Double standards in Black and white
Published Mar 10, 2010 6:06 PM
Crookedness in U.S. ruling-class politics is the rule, not the exception. To win
the game, politicians often have to play by the same rule book as their peers
— a book that’s filled with corrupt tricks. So why is it that some
politicians get singled out for exposure, if they’re all playing the game?
In the past couple of weeks, two Black New York politicians, Gov. David
Paterson and Rep. Charles Rangel, have been the target of highly publicized
ethics investigations. Rangel has been forced to step down from his position as
chairperson of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, which is charged with
writing tax legislation and bills affecting Social Security, Medicare and other
social service programs. Paterson has said he will not seek re-election, while
many are clamoring for his resignation.
There’s another rule in the U.S. politics rule book: the double standard.
It’s pretty safe to say that most ruling-class politicians accept bribes,
cheat on their spouses and commit all sorts of crimes that they’re never
charged for and never see the light of day. And that doesn’t even mention
the open crimes that aren’t labeled as such, like sending troops to kill
and be killed around the world, or ensuring poverty and starvation by denying
the right to food, education, housing and/or health care.
But when things get tense — say, during the height of a devastating
economic crisis — and the powers-that-be need a fall guy or become
concerned about a politician’s allegiances, they’ll dig up as much
dirt as possible and put it on display for the public to condemn.
Both Paterson and Rangel have contradictory records when it comes to support
for working people. They may or may not have committed the ethics
The double standard is especially used when it comes to Black politicians. The
racist U.S. ruling class through the years has attacked Black politicians, from
Harlem Congressperson Adam Clayton Powell Jr. to Massachusetts Sen. Dianne
Wilkerson, former Milwaukee Alderman Michael McGee Jr. and Boston City
Councilor Chuck Turner. The goal is to remind those Black politicians still in
office that they’d better not get out of line, either. A more insidious
goal is to socially disenfranchise the communities of color that these
Articles copyright 1995-2012 Workers World.
Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
Email: [email protected]
Subscribe [email protected]
Support independent news DONATE