July 14, 2012

"How D.C. Became a District of Corruption"

From the Washington Post:
By Kojo Nnamdi, Published: July 13 
Vincent C. Gray’s election as mayor in 2010 was the result in no small measure of his success in tapping a deep well of resentment in the black community over Adrian M. Fenty’s perceived aloofness. Gray was helped along in this effort by Marion Barry. 
I wrote in this section at the time that if the template for black mayors who connect with black voters is Barry and Newark’s Sharpe James, who have both served prison terms, then “Vincent Gray needs to hurry up and get himself locked up so he can keep it real, too.” 
I now regret those words, as prophetic as they appear. I still think that Gray is a decent and thoughtful man, but he stands at the center of a political culture that is corrupt and broken. 
At a contentious city council meeting this summer, Barry spoke about the council’s credibility problem and voters’ doubts about the D.C. government. “The stain is deep,” he said. He’s right. 
I came to D.C. in 1969, and the future I imagined for it when the Home Rule Act was signed in 1973 was that the city, home to some of the smartest people and most innovative civil rights activists I knew, would provide a shining example of a democratic revolution. Some of that has come to pass. From qualified blacks who have new access to senior positions and contracts, to the revival of downtown and other areas, from new restaurants and theaters to green spaces and bike lanes, the District has indeed improved, often in ways I couldn’t have imagined. 
The political culture, however, has deteriorated. It has what is clearly a pay-to-play political process, with personal corruption and campaign fraud now at the center of the system. 
The latest example of this came on Tuesday, when federal prosecutors said that Gray’s 2010 mayoral run was funded, in part, by a “shadow campaign” of $653,000 from a prominent District contractor. Three Gray campaign consultants have pleaded guilty to corruption-related charges. 
This shadow over the Gray campaign comes after former council member Harry Thomas Jr. pleaded guilty to charges of theft of government money and falsifying tax returns. In May, he was sentenced to three years in prison. And in June, Kwame Brown resigned as D.C. Council chairman after federal prosecutors charged him with bank fraud. 
The question is:How did it come to this? How did we come to this?

You can see a big reason why the Washington-based white press corps worked so hard to contrive Obamamania a half decade ago. For their own sakes, they really, really want to end black rule in Washington, but that's embarrassing to admit even to your own conscience. So, pushing Obama on the whole country served to salve the white national media's consciences about what they want to do with their own city.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv/la-ca-puttnams-law-20120603,0,672709.story

Anonymous said...

But what about all those whites in mass and iowa voting for obam?

CJ said...

Vincent C. Gray’s election as mayor in 2010 was the result in no small measure of his success in tapping a deep well of resentment in the black community over Adrian M. Fenty’s perceived aloofness. Gray was helped along in this effort by Marion Barry.


That reminds me of the Louisiana joke, "We don't just tolerate corruption, we demand it!"

Anonymous said...

Whites just need to be honest with themselves.

Anonymous said...

Prosperity is the only thing that keep us united in this farce.

Steve in Greensboro said...

Leftists are never deterred by the failure of their ideas in the real world.  In their minds, Marxism is morally right so it should be implemented.  Its failures are ones of implementation or bad personnel choices or bad luck.

The fact that electing Marxist mayors in cities like D.C., Detroit, etc. has resulted in inner city chaos and bankruptcy would never deter Leftist journos from promoting a Marxist president like Obama. 

Leftist journos no doubt feel a twinge of white guilt for wanting incompetent black Marxist mayors out, but they promoted (and will promote) Obama because he is a Marxist not to assuage that guilt.

Anonymous said...

...a “shadow campaign” of $653,000 from a prominent District contractor...

So who was the prominent contractor?

I did a little googling, and it looks like the key names are a Jeanne Clarke Harris working on behalf of a Jeffrey E. Thompson.

And, from what I can tell, Thompson's Chartered Health is some sort of a scam artistry involving MedicaiD [not MedicaRe] - his site is filled with advertisements for "free" medical care, akin to an Obama Stash on a much smaller scale - I guess maybe you'd have to call it a "Jeffrey's Stash".

PS: As for the aptly-named Vincent Gray, well, ah, let's just say that if he had some daughters, then they wouldn't have any trouble passing the paper bag test at Spelman.

Anonymous said...

o/t

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9400468/Terrorised-Chicago-residents-plead-for-police-crackdown-as-gang-war-murders-soar.html

"the upsurge in gang killings has followed a decision by the city's mayor Rahm Emanuel and police chief Garry McCarthy, both new in the job last year, to dismantle specialist anti-gang units and instead switch more officers to the beat.

But many terrorised locals are now pleading for a return to the aggressive stop-and-frisk tactics of the task forces that were long decried by black community leaders."

Truth said...

"So, pushing Obama on the whole country served to salve the white national media's consciences about what they want to do with their own city."

