Sunday, September 3, 2023

Fani Willis, who leads the prosecution of Donald Trump in Georgia, is a reminder of the fair pursuit of justice that helped Thurgood Marshall make history

Fani T. Willis

Fani T. Willis, the prosecutor for Donald Trump's election-interference case in Georgia, is the most prominent Black public official to pursue evenhanded criminal justice since Thurgood Marshall, the first Black member of the U.S. Supreme Court, according to longtime Alabama attorney and civil-rights advocate Donald Watkins.

In a post titled "Why Fani T. Willis Makes Black America Proud," Watkins says Willis brings integrity and fairness to a justice system that badly needs it. Even a former president, Trump, has received no discernible favorable treatment on Willis' watch, and that is the way justice in America -- state and federal, criminal and civil -- is supposed to work, although it too often produces outcomes that have little, if anything, to do with the rule of law. Fani T. Willis, Watkins writes, is doing her part to change that:

Last month, everybody in the world learned the name of Fani T. Willis. She is the smart, seasoned, and highly-skilled District Attorney for Fulton County, Georgia. She is also one of the toughest prosecutors in America.

Fani T. Willis is the African-American woman who indicted former president Donald J. Trump and 18 co-defendants on charges that they ran a criminal enterprise that had the purpose and intent of subverting Georgia election laws.

Two of Trump's RICO co-conspirators are black.

There are 30 unindicted co-conspirators in the case.

All of the key witnesses for Fani T. Willis' prosecution team in Trump's case are Republicans.

As expected, Donald Trump has distanced himself from all of his co-defendants.

According to campaign "insiders," Trump views the co-defendants as dispensable legal and political baggage. They serve no useful purpose for him today. 

The public, Watkins writes, is set to learn about 'Evenhanded Justice -- Fani T. Willis Style":

Fani T. Willis is the first black public official in the criminal justice system since Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall who has been willing to relentlessly pursue justice in America on an evenhanded basis. Other players in federal and state criminal justice systems have repeatedly used a healthy dose of judicial or prosecutorial discretion to bail out well-connected criminal suspects and defendants.

The recent U.S. Department of Justice's effort to "fix" Hunter Biden's tax evasion and illegal gun possession case is a prime example of undeserved preferential treatment and uneven justice.

Unlike U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland's disgraceful prosecutorial misconduct in Hunter Biden's criminal case, Fani T. Willis adheres to one standard of justice.

What is more, Willis applies the same standard of justice to everybody (e.g., schoolteachers and administrators, street criminals, gang members, drug dealers, pickpockets, and political subversives).

Fani T. Willis’ evenhanded application of Georgia’s criminal RICO and election laws has subjected her to death threats and Republican-led efforts to remove her from office.

The vast majority of today’s elected officials who hold public office only do so to feast on a gravy-train for themselves. In contrast, Fani T. Willis has demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that she is only serving and protecting the state of Georgia's interest in election integrity. Willis is doing so under the most difficult of circumstances.

The public, it appears, will get an up-close view of how Fani T. Willis operates, right along with Trump and his co-defendants, Watkins writes:

Fani T. Willis has taken on Donald J. Trump, the undisputed leader of the MAGA movement, in the most serious criminal prosecution in American history.

In the court of public opinion, Republicans and Independents who support the MAGA movement have already pardoned Trump for whatever crimes he might have committed in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. This pardon is based on political passion, and not evidence.

Georgia Republicans like Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, and those of her ilk, support Donald Trump unconditionally. Their only regret is that the January 6, 2021, Insurrection at the National Capitol did not succeed.

Republicans like Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger have NOT pardoned Trump in the court of public opinion. They are allowing the criminal justice process to play out in Trump's RICO case.

Except for former New Jersey governor Christ Christie, all of the Republicans who are running for president are spineless Trump sycophants.

Even though some MAGA "patriots" expressed a desire to hang Mike Pence on January 6th, Pence is still a Donald Trump ass-kisser.

Last week, Geoff Duncan, Georgia's former lieutenant governor, claimed that Trump’s got the "moral compass of a … more like an ax murderer than a president." Duncan is a popular Republican in the state.

In the eyes of Black America (and many progressive whites), MAGA is the vanguard of a growing movement across America to conquer, dominate, and marginalize women, the poor, people of color, gays, Muslims, immigrants, and anybody who is deemed “woke” to the plight and suffering of historically oppressed groups in America.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis is the MAGA movement’s wayward stepchild. DeSantis was created by Donald Trump, and he has betrayed Trump. The only thing DeSantis is proficient at doing is standing on the necks of Blacks and transgender people like Derek Chauvin did to George Floyd.

