New Orleans betrayed
It will be the coldest day in hell before I will ever excuse corruption. Nothing kills civil society faster than la mordida, the bribe.
William Jefferson may well be innocent, but he needs to lose his committee seat until this is cleared up. End of story.
If he wants to play the race card, let me play it right here: as a black man with a Harvard Law degree, only possible by the deaths of other people, you owe something to the community more than sucking up to the DLC. You want the protection and soldiarity of blackness, but you tied up two trucks to get your suitcases out of your house while the people you represented had to be rescued by ad hoc teams from across the country. What a grotesque betrayal.
A crooked black politician doesn't only violate the civil trust of public office, he makes the burden of his people that much harder. Poor people fled New Orleans and aren't looking back, and part of the reason is that Jefferson was playing power games instead of helping his people.
So when people talk about Nancy Pelosi and the FBI, they're missing the point. Pelosi has no reason to protect Jefferson, nor should the CBC. Let the courts decide what canbe admitted from their search.
But beyond that, the thing is that we, as black people, as a nation, cannot tolerate corruption. It kills people, it murders democracy. If you can buy government favor, government preference, that means an honest person suffers. NewOrleans paid a heavy price for the long standing culture of corruption there, crooked cops, the worst schools in America, an incredible crime rate and so little opportunity that people drowned for lack of access to a reliable car. New Orleans suffering may have come from Katrina, but the seeds were set long ago.
Which is why Mitch Landrieu lost to Ray Nagin. No matter how inept Nagin was, he was free of corruption and that mattered.
Time and again, you see the inept and crooked blame conspiracies of the FBI out to get them. Except they aren't Fred Hampton and J. Edgar Hoover is dead. Many are embittered relics of their idealistic selfs, some are grifters, all are a burden.
Mr.Jefferson will get a good defense. But his problems are not just legal, but political. If CynthiaMcKinney's antics are not supported, why are his?
Clarence Thomas taught me a lesson: no one gets a pass. I no longer assume skin color means solidarity on some level. I knew when he spoke he was a lying bastard. Anita Hill was a church lady, the odds of her lying were about the odds of me voting Republican.But people gave him the
benefit of the doubt. And look where that got us.
No more. If you want to call for solidarity, don't wait until the FBI is knocking on your door.
posted by Steve @ 1:26:00 AM