Yes because national politics in D.C. have always been such a clean affair.

Darwin's Sh*tlist said...

I think this is going to be an emerging fault line on the left in coming years. Since the mid'90s, most older cities around the country have experienced significant downtown gentrification. As a result, a lot of of upscale white liberals have seen the workings of inner city black pathology up close. Many are now less sympathetic than they were when it was just an abstraction they were reading about in their Oppression Studies courses.

Of course, one upshot will be that as they set about whatever reforms they can, they'll become even more ostentatiously "anti-racist" in order to maintain their progressive bona fides (Tim Wise, call your office!).

Anonymous said...

The author answered his own question probably without knowing it. What happened? All those "smart civil rights activists" happened.

Grumpy Old Man said...

An odd notion.

Proposition: Blacks are not capable of self-government. I am trying to think of a counter-example. Barbados, maybe?

Kylie said...

"But what about all those whites in mass and iowa voting for obam?"

My impression is that Mass is very much a SWPL state.

And Iowa is home to some very liberal colleges which skew the large towns in which they live way to the left. It's not all farmers there by any means and hasn't been for decades.

ivvenalis said...

"From qualified blacks who have new access to senior positions and contracts..." (i.e. affirmative action)

"It has what is clearly a pay-to-play political process, with personal corruption and campaign fraud now at the center of the system."

"...'shadow campaign' of $653,000 from a prominent District contractor."

It might not be the entire story, but clearly the guy can't see the connection between encoding racial favoritism into law and increased corruption.

Otis McWrong said...

Steve-o,

I grew up in DC (more accurately, in Arlington, VA) and spent a lot of time in the city, whether fishing on the river or C&O canal, drinking beer underage in Georgetown, going to Redskin games, or later chasing girls in Washington Harbor or Adams Morgan (aka Madam’s Organ). A hot spot would sprout up, lots of girls and bars around.

Anyway to the point. Black rule isn’t that much of a topic amongst the local whites. Sure it’s been a disaster but it doesn’t effect the local whites that much. Either they live in Virginia or Maryland or if they live in DC their kids go to private schools. Plus large swaths of the city are run or overseen by the Feds – you get Park Police instead of DC Five-Oh, etc. That’s the thing that differs DC from other black-run hellholes like Detroit: its just not that big. Plus factor in the whole Imperial Rome aspect where the Feds make sure their parts are nice places to live and work and there is only so much mayhem the incompetent local politicians can do.

Marion Barry was hugely popular with local whites back in the 80’s in the 90’s because a) he was great news. How many other cities can say their mayor smoked crack on national TV and kept his job? B) he kept the Redskins in town and happy. Barry would put on his dashiki and do the whole Black Power thing complete with ebonics in Southeast or Anacostia, but then he’d put on a nice suit and speak English. And he’d make sure Jack Kent Cooke got what he wanted, like the time Cooke blocked off the alley behind his house and made it a private driveway: the bureaucrats got all upset but Barry made the whole issue go away. Sure he was a transparent fraud but he was mostly good-natured about it.

The local white press pulled for Obama because they’re self-hating white liberals, same was everywhere. I don’t think Black Rule had much to do with it.

Tony said...

And lets not forget, all those neighborhood improvements in DC are due to more white people moving in. The political culture will improve too, as more whites get elected. Not that white polititians are angels, but better than the alternative.

Anonymous said...

"...the city, home to some of the smartest people and most innovative civil rights activists..."

Stop right there: there's the problem.

Anonymous said...

Only in America would Vincent Gray be "black". Judging by appearance, he is at least 3/4 white and probably more.

beowulf said...

"But what about all those whites in mass and iowa voting for obam?"
The financial system collapsed less than two months before election day. On September 15, McCain was 5 points up on Obama, that same day Lehmann Brothers filed for bankruptcy and the die was cast.

There's no way an incumbent party nominee is going to win with that kind of headwind. McCain did about as well as anyone could (he ran ahead of other Republican candidates in downballot races).

Anonymous said...

Your argument is strained. DC has had black mayors who are very attuned to "white interests", like Anthony Williams and Adrian Fenty. Compared to my old home, Chicago, blacks and whites here in DC get along remarkably well. The large number of educated blacks in the DC area blunts black resentment.

sunbeam said...

I suspect you are right in people not admitting even to themselves what they are doing, or steadfastly ignoring what is being done around them.

Take this for example:

A Culture Of Intimidation for the Poor- The Ugly Underside of Hipster New York

http://withabrooklynaccent.blogspot.com/2012/06/culture-of-intimidation-for-poor-ugly.html

I differ with you on some of your other contentions. Namely that the level of corruption is somehow unusual. America, particularly large northeastern cities, has a long storied history of public corruption.

