February 24, 2020
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Divide and Conquer

Published Sep. 25, 2019

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“One of us for all of us” is a beguiling call to unity that Mr. Joe Carfora’s campaign incorporated in his political message in this election. That the phrase has rhyme makes it easy to remember as the meme “All for one and one for all” popularized years ago in the movie The Three Musketeers.

Is he appealing to those of the Italian heritage alone and not to the other East Haven voters who are of a different European and non-European ancestry? Imagine me, an Asian and mayoral candidate, making a similar appeal.

East Haven is a diverse community composed also of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians, but his message, unambiguously, excludes us. And in these tumultuous times when the superficial issue of race and ethnicity is sometimes enough to trigger violent outrage resulting in carnage, the insular appeal to one’s heritage as reason enough for votes, makes the message antithetical to what we are all supposed to be: Americans.

I may be misreading Mr. Carfora, so I apologize and stand corrected, but much as I try to apply the same rationale and language though, in converse, the best I could produce is this: “If I am not one of you, then I am not for all of us.”

I think I know that Mr. Carfora is not a racist nor even a Nativist and perhaps he just wants to win and winning is all there is, supposedly.

Most of us, if not all of us, I think have an idea of how divide and conquer as a stratagem is best applied, and moreover, that that idea is just one of the many Mr. Carfora has in his quiver. Nevertheless, the fundamental flaw in his message as I see it harms our town’s image even more than it helps him.

Is that a fair exchange?

Oni Sioson
East Haven

Oni Sioson is the petitioning candidate for mayor in the November elections.