Black History Month: Ed McIntyre – Mayor Extortionaire!
February 5, 2012 Leave a comment
In today’s history of Black History Month, we will discuss yet another African American mayor who, like so many African Americans, got into a position of power and once there, looked around and found “It’s good to be King!”. Like another African American mayor, Marion Barry, he used his new-found power to hire his cronies and rule over his previous owners as though they were his personal slaves.
In 1981, Edward M. McIntyre , riding on the backs of mostly black voters, was elected to be the first African American mayor of the Deep Southern city of Augusta, Georgia. He had previously served as a county commissioner for Richmond County, where his record was questionable at best in regards to cronyism and shady financial records. However, that did not stop his black adherents – he was black. That was all that mattered, and in Augusta the dynamics of the voting district had swung towards the blacks*, the whites gotten out of what had been a fairly peaceful, crimefree region after it’s color ‘darkened’. Why crime went up when ‘people of color’ moved in is up for speculation; however, it seems to be a common theme. Not that I’m saying it’s “race” – far be it for me to play the race card (plus it is impossible for a white man to play the ‘race card’) – but as whites moved out and the blacks moved in the place got worse and worse in terms of crimes and murder – despite good ol’ Ed pouring money into projects aimed at improving black neighborhoods (never mind the white ones – they were white and therefore all right – despite their shocking poverty sometimes) – and replacing former white employees in the city government with his colored friends.
In 1984 the Federal government finally caught, tried, and convicted Ed for bribery and extortion and sent his black ass to jail. However, because he was a mayor he got the country club treatment, and got an early pardon. Some said that being black he could not help himself for extorting people for bribes- and thus encouraged, he ran again for mayor of Augusta. Not surprisingly, he again played the fact he was black to those minority voters (who didn’t realize that they were NOT a minority in Augusta anymore – old perceptions die hard, don’t they?) and unsurprisingly he narrowly lost the 2002 race. (Us white voters figured it would be a BIG loss, but apparently black voters are more able to overlook maleficence among their own – expecting it, perhaps, or knowing a black man just can’t resist going corrupt once he has power – and not caring. I don’t know. These are just things I’ve been told.)
Needless to say Ed blamed the white voters for playing the race card by not voting for him, and went home sore and sour. However, he is still a free man, and still trying to be active in politics in the Augusta area. There was recently an effort to put a plaque in his honor for having an idea down on the Augusta Riverwalk, but thus far the only progress that has been made towards that plaque is giving it to the man who actually DID the work and made Ed’s idea happen. However, Ed’s supporters still say since he had an idea, the credit for it should be his, and not the man who actually did it.
I have an idea . . . now if someone goes out there and actually does it: who should get credit? Me, who thought of it? – or the man who does the work, gets the funding, and arranges for the idea to come to fruition?
In my idea we could greatly reduce our social problems if we were to get rid of entire segments of the population, starting with the poor. But if we did, it would be perceived as a “racial solution” instead of a financial one – because so many minorities are poor (through no fault of my own – though they’ve told me that it is.) I don’t know: I studied in school and worked my way through a higher education (sometimes having two jobs and going to night school at the same time). I’ve been told by those I’ve counseled (90% or more black) that “that’s too hard!”. But I figure if a man like Marion Barry and Ed could ‘make it’ (and so could I) – then they should be able to, too.
Now: if they go to school and get a better education (and job) – can I get credit, too? (not that they will; most were way too adamant that doing what I did – and some actually said it was because I was a white man I could – that somehow that made it easier for me) – but it was ‘too hard’ for them. These from people who’s people used to be (according to their claims) ‘former slaves’ – and therefore ‘tough and hard’ . . . and yet (it appears) tough and hard enough to better their own selves.
But Mayor Ed could – and did. And they should follow his (and Marion Barry’s) shining example – pulling themselves out of “the hood” – and going on into politics, so they can have a federal trial . . . instead of a local one.
’nuff said for now.
The Race card. Play it well. After all: Ed did.
*The racial makeup of the balance in the 2000 census was 44.91% White, 50.37% Black or African American, 0.27% Native American, 1.52% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 1.02% from other races, and 1.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.79% of the population.