I love ribbing West Hartford, Connecticut. Because I can. So I posted this on my Facebook site: “I’m driving today [February 1, 2017] to West Hartford for a protest rally, scheduled to begin at 4:30, which means the Mayans weren’t wrong. They were just a little off. To explain: West Hartford is inhabited by pin-striped actuaries whose median annual income makes them say: ‘Who needs Fort Knox?’ Their most violent temper tantrums consist of the following dreaded words: ‘I’ll get back to you about that.’ To say ‘protest rally in West Hartford’ is to say, ‘Yellowstone just erupted.'”
That was totally unfair to the good people of this fine city of 63,268. Its median household income actually stands at about $80,000, which sounds high brow until we remember Connecticut’s cost of living. It vacuums bank accounts like a monster Hoover. Besides, the town features working class areas and a sizable immigrant population speaking 80 languages. I, of course, wasn’t interested in fairness. I spent my adolescent years in neighboring Bloomfield (median household income: $73,519), which was a stench in the nostrils of the surrounding communities. I haven’t recovered, nor do I want to. Feigning resentment is too fun.
Please don’t inveigh me with verities about love, turning the other cheek, and forgiveness. They’re inconvenient. Besides, the boring truth is that I actually like West Hartford, especially its international flavor. The city’s diversity shone brightly among the hundreds of demonstrators protesting President Trump’s recent moves on refugees.
Some photos, followed by a video of the rally taken during the speech of Rabbi Debra Cantor of B’nai Tikvoh-Sholom. As an ordained, Bible-thumping Baptist, I could only say this: “I’m in church!”
Now for that video and the Bible-thumping rabbi: