Loose Lips

Native Fed

Let no one accuse the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. of slacking. In the last seven months, the feds have turned District politics into one of the most entertaining real-life soap operas around.

There’s Harry Thomas Jr., who resigned in disgrace and pleaded guilty to stealing more than $350,000 to buy an Audi and a motorcycle. Former D.C. Council Chairman Kwame “Fully Loaded” Brown resigned as part of a guilty plea for lying on a bank loan so he could buy a boat. And then there’s the main plotline: the investigation of Mayor Vince Gray. So far, two top aides have pleaded guilty to paying off nuisance candidate Sulaimon Brown. Last week saw another admit to playing a key role in an off-the-books shadow campaign that helped Gray and was funded by one of the city’s biggest contractors. You can’t make this stuff up!

Helping to direct this drama is Vinnie Cohen Jr., a gravel-voiced former Division I basketball walk-on who has quietly become one of the most powerful people in District politics. And as fate would have it, Cohen also happens to be a well-connected native Washingtonian—the cub of a lion in the city’s legal community, a guy who has lived in all four quadrants, and an alumnus of Marion Barry’s summer jobs program.

The No. 2 at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Cohen serves as the point man on local corruption cases for his boss and close personal friend, U.S. Attorney Ron Machen. Cohen wouldn’t say what his exact role is, but people familiar with the probes say he’s very involved, sitting in on plea negotiations and witness interviews.

That a D.C. native has such a key role in local prosecutions is probably a good thing.

“It helps everyone,” says Cohen’s former supervisor in the U.S. Attorneys’ Office, Bob Spagnoletti (who also represented Gray in a dispute over his fence and was recently appointed to head the city’s new ethics board). “It helps the council, it helps the citizens, it helps the Congress have faith” that the U.S. Attorney’s office is aware of the broader implications of bringing down local elected officials.

But rumblings about black politicians being unfairly targeted are growing louder. On Wednesday, a group of ministers held a rally at the Wilson Building to support Gray. Speakers didn’t accuse the feds of blatant racism like some did 20 years ago when Barry was in trouble. But the Rev. Willie Wilson said Gray’s campaign had received unfair scrutiny and that the U.S. Attorney’s Office was creating a “media frenzy” with a stream of leaks.

For Cohen, any suggestion of racial bias doesn’t compute.“You got me, a native Washington African-American male. My boss: African-American male. His boss: an African-American male. His boss’ boss, an African-American male,” Cohen says, referring to Machen, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., and President Barack Obama. “We prosecute conduct. We don’t prosecute color.”

Friends and associates describe Cohen as a detail-oriented, aggressive attorney who sets a high bar for employees. A recent Washington Post article quoted unnamed federal prosecutors complaining about overbearing bosses, but Cohen says you can see the results of his and Machen’s hands-on approach in the recent guilty pleas.

“These politicians are not afraid of, you know, conflict,” he says. “For them to plead guilty early on, it really demonstrates how much investigative time and effort and tools were used to bring them to a place where they really had no option.”

Warren Williams, a developer the D.C. Council blocked several years ago from winning the lucrative lottery contract, says Cohen was just as aggressive as a youngster on the basketball court when they used to play together. “He was tenacious.” (As it happens, the FBI has started interviewing people about that contentious lotto contracting imbroglio.)

Cohen, 41, likely inherited that aggressiveness from his father, a former standout basketball player at Syracuse University (where he roomed with football great Jim Brown) who went on to become one of the most prominent African-American attorneys in D.C. and a mentor to several of this town’s most prominent black lawyers. One of those attorneys was Fred Cooke Jr., who has represented four of the five people to plead guilty in high-profile D.C. corruption cases this year.

Known as an aggressive trial lawyer, Cohen Sr. told the legal publication Diversity & the Bar that “litigation is win-lose, and I like to win.”

Cohen Sr., who died last year, also dabbled in politics. He was an ANC commissioner and helped run Clifford Alexander’s unsuccessful bid for mayor in 1974. He also used to throw a pool party/networking event for young black D.C. attorneys every summer, says Cooke. A regular at those parties: Vinnie Cohen Jr., known locally as “Vo.”

