Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin, of ” Chocolate City ” fame, has been found guilty last week on 20 of 21 counts after a closely covered federal corruption trial.
I’ve already heard and stoically prepare to hear even more stanzas of the song, ” Exempt Black Criminals,” loudly sung after high profile Blacks are prosecuted.
This has baffled me for years, particularly because if America and all political sub-divisions are as racist as many Blacks think, WHY engage in crime?
Doesn’t breaking the law gift wrap us for express delivery to a criminal justice system thought to be racist?
I’ve always failed to make that connection in the past when presented this argument and today isn’t any different.
The real question is how do we govern ourselves so that we don’t find ourselves in these situations?
No defense attorney can take commonly discussed excuses like slavery & selective prosecution, for example, and offer these to a judge.
We don’t control the institutions surrounding us, just like a lot of lower income folks of other colors too.
Since we don’t have lobbyists and aren’t privy to backdoor deals, it seems the best bet is not to get into trouble.
This seems not only the moral ,but also the smart thing to do.
I know that sounds terribly corny to the blameless Black crowd, but these scenarios always serve as ( for some ) painful teaching moments.
We can’t keep blaming White folks for crime we freely choose to commit. The higher up the food chain we go, the more these trials will be publicized.
Some will say the Nagin case is proof Black mayors are inherently corrupt. It’s hard for me to buy that one since I type this blog-post in Louisiana, where a whole lot of White politicians and paymasters are perp-walked to prison.
In 2014, some American Blacks must accept that our past doesn’t exempt us from being held accountable for our actions in the present.
If anything, conceding to the possibility of institutional bias, we have even more incentive to be law abiding because we don’t get the breaks others do.
Exempting Black criminals because of real or imagined racism only cheapens our lives and promises more scenes like today.
An old school warning always echoes in my mind during these times, ” You can’t beat the devil doing wrong. ”
Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black is an anti crime activist & Project 21 member in New Orleans.