Birth of a Nation.
The silent film master-piece needs no introduction, but it's one scene from the film (set during Republican-mandated Reconstruction of the South) that resonates powerfully when compared to the life of a current Detroit City Councilman -- and, coincidentally, the Council President Pro Tem. It's a scene that's been replicated in city hall's across the nation since:
A scene set in the South Carolina legislature in the early 1870s (introduced with an intertitle that suggests that what is to follow is drawn from “historic incidents”), which depicts newly elected black legislators lolling in their chairs, their feet bare, eating chicken and drinking whiskey, leering at white women in the visitors’ gallery.Flash-forward to Detroit, an 83 percent black city. Though, for the first time in 40 years, the mayor is white, the entire city council is non-white (all but one is black). The Council President Pro Tem is a black man named George Cushingberry, who was recently pulled over by two white cops in a town his people run.
Obviously, he was racially profiled.
Obviously, it was a "driving while black" incident.
|Birth of a Nation: no, this isn't a scene from a Detroit City Council meeting...|
Cited for not using his turn signal (don't those honky cops know black people in Detroit don't have to use turn signals?), Mr. Cushingberry's car was noted to smell of marijuana and he had an open bottle of rum in the back seat of the vehicle. [Detroit Councilman Cushingberry claims police mistreatment in traffic stop, Detroit Free Press, 1-10-14]
Detroit’s newly elected City Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry Jr. says he was mistreated by police officers during a traffic stop, which ended in a citation for not using his turn signal.
Addressing reports that he was driving with marijuana and an open intoxicant in his car, Cushingberry said that when he was stopped Tuesday night on Livernois, he had an empty rum bottle, left over from a party about a week earlier, in his backseat and a passenger who is a medical marijuana patient and caregiver who had marijuana on him.
Now the department has launched an internal investigation into the actions of a responding supervisor who let him go with the citation.
Cushingberry, who said he had one shot of rum with dinner at the nearby Penthouse Lounge, which he characterized as a neighborhood eatery and not a strip club as some media had reported. He said the officers did not check to see whether he had been drinking.
“It was obvious that I wasn’t drunk because he didn’t give me any field sobriety,” he told the Free Press.
Cushingberry, who is black, said he believes he was racially profiled by the two white officers who pulled him over, in part because he drives an older car. On the citation he was issued, Cushingberry’s violation is listed as “fail to signal.” He said the officers were too far behind him to see whether he was using his signal.Translation: if I want to smoke marijuana in 83 percent Detroit, I can; if I want to drive around my vehicle and sip on a bottle of rum, I can; if a white cop dares pull me over, well, there's going to be hell to pay! [George Cushingberry apologizes to council for 'driving while black incident', Detroit Free Press, 1-10-14]:
A day after news broke that he was involved in a traffic stop this week involving alcohol and marijuana, Detroit Councilman George Cushingberry was back to work today and apologized to his colleagues for what he called a “driving while black incident."
Cushingberry apologized at the beginning of a council meeting where members are to consider several appointments to the city’s land bank and public lighting authority.
“I wanted to say to my colleagues, if any of you were embarrassed by the driving while black incident that happened to me, please forgive me,” he said at the council table.
“It’s unfortunate we still have these types of incidents in our city.”
Cushingberry declined to speak with reporters, he said, because he gave interviews on the incident on Thursday and because the incident is being investigated."It's unfortunate we still have these types of incidents in OUR city...."
Another simple translation (courtesy of Birth of a Nation): "We're in charge now, and by God we can do whatever we want in our city. Whatever we fucking want."
So what if he went to strip club, smoked some grass and kicked a bottle of rum?
You know what he'll next?
Well, the scene quoted above from Birth of a Nation accurately depicts what black elected officials do once in office, so it should be obvious what he does next. Fox 2 News Headlines