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Open Season on Black Officials is Nothing New?


by Chris Stevenson

By now we all know there won’t be any US Senate run for Harold Ford Jr., not in New York anyway. Maybe he’ll just pack up and head back to the south… where it’s safe. For the record he says he won’t run against incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) because such a race would be so negative and brutal, that even the winner and the Democratic Party could be weakened by the time of the midterm elections. Ford also revealed in an op-ed he wrote to the New York Times, that party insiders tried to “bully” him out of the race, citing they were “nervous” and wanted change.


Ford Jr., having a smoke outside Starbucks-cs

I know what many of you are thinking, he already see’s up close what New York’s black Governor is going through with the mishandling of his aid’s domestic abuse incident. He also watched the attempted Malcolm Smith/Democratic Party coup several months ago. Ford isn’t new to the City, he’s been in the state since 2006, my opinion as to why he stepped down is the rabid hostility he observed toward Smith, Paterson, Rep. Charles Rangel and even President Obama go through, reminds him of what he saw his father go through. The footsteps he hears are from the distant south, but not too long ago.

I recall specific operations by the Federal Government to target black elected officials for probes. That’s right, what we see Paterson going through, is very similar to what Buffalo’s black elected officials have been going through. Years ago investigations by Mary A. Fischer, Joe Davidson and Michael Frisby disclosed multiple federal probes by government appointed pitt bulls like Atty. General Richard Thornburgh and directed against Harold Ford Sr., Maynard Jackson, Thomas Figures and others. Thornburgh was a criminal investigator appointed by Reagan back in 1988-91.

According to “Project Censored” website, among the “Top 25 Censored Stories of 1998” was “The black elected officials that were targeted by law.” Understand this, the same people whose job description is to track criminals or criminal behavior, literally began investigating black officials for no other reason other than their skin color. It get’s worse. “Statistical evidence indicates that black elected officials tended to be investigated by law enforcement agencies at higher rates than white elected officials. According to the Washington-based Joint Center of Political and Economic Studies, in the past 25 years 70 members of Congress have faced criminal charges. Fifteen percent of those investigated have been minorities-four times their percentage in the legislative body.

PC quoted the Washington Post report that black elected officials were the target of investigations for corruption in 14 of the 465 political corruption cases launched between 1983 and 1998-a period in which blacks were just 3% of all office holders.” GQ Magazine noted that between 1981-93 members of the Congressional Black Caucus were investigated or indicted: “For the number to be equal to white representatives, 204 of the 409 whites… would have been subjected to the same scrutiny during that time… Yet according to the Justice Department figures, only only 15 (whites) actually were.”

To break this down in terms of magnitude, it wasn’t criminal or political improprieties that attracted the feds to “harass” the black official. Their criteria was 1-The higher the office 2-The most outspoken 3-The greater the influence or power. Manifestation of these earned equal magnitude of harassment. Of course this is simply Frances Cress Welsing’s “Isis Papers” being acted out by members of the FBI and like-agencies. Fear of a black takeover, fear of black decision making, fear of black inferiority, fear of black crime, fear of black success, call it what you will. This fear and desperation actually cost one man his life.

Robert Moussallem tried to bribe some IRS agents, he was reported to the FBI and in returm for a long stint in prison his new job was to get incriminating information on black elected officials in Atlanta and eventually throughout the US. He confirmed to a writer from Emerge magazine that yes there was an unofficial policy the Government aimed toward it’s own elected officials that was race-based and it was known as “Fruhmenschen,” which is German for early or primitive man. It was also known as Operation Bowtye. Moussallem was said to have met with FBI and IRS agents on 10/88 to get then-Birmingham Mayor Richard Arrington and other black officials to accept bribes. To their credit they refused.

These plots were no-doubt sour grapes measures towards black elected officials of formerly high-profile racist cities. Despicable ideas by a select few in government meant to slow or halt the tide of black leadership in southern enclaves highly populated by black voters. After failing numerous times Moussallem confessed to Arrington who he was and what he was up to and soon after he was shot twice in the face shortly before a court appearance in DC. These conservative thinkers knew that just the simple news of a probe will put any official in a bad light, just because they failed in Alabama didn’t prevent them from continuing elsewhere. Memphis was also a target.

It seemed the best backlash against civil rights was scandal, and multiple attempts to bring down black Mayors, congressmen, etc. around the same time was certainly more than coincidence. In ’87 a long-tenured congressman and-like Rangel-eventually the Chairman of a subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee; Harold Ford Sr. was indicted by the DOJ on mail, bank and tax fraud. Ford smelled a Reagan witch hunt and a long drawn-out battle. Years later shorty after the Rodney King riots Ford was miraculously acquitted by a jury specifically made to tank him; 11 whites and 1 black. He resumed his positions in Congress until he retired and Ford Jr. replaced him.

Operation Bowtye still extended-at least unofficially-to the numerous black officials and Cabinet members in the Clinton Administration; Cliff Wharton, Mike Espy, Jocelyn Elders, Hazel O’Leary, Alexis Herman and of course Ron Brown. The common thread to all of these examples is the powerful major press and media eagerness to give these inquests validation. Who can really blame Ford Jr. for backing off and Paterson to drop out of the race? For a black man to serve in a statewide position on the same turf as the New York Times when discontent over Obama has crossed over into white-liberal territory, is asking for trouble.

Chris Stevenson is a syndicated columnist, his articles also appear in the Buffalo Challenger. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, you don’t have to join either. Respond to him on the link below.

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1 Comment on "Open Season on Black Officials is Nothing New?"

  1. Nice article. I wished Harold had run for the NY seat. But, politics will be politics.

    AL Todd

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