Using Race to Cover-Up Failure, Corruption

P21HugheyNewsomeJust posted on The Daily Caller’s web site is a new commentary from Project 21’s Hughey Newsome that shows how some politicians are more than willing to play the race card in order to overcome their stunning failure to lead.

Using his former home of the Detroit metro area as an example, Hughey chronicles how now-jailed former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was quick to find other people to be at fault for the failures of his city’s ruling class.

In the commentary, Hughey noted:

Take, for example, the 2008 State of the City address by then-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. With Detroit facing a perilous fiscal future and him facing ethics complaints, Kirkpatrick highlighted race. He sparked controversy by using the “n-word” while referencing an insult he received from some random person.

Kirkpatrick vowed to stand strong against this attack, and asked citizens to stand by him against a “lynch mob mentality.” He essentially used that slur to leverage racial tension, inciting and dividing the mostly-black city against mostly-white suburbs. After all, it was the people in the suburbs — many who either worked in Detroit or had economic ties to the city — who were frustrated with mounting city corruption and mismanagement.

The citizens of Detroit rallied behind their mayor. It was racial politics — pure and simple.

Five years later, Detroit is in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings, and Kilpatrick – who resigned six months after his controversial address — was convicted of a series of felonies that may put him in prison for the rest of his life.

Kilpatrick is not the one bad apple who destroyed Detroit. Using race to cover for failure is commonplace.

But Hughey does not limit his criticism to Detroit.  He also finds rot at the top.

Critical of President Obama’s surprise speech after the George Zimmerman verdict, in which Obama personalized the issue — as he regularly does, Hughey suggests the result may have driven races in America even further apart:

Obama’s words of division and distrust – to advance a political agenda — diminish an opportunity to address real biases principally driven by media and entertainment.

Too much time is spent complaining about and looking for the overt racism that has largely been banished from our society. Perversely, this effort to protect minorities from the bigot under the bed promotes the “soft bigotry of low expectations” that Obama’s predecessor sought to stamp out.

Americans must recognize attempts to manipulate past pain for political gain. How else will leaders focus on 21st century problems rather than self-serving agendas?

To read the entire Newsome column on The Daily Caller, click here.

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