Cohen grew up in Shepherd Park and sounds slightly embarrassed about his privileged upbringing. “My parents tricked me and had me take a test, and I scored very, very well, and they ended up throwing me into Sidwell Friends,” Cohen says, referring to the tony private school where presidents send their kids. As a youngster, Cohen and Councilmember Michael Brown used to ride bikes, play sports, and skip rocks in Rock Creek. (Cohen lives off 16th Street NW now.)

Cohen followed his father to Syracuse, where he was a walk-on basketball player. (An article from the Syracuse Post-Standard says he didn’t take his first shot during a game until his junior year. It was a three-pointer, which he drained. “They tell us in practice that if we’re open, we should put it up,” a matter-of-fact Cohen told the paper. “I was wide open, so I put it up.”)

After getting undergraduate and law degrees from Syracuse, Cohen clerked for a D.C. Superior Court judge before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1997. Cohen was interviewed for what he called his “dream job” by the U.S. Attorney at the time, Holder. Cohen says his desire to be a prosecutor stemmed from seeing his beloved hometown ravaged by crack and gang turf wars.

“I knew I had to do something when I came back to D.C. to help D.C. get back to the way it was when I was much, much younger,” he says.

He left the office for the much more lucrative world of private practice after six years,  working at Schertler & Onorato (where Spagnoletti now works). But Cohen says the same motivation drew him back. He wants his legacy to be that he made “D.C. a safer better place for my kids, like the soldiers before me—my dad and the folks like him.”

There’s talk that Cohen might have a much more visible legacy: His name’s been mentioned as a possible mayoral contender in a future race. Cohen’s local ties and current position might make him a natural fit in a town reeling from scandal and desperate for a law and order candidate. But if Cohen’s got political aspirations, he’s not shared them with his friends.

For his part, all Cohen says is that he’s focused only on the job at hand. Considering the work load, that’s probably a good thing.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Drez

    Not exactly the bio of a colonial oppressor.

  • BlackWorkingClass

    @Drez: No, he is a Neo-Colonial oppressor and an uncle tom I might add! I don't know any dc natives that go to Sidwell Friends on my side of town.

  • Here We Go Again

    Awww well isn't this a cute ass article! A childhood friend of Michael Brown who benefited from a Marion Barry summer job....

  • tony

    You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.
    -Malcolm X

  • Drez

    Tony- Get over it, man your bias owns you. Machen could indict a ham sandwich and you wouldn't say boo unless it was on pumpernickel.

  • tony

    “The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty, and reputation than any other person in America. His discretion is tremendous. . . . While the prosecutor at his best is one of the most beneficent forces in our society, when he acts from malice or other base motives, he is one of the worst. . . . If the prosecutor is obliged to choose his cases, it follows that he can choose his defendants. Therein is the most dangerous power of the prosecutor: that he will pick people that he thinks he should get, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted.”

    — Attorney General Robert Jackson, 1940

  • tony

    @Drez, you are the bigot!

    You and a few other white commenters have used this very blog to condemn black pols in this city for years. You have called them some of the most racist names and then laugh at it.

    As soon as someone say something that offends you, then there's a big problem.

    In reference to Ron Machen, he is my frat- brother who I have the highest degree of respect for. But I, as a self-respecting black man, will ALWAYS advocate for equal treatment for all black folks, period.

  • Drez

    Whatever, Tony.
    Anyone reading this blog for a minute knows that you - not me- is the one who goes on and on about race.
    It's all you ever talk about.

  • Drez

    The underlying meme that successful black people are not really black is tragic.
    Especially when some of these same folks commenting here were on this same site defending parasites like HJT and Kwame.
    Pathetic.

  • Truth hurts

    Link to one post where drez has ever called a black pol a racist name. You won't find it because that accusation is pure horse shit.

  • capitol hill

    Where is Fenty when we need him?

  • gitchafaxstr8

    Th: Are you gaggin' on Drez' ****?
    If so, bet that truth hurts.

    ch: Fenty is somewhere on his knees again. But this time he's not mimicking Truth hurts, he praying Willie Wilson doesn't have a direction connection to making his wishes come true.

