I am not impressed by the slick-swift response of the American elite to the dumpster fire that is Linda Fairstein.
From 1989 to last week, she received book deals, awards, places on elite boards of industry and become one recipients of Glamour’s WOMAN OF THE YEAR.
All of this happened while the young men now known as the Central Park Five (CP5) were railroaded, locked away and freed years later.
She didn’t care then, and doesn’t care now.
However, there is something deeper and more sinister at work. While she knew what she did and the carnage which would ensue, the systems she operates in did as well. The book publishers. The magazines. The boards on non-profit organizations. Speaking engagements. They may not have known the extent of the evil, but they knew.
With all being revealed in the retelling of the CP5, Ms. Fairstein has become radioactive. Suddenly and all of a sudden, no one wants to be associated with her. But, she’s still dictating how she exits! She’s given the option how to exit!
She worked in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office as head of the Sex Crimes Unit from 1976-2002. I know that NBC, Elliot Stabler, and Olivia Benson, have made this particular unit sexy. But nothing about this can be made up or fixed by ADA Alexandra Cabbot at the end of the hour.
All this swing towards justice when this woman is in her 70’s. It seems right that her legacy be eaten to be reduced to rubble! However, from where I sit? It is a continuation of the same old system! This woman spearheaded a campaign to arrest these young men and after their exoneration? Offered nothing to her involvement–and refused to be a consulted for When They See Us.
Put I am not championing this awakening. I am looking at all this dismantling with a Claire Huxtable side-eye.
I’m not moved by this.
Thirty years have passed. Thirty! You cannot tell me that from book publishers, to charity boards, no one knew what she did? No one knew what she was apart of? It is only at the point where the rest of the world saw how evil all this was, they no longer wanted their brand (read: money) tied to her.
Read that again.
It all leads back to money. It all leads back into money!
This woman has built an entire second career off the destruction of Black life! It’s all good that she gets her comeuppance now: lost book deals, removal from prestigious boards and this public shaming. But it is not enough. What she did should have been handled before right now.
Before the awards.
Before the appointments.
Before the book deals.
But as with all financial dealings, no one is bad for business until their name or brand ceases to be profitable! Linda Fairstein, former Manhattan District Attorney, has ceased to be profitable. The problem is the cost was the lives of 5 young men she fed to the prison industrial complex with a smile on her face.
While I am happy this is happening–it does give me a dark joy–I can’t help but to roll my eyes. This is only happening because someone found out and called her on it. And in the society by which we live? People will secure the bag at all costs; even if they have to put it over your head to do so.