurtful efforts, aimed at causing Adrien to resign.
She refused to do so.
In a dramatic twist, it was DiPierro who finally resigned due to his racist leanings as evidenced by texts, and e-mails shared with a number of city officials still serving in office and whose behavior is now subject to the Federal investigation into racism.
Then the school department hired an Indian superintendent, Priya Tahiliani.
The mayor immediately made it known among a number of his closest colleagues that he did not care for Tahiliani.
He did so in such a way that Tahiliani was forced to enter a discrimination action against the mayor alleging discrimination and racism in order to protect herself from a perceived effort of summary dismissal.
Tahiliani has become an outspoken supporter for the rights of Everett’s school students, their parents, and for those administrators trying to do the right thing, instead of the political thing.
The continuing revelations of racist memes, e-mails, texts and videos shared by a large number of Everett’s elected and appointed public officials are a stark reminder of the dark and largely unchanged discriminatory culture that exists inside and outside Everett city hall.
Juneteenth is a reminder that the times are changing.
The recent resignations and further evidence of racism and discrimination that are popping up now dominates the meanderings at a wayward city hall.
This Juneteenth was just another holiday.
By next Juneteenth, Everett might be a far different place than it is today