Guest Commentary: Alleged Justice

POWER and Nothing but the POWER

By Bita Bakhtjou

The mission of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is represented to be protecting the public’s health in the Golden State and helping shape positive health outcomes for individuals, families and communities. “We are dedicated to public service and passionate about our work and the people and communities we serve and protect,” is what is stated on CDPH’s website as to its “shared vision.” With regard to CDPH’s director, Dr. Tomas Aragon, the website reads in part:

“As CDPH director, striving to embody and promote the universal values of dignity, equity, compassion and humility, he works through collaborative partnerships to mobilize communities and institutions to transform policies and systems towards a culture of equity, antiracism, healing and health for all people and our planet.”

According to the stated missions and visions of CDPH, and all that are represented by this state entity and its director, there is justice and equity galore within and no power imbalances, CDPH is compassionate about dignity of employees, is against systemic racism and violence and hate in the workplace, and as to the public’ health and safety, CDPH is committed to zealous patient advocacy, and healing and health for all, et al!
“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” if the stated missions and visions were more than pretty words on websites? What if per witness accounts, experiences, reports and documents and documentations, audit and investigative journalism, revelations contrary to said representations come to light?

What if CDPH director, Dr. Tomas Aragon, to whom “a culture of antiracism and equity” is said to be important per the representations, recently deactivated his social media account in response to being questioned by the concerned public regarding CDPH higher ups’ bias and polarizing statements?

What if investigative journalism and audit bring to light reported and documented systemic racism within CDPH, violence in the workplace, degradation of dignity, hate incidents covered up and swept under the rug, assault and whistleblower retaliation, et al?

What if the meeting of African American employees was called “Barnyard Meeting” by a CDPH higher up? What if the same CDPH higher up called the Iranian American employee “Persian Ulcer” among other things, and pervasively aggressively hatefully called her “martyr” and when asked not to call her that, said: I will call you a martyr because you are a martyr!

What if employees raised concerns as to managers’ acts and omissions including the insistence on immediate jeopardies (IJs) being dropped in reckless disregard for the patients’ lives, and health and safety of the public CDPH purports to be the advocate of?

What if the whistleblower, in lieu of being rewarded, is pervasively retaliated against?

The mission of State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) is stated as: “Protecting Californians,” and “Doing the right thing.”

SCIF’s website further reads in part:

“Workplace safety is our passion,” further representing, “Restoring injured workers is what we were born to do.”

“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” if Californians do enjoy the represented protections from SCIF?

“…What we were born to do” says SCIF. What if, per witness account and experiences, audit and investigative journalism, not only that which is contrary to what SCIF represents they “were born to do” is revealed to have actually been done, but also unethical misconducts to the extent of SCIF going so far as swaying and tainting the cases of the injured at the hands of CDPH employee even via such things as unethical ex partes with the doctor and others, among other things?

What if it comes to light that SCIF, at the behest of its boss CDPH and in concert with the powerful state entity, would go to any and all lengths no matter how wrong to deprive the injured employee of CDPH of an iota of service, in direct contrast to the “doing the right thing” motto?

Mission of California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) is stated as safeguarding Californians from harm and enforcing civil rights laws.

California attorney general Rob Bonta is quoted as having stated:

“In California, we must stand united against hate and extremism. There is no place for hate in California”!

Working toward community-driven solutions to eliminate hate and extremism is what Rob Banta is said to have said, as well as the below quote from him:

“We see you, we support you, and we will do our part to ensure that every Californian feels safe in their cities and communities.”

Bonta is also said to have previously said:

“It is our responsibility to ensure that we establish a culture of accountability, professionalism, and zero tolerance for hateful or racist behavior….” And there are more quotes along the same lines from Rob Banta on different occasions, including the below: “Our communities deserve to know they can get equal justice under the law.”

“Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” if “equal justice,” “accountability,” and “zero tolerance for hateful or racist behavior” were not pretty words on websites and/or discretionarily applied?

