In the last month I've, through back channels, sent a suggestion to all of the top-tier 2008 Democratic candidates for president.
The thought occurred to me that, within the DOJ, you'll find a bunch of alphabet agencies tasked with this and that, but mostly the prosecution of brown people. For instance, there's the INS. I've heard that they've prosecuted, detained and/or deported over 250,000 people last year. Needless to say, they were almost all brown.
The DEA is another one. Of the 2 million or so drug prosecutions in 2006, the DEA took the lead in 30,000 of them. I don't have the stat sheet in front of me, and I'm not going to go get it simply because this is such a no-brainer. If you don't think the majority of the prosecutions were of brown people, you're nuts.
(Parenthetical: by far, the largest amount of drugs are sold on college campuses. If law enforcement targeted the white kids buying, selling and using drugs at their schools with the same vigor they've targeted the hip-hop community... well, we might have 25% of white males between the ages of 18 and 25 in prison, on parole or on probation. I'm pretty damned certain the War on Drugs would all of a sudden take on the fresh air of sanity that has been so absent for the last 20 years or so. And let me address the naysayers -- those of you that are saying if college campuses were as violent as hip-hop communities, they would be equally targeted. My answer to you is that as you pour enforcement into the equation, prices go up. As prices (incentives) go up, more people enter the field. As competition heats up in any illegal activity, violence is a by-product. It happened with whites and Prohibition. So the very reason there is a shortage of violence on college campuses is that there is a shortage of enforcement efforts.)
Then there's the IRS. I think they are probably part of the Treasury, but none-the-less, they've decided to focus recovery efforts on those that mistakenly or criminally file for the Earned Income Tax Credit. The maximum credit available is $4,536 -- if you have two kids and are married filing jointly. For, oh, I dunno, your average corrupt corporate executive... well, I'm betting that's not much more than a rounding error. So here, again, who's going to jail? It ain't rich white people...
I'm pondering. And all the while I'm thinking this and thinking that, rich white people are being prosecuted!! First, it was Jack's boys... Scanlon and Co. Then the Dukester... Then poor Bobby Ney... Then The Jack-man himself... And Safavian... and Scooter... And Ken Lay and his boy-wonder... and Bernie Ebbers and the Tyco guy and even the grand ol' pill-popper himself, Rush Limbaugh...
But there were so many others that seemed to be wriggling free. Even these guys, thieves and liars all, seemed to drag justice out forever, and then get not much more than a slap on the wrist when compared to their less fortunate brown brethren...
A light bulb went off. How 'bout this? Let's create another alphabet department withing the DOJ for corporate crooks and bureaucratic bamboozlers. A special division of the DOJ tasked with going after greedy white men that just can't get enough without resorting to ripping the rest of us off? Oh, yeah, there'll be the occasional William Jefferson, just like there's the occasional Irish fellow swept up in INS raids... But for the most part, I'm thinking that cleaning up corporate and political crime will reach rough parity with regards to economic benefits as compared to the INS, Drug War and IRS put together... Many of these corporate and political crimes cost us billions.
So yeah, I'm quite certain that the establishment of this new department would pay for itself in its first year. Beyond that, it'd be a public-relations coup for the Feds. We all hate murderers, gangsters and thieves, but there is nothing like the feeling one gets when a g-man takes down a powerfully corrupt icon of avarice.
So I reached out to all the candidates. I explained that this idea had the added benefit of being a dog-whistle for the base -- essentially what we would hear is that the passing of the Bush administration would not mean the end of criminal liability for Rove, Cheney and Gonzales. I explained that with all of the public corruption and corporate fraud cases playing out across our news-screens, this would be a sure-fire way to get some good press. I explained that for similar reasons, this was safe as vanilla -- there's no way anyone from the dark side could credibly launch an attack. The simple, delicious response would be, "What are you afraid of, Mr. Giuliani?"
But nobody took me up on the offer. Nobody made any effort that I know of to flesh out my advice.
I spoke with Governor Bill Richardson on BlogTalk radio's HeadingLeft. I made the suggestion. His response?
"So I endorse what you say... So I like this idea and within Justice I believe that's something that I would envision, and I'll maybe start talking about."
Listen in below or hear the entire interview over at HeadingLeft.