Thursday, March 4, 2010
It's bigger than Weezy...
Does anyone else find it odd how much attention is being spent talking about the beginning of Lil Wayne's prison sentence? Not because of how many times it's been delayed (three), not because of the weird reasoning and timing (dental surgery and a fire in the courthouse), but because how many folks a lot more powerful than he is have done the exact same thing?
I won't comment on the charges, trial or sentencing themselves. He pleaded guilty to his gun charge, and has been, at least publicly, accepting of his sentence. There are also undoubtedly other folks out there who have been screwed over a lot harder than Weezy has been.
What is really absurd, though, is that media commentators are acting like this is the first time that someone has been able to dodge jail with shady reasons. Think back on every time a rich, white CEO has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar--and you know just as well as I do that there's no scarcity of these scenarios. The embezzlements, the book-cooking, the malfeasance. There's no denying that these people are treated with kid-gloves during their trials and in the lead-up to their sentences.
So what is it that makes Lil Wayne so different? Why is so much ink being spilled on the delays in his sentence? Well, it could very well be that Weezy is one of the biggest hip-hop icons to emerge over the past few years--which makes his face and personality a lot more recognizable than the average Fortune 500 honcho. But there's also a streak of thinking out there that somehow, jail is where Wayne belongs.
"Wayne is from the streets, from the Magnolia Houses in New Orleans," said retired NYPD detective Derrick Parker, "so I'm sure those guys have been in jail or locked up at some point. So being in prison is no big deal to them."
Right. Being sent to jail is "no big deal" to Wayne because he's Black and comes from the ghetto. The only thing missing from that statement is "those people."