January 04, 2024

Source: Bigatock

The Claudine Gay affair reminds me that we need a reckoning on how the “intersectionality” project is going.

The idea was that after centuries of being kept down by racism and sexism — although that didn’t seem to hurt accomplished black women like Barbara Jordan, Condi Rice, Jessye Norman, Zora Neale Hurston and on and on — black women would finally be given a fair shot. Think of all that untapped talent!

But so far, intersectionality has mostly placed a lot of black women in high-profile jobs far beyond their abilities. Or as the former Harvard president once said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

“But so far, intersectionality has mostly placed a lot of black women in high-profile jobs far beyond their abilities.”

This will be the first in a series of columns I will issue periodically reflecting on the accomplishments of those at the top of the “intersectionality” heap. We’ll start with two heroic black lady prosecutors.

Marilyn Mosby started the trend of fabulous black women saving America by becoming prosecutors. One of her first cases involved a notorious Baltimore heroin dealer, Freddie Gray, who sustained fatal injuries while being transported in the back of a police van. A mere 10 days later, Mosby charged all six officers involved (three black and three white) with crimes up to murder and manslaughter, after summarily blowing off the police investigation, but without having completed her own investigation first.

For this, Mosby was instantly acclaimed as a national hero! She was photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue, invited onstage at a Prince benefit concert, featured on the “Today” show, named the 2015 Junius W. Williams Young Lawyer of the Year by the National Bar Association, given a Woman of Courage Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus that same year, and chosen as 2016 Newsmaker of the Year, among the nonstop accolades.

She told the public that Gray’s switchblade was legal. (It wasn’t.) She said the career criminal in the van with Gray — who said he heard Gray deliberately banging his head against the partition — was a “police informant.” (He wasn’t.) Then her office argued in court that even if Gray’s knife had been illegal (it was), the police didn’t know about the knife when they detained him. (That’s not the law; the stop was legal.)

As a friend of Mosby’s put it in The New York Times, “These are pretty rudimentary things, which is why it’s bewildering that Mosby’s team chose to make them an issue in the case.”

The first three trials against the officers ended in “not guilty” verdicts and one hung jury, after which Mosby dropped all remaining charges.

Her first year in office, the homicide rate in Baltimore increased by an astonishing 60%.

Rounding out Mosby’s record of accomplishment, this past November, a jury found her guilty of two counts of perjury for lying about her loss of income in order to withdraw money under the CARES Act so she could purchase two vacation homes in Florida. She is currently facing disbarment by the Maryland Supreme Court.

Another groundbreaking intersectional prosecutor was Kim Gardner, who became St. Louis’ first black circuit attorney in January 2018, promising to end the “flawed tough-on-crime rhetoric that has never been successful.” (Actually, it’s always been successful, but why not give soft-on-crime policies a try?)

Gardner proceeded to drop 75% of the felony cases brought to her by the police, while becoming Elliot Ness when pursuing police officers and white homeowners.

In 2011, Officer Jason Stockley shot a convicted drug dealer, firearms offender and thief, Anthony Lamar Smith, following a high-speed car chase, whereupon Smith refused commands to show his hands and “open the f-ing door!” and instead reached for his gun — as proved by the gun found in the car, along with a bag of heroin, the forensic evidence of the angle at which shots entered Smith’s leg, and the fact that, earlier, he’d brandished the gun at the officers chasing him.

As the judge observed, “based on his nearly 30 years on the bench, … an urban heroin dealer not in possession of a firearm would be an anomaly.”

State and federal prosecutors declined to prosecute, but six years later, Gardner was still trying to send Stockley to prison for first-degree murder. He was found not guilty.

The year of Stockley’s trial, St. Louis had the highest crime rate in the country.

Under top law enforcement officer Gardner, in 2020, the city set a new record of having the highest murder rate in the country. Children in St Louis were being killed or injured by guns at 10 times the national rate. In a 12-hour period in May, 17 people were shot.

But Gardner threw herself into prosecuting a white couple, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who did not so much as fire a gun, much less kill anyone, but merely brandished guns from their property at BLM protesters passing by, whom they feared were coming to destroy their home.

As Gardner had explained her “reform” agenda, “we’re looking at how we can use innovative data to direct decisions of who we charge.” Turns out, the “innovative data” involved determining whether the suspects were white.

She charged the McCloskeys with firearms felonies. They eventually pleaded guilty to misdemeanors, paid fines and were pardoned by the governor.

Gardner had a secret “exclusion list” of 28 veteran police officers with unblemished records for their allegedly “racist” posts on Facebook. (One egregious example: calling Gardner “kimmy g.”) Her office refused to accept cases or testimony from those on the exclusion list, resulting in destroyed careers and forfeited murder cases.

In 2019, she falsely accused the police of trying to intimidate her by pulling her car over on Christmas Eve for no reason whatsoever and holding her for 15 minutes. Video evidence established that she was pulled over for driving without her lights on and was detained for only six minutes. Also, it was two days before Christmas.

Within a few years, more lawyers had left Gardner’s office than were on staff when she took over.

In November 2022, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt issued a report in anticipation of removing her from office for not doing her job, detailing Gardner’s “persistent refusal to prosecute.”

On May 16, 2023, she resigned just before being forced out of office.

I think we’re all on board with the idea that one shouldn’t be denied a job because of his race or sex. What we’re learning the hard way is that no one should be given a job for these characteristics, either.


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