    Well congratulations to Mr. Cohen. Wish I could have used some DC political connections to trick my kids into going to Sidwell Friends. Hope he didn't forget from whence he comes. No one is asking him to avoid investigating any given suspect. We just want him to look into investigating ALL the euspects equally. Like Fenty, Nickles, Evans, Catania, and Graham (though I really like that guy). Maybe Cohen should run for Mayor one of these days. If he won it would at least look like DC still has a Mayor of color.

    Would you neo-colonists like that????

  • Stop It 5

    The only time I see blacks on the campus of Sidwell Friends is if there was a GoGo there for the kids or if a prestigious or affluent family wanted their children to attend.

    Machen.....your childhood friend is Michael Brown... what friend are you if you allow him to not pay taxes? Why not throw his ass in jail and then we will believe this story Suderman wrote. He tried to make you look as pretty as he could with the article but we arent letting you are your Butt Buddy Michael Brown off the hook!

    Tell your buddy to cough up the money!!

  • Honest Abe

    I fully support the actions of U.S. Attorney Machen and his assistants. I live in Ward 5 and knew from day one that there was just something not right about HTJ. It is sad that black politicians have disgraced themselves and embarrassed the constituents that supported them. I do not feel sorry for them as they're supposed to lead by example. tony and others argue about David Cantania, Jack Evans, and Jim Graham also being corrupt. That may very well prove to be true and hopefully the truth will surface as it relates to those three. White politicians have in fact gotten away with a lot of undercover corruption. They just know how to play the game. The same way Fenty and his goons Skinner, Karim, and Moten did.

  • I Support Crooks

    What's the difference between a shadow campaign and people forming a PAC? Both seem shady.

  • Mark Schamel

    Dirty does not have a color. Crime is not a racial issue. It is clear that disparate treatment and over zealous prosecution can be motivated by animus (racial, religious, gender based or sexual orientation) but the reality is just the opposite here. DC is a historically black majority city which has seen an understandable trend of election civic leaders who are black. Other cities have different ethnic groups in the majority and elect their leaders from those same pools (Irish in Chicago, Asian in Hawaii, etc). As a result, when DC has corruption it has historically also been black elected officials. The fact that those who are cheating, lying and corrupt happen to be black is a result of that phenomenon.
    Please don't make this about race. It is about crime. Crime is being rooted out and we should all be glad that they are cleaning up our city.

  • Mark Schamel

    I will also add that I know Vo Cohen very well. We were law partners and we are friends. I consider him a close friend. I know him as an honorable and good man. He is a great father, husband and son. He has worked as hard a anyone I know and his success comes as much from his work ethic and fire as from privilege. He may have gone to Sidwell, but if you know anything about him or his father, you know the role they have played in advancing and improving America for people of color. Vinnie Sr. was a trailblazer till the day he died. He was a champion of black causes and a mentor to young black professionals in this city that was unrivaled. There is not a thread in Vo's body that is not proud and protective of his heritage and to use the hateful "Tom" on him is indefensible. I challenge any man to do more good, work harder and exert more energy to improve this city than Vo is doing. Attack Vo and expose yourself.

  • Wrack

    @ I Support Crooks: A PAC is legal. A shadow campaign is not. Your question is like asking "what's the difference between drowning someone and standing idly by while someone drowns?" One is homicide, the other isn't.

  • Frank Lee Mahdear

    Whether we expect ethical behavior from our leaders shouldn't depend on the color of their skin. We should expect all of them to be ethical. Period, the end. Anyone who tries to tell you different is wrong.

  • noodlez

    FOLKS Y’ALL ARE MISSING THE FOREST FROM THE TREES (HOWEVA THAT BULLSHIT GOES).

