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Blog: Too Rich To Jail, Too Evil To Fail: American Social Policy in the 21st Century

By Dr. Eugene Stovall

December 18, 2013 Oakland, California

“So Congressman, what leverage will the Democrats have to extend unemployment benefits and give the poor food stamps once you give the Republican their budget bill?”

The news commentator interviewing the black Congressman already knew that, according to the Huffington Post, Paul Ryan intended to hold social programs hostage for a deal on raising the debt ceiling in January. "We’re going to meet in our retreats after the holidays and discuss exactly what it is we’re going to try to get for this," Ryan had said.

The Congressman bucked his eyes as he prepared to deliver the trite, self-righteous pronouncements that are the stock and trade of black elected officials. He didn’t have a clue about how to extend unemployment benefits or restore the food stamp program over Republican objections. He was just getting some air time and the news commentator was just going through a charade.

“It will be up to the people to put pressure on Congress,” the black representative intoned solemnly. “They’ve got to come up here and demand changes.”

“Ah,” the news host smiled brightly. She was tempted to ask the Congressman whether there might be ‘another March on Washington, or as the insiders laughingly call it, another ‘shuffle along the beltway’.

The same day, the networks___ major and cable ___ sizzled in mock indignation over a court decision in Texas. A judge freed a white teenager who, while drunk, had crashed into a parked car killing the car’s passengers, a mother and daughter, as well as two motorists who had stopped to help them. The killer’s defense attorney successfully argued that the teenager suffered from ‘affluenza’ a condition affecting someone like him who is so affluent and rich that he cannot be held responsible for his actions. The Texas judge was merely applying the legal precedent of being ‘too rich to jail’ that the Bush and Obama administrations used when dealing with banks, brokerage firms and auto companies. The Texas judge further enforced the Republican mantra, now being echoed by some Democrats, that the government should benefit ‘the makers not the takers’.

Earlier in November the New York Magazine revealed an even more chilling aspect of 21st century American values. In its issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the New York Magazine posted an article, entitled The Truly Paranoid Style in American Politics: From the JFK assassination to weather control and the New World Order: 50 years of conspiracy theory. This article was intended to debunk conspiracy theories about the Kennedy assassination by debunking all conspiracy theories. And so in this article, the New York Times Magazine claimed that Gary Webb’s contra-cocaine story was one of the greatest conspiracy theories of the 20th century. It was the San Jose Mercury reporter, Gary Webb, who broke the Iran-Contra story, revealing that the government was violating the Boland Amendment which made it illegal for the CIA to be involved in the overthrow of the Nicaraguan government. Webb revealed that, not only was the CIA continuing to orchestrate the overthrow of the Nicaraguan government, but CIA operatives were arming the Contras by selling cocaine to street gangs in Los Angeles. Yet, despite all the facts to the contrary, the New York Times Magazine claimed that Webb’s story was just another conspiracy theory. What is not a conspireacy theory is that the government distribution of cocaine throughout the United States caused the deaths and incarcerations of hundreds of thousands of black people and the destructions of black neighborhoods across America. But when the government-supplied cocaine found its way into white communities, the legal system was able to impose much more lenient punishments on the white offenders ___ in many cases offering probation and fines ___ than the harsh prison sentences imposed upon blacks. Of course, this travesty is of no concern to members of the Congressional Black Caucus. They are very sympathetic to America’s emerging social policy for the 21st century: ‘too rich to jail and too evil to fail’.

For more on the government’s policy of distributing cocaine in the black community, read: Eugene Stovall’s Cassandra’s Curse: A Black Life In A Police State.