Vanita Gupta, the Eric Holder hire charged with investigating racism in Ferguson, Missouri, became a bête noir of the conservative blogosphere this week for blaming all criminality and anti-social behavior on slavery.
As a Democratic Party minion, this is much more convenient for her than blaming the problems of black America on the dependency created by the welfare state, the unemployment created by the regulatory state, or by the erosion of human capital created by Ms. Gupta’s party’s ongoing tribute to its slavery-loving past, the kidnapping of poor black and brown children to be sold to the educrat cartels in exchange for donations to Democratic Party campaigns.
Conservatives worry that the move to have the Justice Department manage police forces in Ferguson, Baltimore, and other localities is an attempt to create a federal police force (which will more easily, as President Obama has done for 6 years now, ignore the Bill of Rights, than could local officials) on the pre-text that local governments are more likely to violate the rights of minorities, especially African Americans, than is the federal government. This echoes the “progressive” narrative that only a strong federal government liberated slaves from reactionary states. While even this historical claim overlooks the fact that the federal government violently suppressed slave rebellions and executed radical abolitionists like John Brown, who attempted to arm slaves and lead revolts of slaves and abolitionists, this narrative becomes even more absurd when we reflect on the facts that Ferguson, Baltimore, and the other riot torn communities are ruled by Democratic governors, mayors, city councils, and police chiefs, who are more often than not African American, and that the African Americans who are the victims of brutal police tactics (when that is in fact the situation, and not mere Sharpton hucksterism), are subjects of a regime of mandatory sentencing in the courts and “militarized” police equipped with surplus DoD weaponry under programs started by Democrat Bill Clinton and continued by Democrat Barack Obama.
Ms. Gupta may actually have more sympathy for African Americans than her former boss, Eric Holder. He actually worked for the DC based law firm back in 2004 that spun the story for the city government when it was discovered that DC had been supplying its (mainly black) children and pregnant women with high lead content water (along with poisoning the rest of the city). In contrast Gupta around the same time was defending poor black people in Texas against the drug war.
But how much Gupta will achieve in “working across the aisle” on criminal justice reform with libertarian leaning Congresspeople remains to be seen. Her biographies seem to make her the walking stereotype of the West Side socialist gal played by Carol Kane in a Woody Allen movie. She may not write her own bios but they are heavy on how she was a women’s studies major in college and how “racists” (or perhaps just unemployed and disenfranchised) lower class British whites threw french fries at her and called her a Paki as a child.
But perhaps the most interesting thing about Gupta, is that like almost every single “progressive” in the news (including those who work in the media), who almost all live in Chevy Chase (Chris Matthews) or Bethesda (Cokie Roberts) in suburban Maryland, or in DC neighborhoods like Kent or Berkeley (Andrea Mitchell, Jay Carney) that are so wealthy most long term DC residents have never heard of them, Gupta has demonstrated preferences in her residential real estate choices. She didn’t buy a house in up-and-coming LeDroit Park, Bloomingdale, Trinidad, or Anacostia, and send her child to a charter school with an African American majority or large minority. She bought a $1.4 million home on Clarendon’s Highland Street in zip code 22201, in suburban Virginia, where her neighbors include Chuck Todd (in the minimally more diverse zipcode adjacent, 22203), and, as virtually her only black neighbors, MSNBC regular/Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson’s family. (Eric Holder, meanwhile, is aiming for some “Clinton cash,” and has now decamped the official Obama regime for a $77 million JP Morgan Chase job and purchased a $1.4 million condo in a new luxury building in Washington, D.C.’s ritzy Penn Quarter, while still owning his long-term home in DC’s lily white upper northwest Spring Valley.)