    FIRST LEMME GIVE VINNIE COHEN JR. PROPS FOR MAKING IT. ALBEIT HIS DAD PUT HIM IN A POSTION TO SUCCEED BY PLOWING THE ROAD FOR HIM. BE THAT AS IT MAY I’M ALWAYS JOYFUL WHEN BROTHA’S FULFILL THEIR DREAMS. I’M ESPECIALLY PROUD WHEN THEY COME BACK TO THEIR OLD STOMPIN’ GROUNDS AND DO SOME GOOD. THIS ISN’T THE CASE HERE.

    I’M BIT HESITANT TO GIVE BLACK PROSECUTORS ANY LOVE BECAUSE JUSTICE ISN’T BLIND. TAKE AWAY “BLACK” AND THEY ARE PROXIES FOR THE MACHINE AND WILL CONTINUE ON THE COURSE SCREAMING “FULL STEAM AHEAD”. THE DRIVE FOR WINS INSTEAD OF TRUE JUSTICE WILL NEVER SEPARATE OUT PROSECUTORS FROM ATTORNEY’S FOR THE STATE.

    LET’S BE CLEAR, IT IS NO SECRET THAT BLACK FOLK ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY CONVICTED AND JAILED IN THE U.S. FAR MORE THAN ANY OTHER ETHNIC GROUP. WE NEED TO LOOK NO FURTHER THAN OUR OWN D.C. COUNCIL. YOU HAVE THREE SITTING MEMBERS ON THE COUNCIL (GAYTANIA, WELLS & EVANS) WHO ARE WHITE, WHO ALL HAVE VERY QUESTIONABLE SITUATIONS THAT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED OR AT THE VERY LEAST LOOKED INTO. INSTEAD EVERY BLACK COUNCILPERSON CONTINUES TO HAVE BACKGROUND CHECKS, CONTINUES TO BE VETTED AND/OR SCRUTINIZED TO THE N’TH DEGREE (WE ALL KNOW WHAT THE N'TH STANDS FOR).

    THIS IS WHERE YOU GUYS FALL IN THE SEWERMANHOLE! WITHIN ALL THE FLUFF ABOUT “MY COUSIN VINNY” COHEN, SEWERMAN IS MERELY POINTING OUT THAT IT IS BLACK FOLK (HOLDER, MACHEN & COHEN) DOING BLACK FOLK (ERBODY INVOLVED AND CONVICTED IN 2012) IN. WE ALL WOULD AGREE THAT SEWERMAN’S LL COLUMN IS THE STANDARD BEARER FOR ALL THOSE LIL’ TWITTY’S “GO TO” READ. I CAN’T FAULT HIM FOR WHAT HE BELIEVES IN BUT I CAN POINT OUT THE UNBALANCE IN HIS INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING.

    HE CONTINUES TO DOUBLE DOWN ON WRITE UPS ABOUT BLACK POLS’ AND THEIR MISTAKES. HE FOLDS WHEN IT COMES TO WRITE UPS ON THE WHITE POLS’ AND POINTING OUT HOW THEY ARE ROBBING THE CITY BLIND RIGHT IN OUR GRILL! ONE OF MY CLOSEST FRIENDS WHO IS WHITE FROM MOCO AND POINTS OUT THAT YEAH SOME OF THE SHIT FROM OUR BELOVED BLACK COUNCILFOLK IS SELF INFLICTED BUT YOU CAN’T TELL HIM THAT WHITE FOLK WHO HAVE SAT ON THE COUNCIL FOR SEVERAL TERMS ARE CLEAN AND HAVE STEERED CLEAR OF IMPROPRIETIES.

    HE POINTED OUT TO ME THE OTHER DAY THAT EVEN THOUGH GAYANIA MAY NOT BE BREAKING ANY LAWS(LIKE ROMNEY AND HIS TAXES FIASCO) WITH THE WHOLE MC DEAN ISSUE IT IS JUST NOT RIGHT AND TOTALLY UNFAIR. HE ALSO POINTS OUT THAT GAYTANIA IS ALWAYS SCREAMING ABOUT WHAT EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING AND IT IS A CLEAR INDICATION THAT HE WANTS TO DIVERT ATTENTION AWAY FROM HIMSELF.