The South can proudly present New Orleans, and well the whole state of Florida, but let's face it: This is public school corruption, and Tammany Hall, Boston, and Chicago are Ivy League institutions.

What's unusual in a way, is that the corruption is being prosecuted.

I think it goes along with your other point, whether the people prosecuting these things understand it themselves.

Then too, this kind of thing is done differently now. Everything now is so conceptualized and virtualized that it is hard to even understand if it is corruption, or if it is illegal.

It's just kind of gauche to actually have to steal government money directly, or do something so common as bank fraud. All the cool kids do it in a different way now, ways that are more difficult to prosecute and may not even be illegal.

Heck after Citizen's United is:

"The latest example of this came on Tuesday, when federal prosecutors said that Gray’s 2010 mayoral run was funded, in part, by a “shadow campaign” of $653,000 from a prominent District contractor."

even illegal? I mean if it's done by a corporation. Did the Shadow Campaign not file the right form to incorporate or something?

Take the Big Dig for example. I can just smell the money certain parties made/will make over that thing.

Plus I think Wall Street and quite a few large banks have demonstrated that if you know the right people you just aren't going to be prosecuted anyway.

Anonymous said...

White folks getting creative too, I guess.

http://deadspin.com/5924827/american-baby-names-are-somehow-getting-even-worse

Anonymous said...

Could have sworn I posted this earlier ... o/t

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9400468/Terrorised-Chicago-residents-plead-for-police-crackdown-as-gang-war-murders-soar.html

"The mayhem, playing out within ambulance siren range of the Chicago home of Barack and Michelle Obama, has not just put a city on edge. It is also unleashing a passionate national debate on policing tactics.

For the upsurge in gang killings has followed a decision by the city's mayor Rahm Emanuel and police chief Garry McCarthy, both new in the job last year, to dismantle specialist anti-gang units and instead switch more officers to the beat.

But many terrorised locals are now pleading for a return to the aggressive stop-and-frisk tactics of the task forces that were long decried by black community leaders."

idealart said...

Once a black single mother with 13 kids complained to Marion Barry, with TV cameras rolling, about the quality of her public housing. Barry nonchalantly said maybe she shouldn't have had so many kids in the first place. The white liberals in the media howled. Oh, the humanity! The Hindenburg is burning and the survivors are running from the cascading flames. Save them!

DC at that time was far darker than now. I'd wager astute media people are beginning to adjust to a shift in the winds. Not because liberals have changed their stripes but because large numbers are actually living around blacks themselves. Maybe American liberals will learn from the French and pass a similar law that allows Parisian arrondissements the option to pay a fine rather than meet minority residence quotas.

Anonymous said...

"The large number of educated blacks in the DC area blunts black resentment."

Of course, it helps that many problematic blacks were driven out of the city.
As for the black middle class, there's more of it in DC because EVERYTHING IS GOVERNMENT, so there are lots of government jobs. With all our tax money going there, black government workers there live on the hog. But if we were to dry up that tax money, DC blacks would have nothing. Many DC blacks tend to be content not because they are better educated but because there's a lot of affirmative action driven employment for blacks in the city. So, DC is an anomaly. If all our tax money went to Detroit and if Detroit could hire tons of blacks to do government work, blacks there would be 'happier' too. But how much is the federal government costing us?

Whiskey said...

The DC system is not sustainable. It requires ever greater centralization (and power flowing to DC/NYC) and money to prop it up. Meanwhile those on the losing side of the money/power equation resent it.

What is far more likely, is a total Bastille like eradication of the elites, by an angry middle class forced down into working class status. And sick of the lies about how the equality of all men under God and in natural law equates to equality in abilities and character.

The elites contra Derbyshire will remain as clueless and idiotic as possible until the tumbrils come as they will. And being a conservative, middle class White guy I view revolution with horror, since it will always get worse and always has when the old order is upset and the most ruthless rise to the top.

Svigor said...

Leftists are never deterred by the failure of their ideas in the real world.

Right, which is why it's such a turn-and-spit-out-your-drink moment whenever they confront HBDers. The same people that move Heaven and Earth to pour trillions of other people's money down black holes of policies that have never worked, have never been shown to work, have never been debated, and have never even sounded plausible, suddenly turn into rigorous skeptics: "show me the gene," "prove equality (which makes no sense, has no basis, etc., and they believe on faith) wrong," etc. Suddenly, they're from the show me state.

Leftism is sociopathy/licensed sociopathy.

DCThrowback said...

I think Otis lived in Arlington, VA in the 90s when all the stuff he wrote was true. It's 2012; things have changed.

Whites will be the majority in DC in 2015. Blacks lost majority status in 2012. The fights over food trucks and Uber (hipster limo service) are examples of white liberals rebelling against government rules when it suits them.

