Mockey of Equal Protection. You should know about Matt Taibbi

Matt Taibbi has been compared to Hunter Thompson the progenitor of GonzoJournalism. While there’s definitely some Gonzo in him, I think it’s more of a sign of the corporatism and crony politics of modern journalism that he’s described that way. Taibbi has opinions, but while most journalists I associate with the left, seem to apologize for or rationalize the actions of the current regime, Taibbi pulls no punches. It’s not about muck raking. It’s about injustice.

His new book The Divide follows two different kinds of crime. The actions of the wealthy and banks like HSBC and Goldman Sachs and the daily lives of the poor.

If you’re not familiar with the HSBC scandal, his article in Rolling Stone is worth a read. [0] One of the worlds largest banks launders money for violent drug cartels and no one goes to jail. Story after story feature the same narrative: the super wealthy commit blatant crimes, no one is prosecuted, the corporation they worked for is fined, prosecutors throw a celebratory press conference clapping themselves on the back for being tough on white collar crime.

Meanwhile, story after story of lives ruined over, what for the middle-class or whites, would be non-crimes. People imprisoned, jailed or merely prosecuted without a meaningful defense. And if you’re poor, a simple Marijuana possession charge can exclude you from Public Housing and Student Loans.

The differences are stark: if you’re wealth and commit crimes on a grand scale under corporate cover, you’re a respected member of society. If you’re a welfare mom, you’re already guilty and you have your rights and dignity taken away, not because of some action, but because of who you are.

Some pigs are more equal than others.

The result is that the worst, most damaging actors in society are rewarded for their behavior, and the poorest and least able to protect themselves are targeted for automated abuse. Maybe when you realize you’ve built a machine that imprisons or kills the innocent or for minor mistakes and rewards the worst, it’s time to rebuild the machine.

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