    COURTLAND MILLOY CONTINUES TO MAKE VALID POINTS AS IT PERTAINS TO FOLK NEW TO THE GAME SEEKING THEIR VERSION OF BARACK OBAMA IN W.D.C. POLITICS. HOWEVER ALL MILLOY GETS ARE DISPARAGING REMARKS FROM WHITE FOLK WHO READ HIS COLUMN IN DISDAIN. THEN YOU GET THOSE SAME FOLK WHO WADE IN SEWERMAN’S SLUDGE AS IF IT IS WHITE SAND OFF SOME CARIBBEAN COAST AND TREAT IT AS GOSPEL. Y’ALL WHITE FOLKS BETTER WAKE UP FROM YOUR DREAM CREATED BY SEWERMAN’S COLUMN, LIKE EATING BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP, OF WHITE FOLK RUNNING D.C. BECAUSE IT WILL NEVER BE A REALITY. NO MATTER HOW MANY OF US YOU LOCK-UP!!!

    KEEPIN ITREAL HAS A POINT. CHECK THE STATS!

    @DREZ-IT WILL ALWAYS BE ABOUT RACE AND UNTIL YOU DRESS-UP LIKE C.THOMAS HOWELL IN “SOUL-MAN” AND EXPERIENCE SOME REAL FUCKED UP SHIT THEN YOU WILL NEVER KNOW HOMEY.
    SO STAND DOWN!

    @CAPHILL-HE CAN’T BE EVERYWHERE FULFILLING ALL YOUR NASTY ASS DESIRES.

    ONE CITY.

  • betterdayfordc

    Keep on plugging Mr. Cohen. This corrupt administration has got to go before DC can move forward.

  • DC Guy

    Not to detract, but the demographics posted on the Sidwell website indicate a much more diverse school than is portrayed in the comments here.

  • Really?

    Well said my brother Noodlez well said.

  • betterdayfordc

    STOP WITH THAT ONE CITY NONSENSE. GRAY PLAYED YOU FOOLEZ. NOW YOU JUST SOUND STOOPIT

  • Here We Go Again

    lol y'all are stupid, its funny that the critics get a 2nd wind by giving props to Cohen. Aint nothing more than the machine sending one of your own to take you out so the "race" card isn't pulled.

    I still think Cohen is a hypocrite because if your friend is Michael Brown why aren't you telling him "look dude you need to pay your taxes before it gets ugly"

  • KeepInItReal

    If he has been "intimately" involved in this investigation to the point of sitting in on witness depositions et. al. and there has yet to be even the suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of Gray is quite telling.

  • DCBlackVoice

    The truth about the rid of all political corruption in DC shall unfold, once Gray steps down (who do not have competence w/ DC agency heads... as they mostly consist of Fenty's personnel who acquired tenure before his departure and have earned higher positions from Gray), followed by Graham and next Catania.

    Then, no one can say that the US Attorney Office was unethnical nor unfair.

  • http://watchoutmomshome.wordpress.com watchoutmomshome

    When Longinus led the Liberators to assassinate Julius Ceasar in the Theater of Pompeii, he was successful because he convinced his co-conspirators that Ceasar planned to overthrow the Senate. The 44 stab wounds represent people Ceasar trusted who betrayed him. Some of them believed Longinus assertions. Some of them knew that Ceasar had no such plan, but they saw an opportunity to capitalize on the plot. This event, recorded by Shakespeare for posterity, is our behavioral model for politically motivated behavior. Ceasar was at the height of his popularity...the Roman Empire was at a point of prosperity and expansion, and Julius helped create that for them....then they killed him. Over some bs.

    This politically motivated act has its parallel in today's crisis. A man who has served with distinction for decades, who has helped shape the direction of our community, who has worked to help create the climate in which our current renaissance can unfold...made the mistake of beating his well-funded, well organized opponent. Somehow the race between them crystallized the disparities between rich and poor, and black and white in a way that gave the appearance that there were fundamental differences in their approach to governance. There aren't, nor are there appreciable differences in levels of competence, intelligence or knowledge of the operational mechanisms of the government. All that garbage about Vince Gray being a new Marion Barry. We understand that code very well thank you...

