The phrase “Good Ole Boy” is used to describe America’s age-old system of cronyism.
Its leading critics have sadly included racism lobbyists whose selective outrage never includes American Blacks engaged in graft.
Instead of eliminating the Good Ole Boy system, they’ve merely integrated it, as illustrated by cases like the recent federal indictment of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
Previously, Americans would have stated that his claim to fame was being at the helm when levees tragically failed after Hurricane Katrina.
He now has made the dubious history of being New Orleans’ first mayor to face corruption charges in a town renowned for its culture of corruption.
That’s saying something.
Twenty one counts alleging taking bribes, funneling money to a business he owned, and other official misconduct challenges claims that Black faces in high places are all we need.
Cries of prejudice await deployment by Black racism lobbyists whose greatest wish is for Black folks to get in on the action- not end corruption.
“White guys do it (engage in corruption); why can’t we?” is their weak rationale. The long list of convicted Black officials only means to them that dark hands only are the ones that get punished for dipping into the public cookie jar.
That’s a sad commentary for a demographic whose watch word was once “you have to be be twice as good to get half as much.”
It seems our motto has now morphed into “Take the money and run!”
Nagin’s last term was winding down when I arrived here three years ago. I’ve had a ringside seat to monitor some of America’s most colorful and disturbing corruption cases in a town I’ve nicknamed the “real life Gotham City.”
My overriding concern remains how numerous liberal American Blacks overlook our crime on the streets and suites because they feel White people aren’t punished for the same offenses.
In Ray Nagin’s case, cooperating witnesses from his past will undoubtedly take the stand against him (including his former technology chief Greg Meffert, whom Black racism lobbyists will note is White).
Others wait in the wings, I’m sure.
Black observers in New Orleans and the rest of America have yet another high-profile scandal to experience.
It can serve as the latest mirror testing Black commitment to good government or expose hypocrisy by not being any better than those whom racism lobbyists ritually accuse.
Whether Ray Nagin is merely the latest Black Good Ole Boy to be exposed remains to be seen.
Corruption is wrong, regardless of its perpetrator’s color.
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Photo credit: Jeffery Schwartz, flickr user jeffschwartz (Creative Commons)
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