Despite threats coming from multiple directions, Watkins says it boils down to this: Fani Willis is not afraid to do her job:

In a nation where Black public officials have become silent about the things that matter in life, where they are scared of White authority and power, where they have adjusted to the injustices that are administered on a daily basis to Blacks by federal and state criminal justice systems, and where they have adapted to the MAGA crowd's indifference to marginalized groups, Fani T. Willis has shown all Americans that she is NOT like those weak-kneed, embarrassing, and self-centered public officials.

The world knows that Fani T. Willis is NOT afraid to do her job.

Fani T. Willis is NOT just another impotent Black face strutting in a high place like a peacock. Those "peacock Blacks" now populate the political landscape and corporate suites in America.

Fani T. Willis has NOT been niggerized. For those who do not know what “niggerize” means, this is the systematic act of dehumanizing a person or people of color in order to render her/them fearful.

Fani T. Willis has clearly established herself as a true national leader. She has the courage of Fannie Lou Hamer and quiet dignity of Rosa Parks.

Willis breathes life into Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous quote: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice,” and she is doing it in King's hometown.

Willis also reassures a worried nation that the fair administration of justice will be applied in an evenhanded manner, without hesitation or reservation, just like Thurgood Marshall did.

America needs this kind of performance from a prosecutor of national standing, in a case with historic implications. Writes Watkins:

Black public officials are elected to serve the interests of their constituents within the halls of government on a multitude of “quality of life” issues. Most of them, however, abandon their constituents’ political interests as soon as the swearing-in ceremony ends.

Fani T. Willis is vastly different from this compromised group of public officials.

In body and spirit, Fani T. Willis represents the people who elected her. Willis is a living example of the Voting Rights Acts of 1965 and its power to advance the cause of truth and justice in America.

This is why the MAGA crowd has worked diligently with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and four others on the Supreme Court to dismantle the major enforcement provisions of the Voting Rights Act since 2013.

To the MAGA crowd, justice in America looks and feels like the all-White Alabama Supreme Court (in a state with a 26% Black population), complete with its Confederate flag-waving Chief Justice,Tom Parker, and the Court's white-supremacist supporters.

Too many of today’s Black public officials have no agenda for advancing and protecting the interests of their political constituents. They are preoccupied with increasing their personal paychecks, traveling to conferences in America and abroad, begging for free tickets to concerts and sporting events, issuing feel-good proclamations on symbolic subjects, getting awards for doing nothing, and posting photos on Facebook and Instagram in an effort to portray an image of perceived power.

When these public officials do fight for something, it is usually a battle for front-row seats at an entertainment event, or for VIP recognition at commemorative events celebrating the courage of civil-rights icons of the 1950s and 60s.

Most of today’s Black public officials are nothing more than castrated political eunuchs who, like Clarence Thomas, perpetually hustle taxpayers, lobbyists, and corporate executives for extra perks in life solely because they are public officials. For these misguided individuals, dedicated public service to their communities has been replaced by non-stop self-aggrandizement.

Fani T. Willis is a welcomed exception to this cesspool of fear, impotency, and irrelevancy that is swallowing Black public officials.

Efforts by corporate entities to silence Black voices hit close to home for Watkins:

Black elected officials in Alabama have been told by certain Southern Company executives that they are forbidden to read and/or comment on articles appearing on my social-media platforms. Except for Perry County Commission Chairman Albert Turner, Jr., and Mayor Steven Reed (Montgomery), these Black officials have dutifully complied with this Southern Company prohibition out of fear that they will be primaried during election season.

The Southern Company has also forbidden Black elected officials in Birmingham, Alabama, from fighting on behalf of their political constituents in North Birmingham against environmental injustices occurring in three Black neighborhoods, no matter how many residents in these neighborhoods are dying from toxic pollution in the air, ground, and water. Again, these Blacks have complied with this prohibition.

By failing to exercise the power of their offices in a manner that exudes integrity, confidence, and political muscle, most Black public officials have transformed once-powerful public offices into ceremonial positions that offer the Black community little in benefits beyond important-sounding job titles.

As a result of their collective impotence in the political arena, Black communities in Alabama and across America are suffering terribly from a lack of effective leadership, economic development, strategic growth, and basic governmental services.

Our urban cities across America are dying. Our public schools are failing the very students who are compelled by state laws to attend them. And, violent crime is skyrocketing in many cities governed by Black mayors.

No matter what happens to Donald Trump and his co-defendants in the Georgia RICO case, Fani T. Willis is making Black Americans (and progressive whites) proud again.

At least Willis is doing the right thing, in the right way, for all of the right reasons.

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