    So, the upshot of this is that the bitterness, the need for revenge, the need to somehow vindicate this loss is resulting in large scale political upheaval and removal of elected leaders under the guise of 'clearing out corruption.' Help me with my world history Matt. Didn't Robespierre the lawyer whip the French proletariat into the frenzy that sent King Louis the XVI to the Guillotine? Any lawyer worth his salt can take ANY set of facts and twist them and squeeze them and torture them and spin them to create the appearance of impropriety. I have no idea whether that is the case here. Ron Machen is no doubt among the finest attorneys I've ever seen, and I am in no way accusing his office of anything untoward, or unethical. But, the DOJ is all about regime change right now, and that's not their job. With 1.6 Billion in the bank, they can't justify re-implementation of the Financial Control Board, so they have to rule by leaks and innuendo. We deserve so much better. The truth is, there is a takeover occurring here, and it makes me so sad. Our history of accomplishments, our mini-civilization, complete with our own millionaires, and accomplished children...is coming to an end and I can't believe I lived to see it begin and end.

    Julianne M. Robertson King Esq.

  • DCPolitics

    Vo & Mike never hung out together; Mike is 7+ years older than us which is a lifetime when you're that young. BlackWorkingClass obviously doesnt know Vo if he's calling him an Uncle Tom (nothing could be further from the truth); and as a Native I know plenty of guys that went to Sidwell & St. Albans. It didnt necessarily influence who they became.

  • Ward 4 Voter

    I met this young man 2 or 3 years ago at a meeting on crime in Petworth. He seem to be a nice intelligent guy. He's a member of Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity and so is his boss Ron Machen. It's good to read something positive about a black man period. Calling him an Uncle Tom because he attended Sidwell Friends is an ignorant statement. Black people need to stop hating on other blacks who happened to attended a good school and done something positive with their lives. I graduated from Mackin Catholic High School in 1973. Does this make me an Uncle Tom? I attended both Howard and Georgetown Universities. Before I met Mr. Cohen, I assumed, he was a white Jewish man. Cohen is mostly a Jewish name. Mr. Cohen Sr., who was raised Catholic, often had to explain how he acquired his last name, which is typically associated with people of Jewish origin. According to family lore, the name derived from a group of black Jews who had settled in Jamaica.

    I had heard of Mr. Vincent Cohen Sr., however, I didn't know his son. I receieved and Award 2 years ago. Vincent Cohen Jr., Ron Machen, Judge Robert Rigsby, and NBC 4 Jim Vance were in attendance. As a black man, I was thrilled to see other college educated black man. Judge Robert Rigsby presented my Award to me.

    Let's stop the hating black people and show this young man some love. Please read the obituary on Vincent Cohen Sr. below. As a black man, I am proud of both father and son.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/vincent-h-cohen-prominent-dc-lawyer-dies-at-75/2011/12/31/gIQA3up2SP_story.html

    Native Washingtonian

  • mizwillis

    Take heart, Mrs. Moms Home: I have a feeling this entire thing will come back to bite the people who are trying to destroy our beautiful city. There are many more people like you out there who know of what you speak and are intelligent enough to ask for help when you are in doubt about what you say.

    You are correct when you point out all of the positive work Mayor Gray has done for society. He may be a bit naive and/or overzealous in his thinking that those good works and the dedication and tedium given to all of his jobs would make a difference to the haters he is now encountering.

    (Probably for the first time in his life, he considers what he went through at GWU trying to join a fraternity child's play). I also have a feeling he is up to the task and strong enough to withstand whatever comes down the pike/pipe. His good works CANNOT be erased by the media or his 'et tu Brute' political peers in DC.

    VINCE GRAY FOR MAYOR THROUGH 2018 and SENIOR STATEMANSHIP thereafter. This family loves you Mr. Gray, and we will do all we can to help you continue your mission.

  • Traci

    Much love to Vo for being a strong postive ethical decent human being and excellent brother and friend. Brush off the haters. Haters need to hate in order to survive but will never thrive. I love you.