Having lived in a gentrifying 'hood for the last 10 years in DC and watched it go from black to white, I can assure you that Steve's take is spot on. There are few things worse than dealing with the non-talented tenth blacks that make up a dwindling part of the DC neighborhood scene.

The DC press corps (the Weigels, the Serwers, the Goldbergs, the Freddosos and the WCP and WaPo staff writers) may write and think one way, but they live another. And they all voted for Fenty.

And guess what? In the next 3-10 years, their kids will be entering DC public schools. It's going to be a glorious thing to behold.

Otis McWrong said...

DC: I was born in DC in 1968 and lived in Arlington (not counting college and grad school years) until 1998. You're right, I've probably missed a lot. Where did the blacks go? Pushed out into PG County entirely? They don't seem to be in NoVA as far as I can tell.

When I go back to visit now I'm struck by 1) how much better the food is, 2) how crowded it is inside the beltway (I can remember horses and corn fields in Mclean for example), 3) how many 'hispanics' (i.e. indians from guatemala and el salvador) there are and 4) Dulles Airport apparently only hires people from Yemen or Somalia.

helene edwards said...

The local white press pulled for Obama because they’re self-hating white liberals, same was everywhere. I don’t think Black Rule had much to do with it.

Yeah, Steve's overthinking this one.

sunbeam said...

Otis McWrong said:

"DC: I was born in DC in 1968 and lived in Arlington (not counting college and grad school years) until 1998. You're right, I've probably missed a lot. Where did the blacks go? Pushed out into PG County entirely? They don't seem to be in NoVA as far as I can tell."

I think they are moving back to the South, if you say Washington is Northern or no man's land or something.

It'd be interesting to chart absolute numbers of black residents for Northeastern states, and big cities where this kind of social engineering appears to be going on.

Then seeing where the people are being relocated to. I suspect that some may be relocating to suburbs in some cities. Some are moving to other large northern cities.

Most are going back down south. Charlotte and Atlanta specifically I would think.

I understand the same thing is happening in California, though mainly due to hispanic pressure. Where do black people go when they leave California? The white ones go to the Northwest or maybe Oklahoma or Texas depending on how strong their cracker gene is.

But my impression is blacks are leaving the southwest and pacific coast. Where are they going?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

"...to the revival of downtown and other areas, from new restaurants and theaters to green spaces and bike lanes..."

Those are the same thing. Add in financial services and it's what every downtown in America has become to survive: restaurants, arts, financials, and SWPL Good Things to put in the papers.

Anonymous said...

"What is far more likely, is a total Bastille like eradication of the elites, by an angry middle class forced down into working class status. And sick of the lies about how the equality of all men under God and in natural law equates to equality in abilities and character.

The elites contra Derbyshire will remain as clueless and idiotic as possible until the tumbrils come as they will. And being a conservative, middle class White guy I view revolution with horror, since it will always get worse and always has when the old order is upset and the most ruthless rise to the top."


D*&^%n straight. Whiskey swings, he hits! We do need a fall of the soviet union moment. And the sad things is, this fall of the ancien regime has developed in full sight of the world's largest universities, with probably the most educated government in history, the wonder of television and the internet, and yet you just know that, like the financial crisis, they are going to be "How could it have possibly happened? Who could have possibly forseen it"?

Anonymous said...

To tell you the truth I am ready for the Iron Fist to take over. It will be a dictatorship, but it will be a functional one, and unlike the communist ones those who don't like it will be welcome to leave.

dcite said...

I can take the bus going from downtown DC out to Maryland, up 13th or 14t Sts., once all black. Now white/hispanic and there is so much more "hope" in the air. It looks...like a normal, living city should look. A predominantly black city does not look like a living city. I think of the great edifices of culture and learning, like Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, surrounded by blacks, and so dangerous outside the walls, no one goes. Many white institutions of learning and culture are surrounded by the living death of black ghettoes.
Now, in DC, you do see people with young children, and they can't all be going to private schools. I do expect an influx of white kid into DC public schools eventually, and those pesky, low, academic scores which improvement nobody could figure out, will finally go up to everyone's surprise.

Anonymous said...

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=502879909737525&set=a.116898608335659.16274.108038612554992&type=1&theater

Yep, Romney sucks at lying and so the lying sticks unlike with clinton.
This was always his achilles heel.

Also, he can't go after Obama for sucking up to Wall Street since he's a bigger whore of big finance.

Anonymous said...

The large number of educated blacks in the DC area blunts black resentment.

Probably more to do with more federal jobs and spending.

Norville Rogers said...

"Truth said...
"So, pushing Obama on the whole country served to salve the white national media's consciences about what they want to do with their own city."
Yes because national politics in D.C. have always been such a clean affair."

^ What a lame tu quoque. I could manage without either administration but at least I don't have to live under the heel of both at once