What if witness accounts and experiences, documents and documentations, and long overdue and urgently necessary audit and investigative journalism reveal existence of conflicts of interest, and discretionary protection of civil rights? What if it comes to light that representations such as zero tolerance for hate and commitment to holding wrongdoers accountable et al, are not applicable CA DOJ’s state counterpart, say CDPH?

What if when it comes to, say CDPH, not only the whistleblower is not rewarded, not only the wrongdoers and inflictors of hate and racism are not held accountable, but also through the above team of CDPH, SCIF, and CA DOJ joining hands in further aggravation of the already too great power imbalances, injustices, deprivations of rights, and violations of civil rights are even further intensified?

What if hate and racism, in concert and via the powerful entities combining their abundant powers and abundant influences, are covered up, defended, and swept under the rug?

What if CA DOJ is not bothered by the CDPH higher ups calling the meeting of African American employees “Barnyard Meeting,” calling the Iranian American employee “Persian Ulcer” among other things, and pervasively hatefully calling her “Martyr”? What if it comes to light that CA DOJ prefers to join hands with its state counterpart, say CDPH, in defending, protecting, and sweeping under the rug the above and more?

What if it comes to light pursuant to the urgently necessary long overdue audit and investigative journalism, that CA DOJ is not bothered about violence and assault in the workplace, bias and hate and such things as “Foreigners are in this country to clean butts” being allowed to be said at CDPH, reckless disregard for health and safety of public CDPH is to be the advocate of including via IJs being forced to be dropped, whistleblower punished in lieu of rewarded, deprivation of the most basic rights, breaches of civil rights, et al?

What if in the case of state entities, say CDPH, it comes to light that CA DOJ has done the opposite of the represented mission and in direct contrast to what the attorney general of Golden State has stated and promised on various occasions?

The mission of the California legal system and court system is to apply the law consistently and impartially to protect the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitutions of California and the United States. The stated goal is “to serve the public,” and “to provide access to justice.” What if in some California county courts, the scales of “justice” are hugely tilted by the grave power imbalances of the powerful and influential state entities, say, CDPH and CA DOJ?

What if “access to justice” and “serving the public” in some county courts are simply representations and merely pretty words on their websites when it comes to the powerful and the state and government entities with abundant power and influence and resources?

What if a judge, against whom there have been complaints and recall attempt due to patterns and practices including favoritism and enabling power imbalances, who has been transferred due to the numerous complaints, is allowed to exhibit the same patterns and practices, only on a larger scale and graver extent?

What if, as there is no oversight, erroneous unfair judicial decisions are made, rights are trampled upon, and the powerful and influential get away with it all, even when they exhibit pervasive clear bad faith and irreversibly harmful habits and practices, and commit perjury and egregious misconduct and even acts of moral turpitude?

The mission of the State Bar of California (CSB) is said to be protecting the public and advancement of the ethical and competent practice of law.

State Bar of the Golden State is said to have learnt its lesson from the Girardi scandal, there are representations of post-Girardi measures and reforms, and accountability for bad actors regardless of power, wealth and influence!

“Wouldn’t it be loverly” if CSB adhered to the stated missions at least post-Girardi audit, heeded Girardi like scandals, learned from Girardi lessons the ignoring of which will continue leaving numerous more victims of bad actors behind, and held unethical powerful rich bad actors with clear patterns of misconducts accountable regardless of the power, wealth, influence and status of said bad actors?

What if “Protecting the public and advancement of the ethical and competent practice of law” are merely pretty words on CSB website that are promised and relied upon to no avail?

What if an urgently necessary post-Girardi audit and an accompanying investigative journalism, brings to light that lessons have not been learnt, and powerful wealthy bad actors are not only NOT held accountable in the least, but are rewarded and allowed to commit unethical unlawful acts and omissions again and again and again?

What if POWER, and nothing but the POWER, drives the alleged “justice” in the Golden State?

What if the above is just tip of the iceberg?

About The Author

Registered Nurse, inspector, patient advocate, legislative activist, journalist and photojournalist, investigator and founder of ibita.

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