  • mizwillis

    @Traci #33: I hope your impression of your brother/friend is correct. WE need more strong positive ethical decent human beings like Vo the other Vince your brother may or may not have a hand in destroying because of haters. Beg to differ with you on your philosophy about haters. Hating has been a thriving concept since the beginning of time.

  • tony

    Black folks must be careful to not allow the "hidden hand" to divide us. Clearly, Mayor Gray is a good man who will survive this attack with the help of the good black folks in this city.

    We should not under estimate the evil intentions of the real culprits. Yes, there are black folks who have legitimate concerns about the Mayor and those concerns should be taken seriously and addressed. Yes, there are strong supporters of the Mayor, like myself, who believes that Mayor Gray is a good man and a highly effective Mayor who should be allowed to do his job without the need to look over his shoulders. And, yes, I know that there are even some white folks who support the mayor and they should be applauded.

    But, there's an element out there called the white establishment whose intentions are pure evil and racist.
    I submit that they are working day and night to dismantle black leadership in this city for the benefit of white folks. I also submit that they are attempting to divide black folks with the hopes that we will turn on each others so that their plan can be realized. I would like to think that we are too smart of a people to fall for this silliness.

    Remember, a lot is a stake. The jobs of thousands of black government workers are stake. The careers of black professionals who depend on government connections are a stake. The hundreds of millions of dollars in city contracts that blacks have are a stake. The way of “black life” in our Nation’s Capital is at stake. The future of generations of black folks to come is a stake.

    Do we really want our children and grand children to grow up in a city governed by whites?

  • tony

    WILLIE LYNCH

    ... Don't forget you must pitch the OLD black Male vs. the YOUNG black Male, and the YOUNG black Male against the OLD black male. You must use the DARK skin slaves vs. the LIGHT skin slaves, and the LIGHT skin slaves vs. the DARK skin slaves. You must use the FEMALE vs. the MALE. And the MALE vs. the FEMALE. You must also have you white servants and over- seers distrust all Blacks. But it is NECESSARY THAT YOUR SLAVES TRUST AND DEPEND ON US. THEY MUST LOVE, RESPECT AND TRUST ONLY US. Gentlemen, these kits are your keys to control. Use them. Have your wives and children use them, never miss an opportunity. IF USED INTENSELY FOR ONE YEAR, THE SLAVES THEMSELVES WILL REMAIN PERPETUALLY DISTRUSTFUL. Thank you gentlemen."

  • CityRez

    For the past several years Sidwell Friends gave full scholarships to two African-Americans young people on my block in Petworth. That's $48,000 work of education for the two of them per year over several years. Does that mean they'll have to listen to crap about being "neo-colonial" for the rest of their lives?

    I hold their parents in high regard for still being actively involved in all of their five children's educations. What's with the self-hatred of African Americans who can't stand to see black people succeed?

  • CityRez

    Pardon the errors in that post...

    My annoyance at the self-oppression we witness in this city prevented me from re-reading and editing before I hit the "Submit Comment" button.

  • Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr,

    Mark Shamel my friend, I agree with you. However, why haven't the Attorney Generals Office investigated Councilman Jim Graham's alleged steering of city contracts and Councilman David Catania allegedly voting on city council legislation that involves his employer outside of the City Council job he holds? I do believe that the Washington Post and minor media like the Washington City Paper marginalizes and demeans Black interests and Black activists and politicians in this city while many, not all white's, get's a pass.

    Tony, is only speaking on the historical racial divide of Blacks - the divide and conquer techniques of Willie Lynch a white man taught white America.

    Historically, Black men that spoke out against the white interests and the power structure in America were penalized via hanging, beatings, shootings, black balled from jobs and totally ostracized from society - they were called trouble makers, uppity and undesirables. If the Black man smiled wider, hung his head, sang a song, danced or stuttered he was good Negro or good boy. Only when that Black man exercised his God given rights to be a man and act like man, all trouble broke loose in white America.

    There are not many white men or woman like you Mark - that doe's not judge a Black man or woman by their skin color, education, social status or religion. Black men and woman has been catching hell in America since the landing of Plymouth Rock.

...