Ruben Diaz Sr. Plays The Race Card
May 7, 2013
State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. couldn’t help but notice that all of the officials embroiled in a recent spate of corruption arrests — Malcolm Smith, Eric Stevenson and yesterday, John Sampson — are non-white.
Coincidence? Perhaps not.
Diaz, a known agitator, suggested in this morning’s edition of his semi-regular epistles — titled “What You Should Know” — that there is much deeper corruption, despite a focus on legislators of color.
“I would hate to think that as Black and Hispanic leaders who are elected to represent our communities, that we would be targeted to weed out corruption only in our backyards, and that we would be held to a higher standard than the non-Black and Hispanic leaders,” Diaz writes. “I do wonder if there are any elected officials who are not Black or Hispanic who are wearing wires to record conversations that are not in the public’s interest. I would hate to think that through these accusations, arrests and indictments, that there is an effort underway to disenfranchise New York’s Black and Hispanic voters.”
Diaz is not the only person who thinks this. Sen. James Sanders, D-Queens, is sponsoring a forum on Friday titled, “Attack on Black Leaders: Corruption or Conspiracy?”
Diaz’s missive is below. I can’t help but note, though, that the top federal prosecutors bringing these cases — Preet Bharara and Loretta Lynch — are not white, nor is Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson, who first set up Assemblyman Nelson Castro with a wire.
“What happened before will happen again. What has been done before will be done again. There is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) You should know that those are the words of King Solomon, who according to the Bible, was far wiser than anyone who ruled Jerusalem before him.
There has been a lot of news about elected officials being accused, indicted, and jailed because of their devious hearts and corrupt acts. Everywhere you go, you find new stories in newspapers, you see them on television, and hear people talking about the “culture of corruption” and acting surprised because so many elected officials are mentioned as corrupt or under investigation.
People are actually giving the impression that these things never happened before, and that we are in desperate need of stronger legislation to deal with corrupt politicians. Suddenly, words such as “transparency,” “reform,” and “cleanliness” are the most important topics of conversation because according to some, with so many cases of corruption exposed, the world as we know it, is about to end.
I have even heard some people saying: “I have never seen something like this in my life!” My questions to those people are: “Where have you been? On what planet have you been living, and, what kind of history books have you been reading?”
You should know that incidents of fraud, conniving behaviors, and corrupt minds – as well as sleazy and sneaky politicians – have been there since the beginning of time. Here in America, if you go back in history you will see how families and dynasties made their money and became rich through politics. Our nation’s history is full of stories about how politicians have sold their power openly, publicly, corruptly, and often, without impunity.
We have all heard about the Kennedy Clan, and we have all read about how they made their money openly through whiskey trade and rum running during the Roaring Twenties prohibition period. We all know about the wheeling and dealing they did with unions. We all know how they gained power, and we also know how their power has been sold in this nation.
We also know that one of the greatest examples of political ruthlessness and greed in U.S. history was Boss Tweed, America’s symbol of inner-city corruption. William “Boss” Tweed was a New York City politician – and a Member of the New York State Senate – who headed what was known as Tammany Hall. We know that the political fat-cat stole millions of dollars from the city and extorted money to control politics in New York.
We have to remember the corruption cycle during Mayor Ed Koch’s Administration , Queens Borough President Donald Manes, Bronx Borough President Stanley Simon, Bronx Democratic County Leader Stanley Friedman, Congressman Mario Biaggi, among others.
While there have been many efforts throughout history to control political corruption in the United States, we might not like to admit that it still exists on the local level almost everywhere. Out of the last seven governors in Illinois, four have ended up going to prison.
The only thing we do know that is new in these times in New York State, is the Black and Hispanic politicians are the ones being wired and sent out to root out corruption among Black and Hispanic officials. I would hate to think that as Black and Hispanic leaders who are elected to represent our communities, that we would be targeted to weed out corruption only in our backyards, and that we would be held to a higher standard than the non-Black and Hispanic leaders.
I do wonder if there are any elected officials who are not Black or Hispanic who are wearing wires to record conversations that are not in the public’s interest. I would hate to think that through these accusations, arrests and indictments, that there is an effort underway to disenfranchise New York’s Black and Hispanic voters.