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Chuck Turner a disgrace to African-American past

Chuck Turner a disgrace to African-American past
By Joe Fitzgerald  |   Wednesday, December 1, 2010  |  http://www.bostonherald.com  |  Columnists

Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner maintains his innocence and speaks about his conviction at City Hall.
Photo by Angela Rowlings

Two days after a jury of his peers convicted him of taking a bribe, having seen irrefutable evidence of his crookedness on film, Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner stood before a small band of adamant admirers, railing against the injustices white America had perpetrated on black Americans in the past.

“African-Americans were brought to this country as slaves,” he recalled. “We were whipped and lashed and hung . . . ”

“We?” No one whipped, lashed or hung this fraud; someone simply captured proof of his corruption, then someone else read him his rights.

To suggest that now places him in the ranks of martyrs is not only ludicrous, but scurrilously disrespectful of those whose persecution was truly ruthless.

Turner cheapens their shed blood when he uses it to wash his own dirty hands, as if that charade confirms him as a champion of civil rights.

Councilor, we know you have no conscience, but have you no shame either?

The game he’s been playing is offensive and obvious.

It’s the same one success-fully played by the late Johnnie Cochran in his notorious closing statement to the O.J. Simpson jury, when he referred to Hitler, then talked of black folks being burned alive by rednecks.

“Maybe this is why you were selected,” Cochran suggested to that jury of nine blacks, two whites and one Hispanic.

“There’s something in your background, in your character, that helps you understand . . . ”

Prosecutor Christopher Darden, also black, couldn’t wait to respond, bristling as he advised that panel, “What he’s really asking is, ‘Are you with The Man, or are you with the brothers?’ ”

That’s what Turner has been asking residents of Roxbury since the day a jury found him guilty. It’s an insulting question.

Despite his racist groveling, he has never been seen here as a black crook; he’s seen as a crook who’s black, a crook who offers no repentance, no regrets, no remorse, no apologies.

The Man is out to get him, don’t you know?


Today the City Council will vote on whether he should be removed from office or allowed to continue masquerading as a public servant.

If common sense, to say nothing of common decency, prevails, he will be expelled because he pollutes the place with his presence.

Then a judge will decide next month if incarceration is called for, too.

In real black history, Malcolm X turned his life around in jail, remember?

So maybe there’s hope for Chuck Turner yet.

Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1300014

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