Are Black Congressional Lawmakers Being Singled Out In Ethics Probes?

A day after longtime Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah was indicted by the federal government on charges that he and a group of associates were involved in a racketeering conspiracy, listeners of a show on the only African-American owned and operated talk radio station in Pennsylvania called to express suspicion.

On Thursday, WURD’s Nick Taliaferro told NewsOne Now host Roland S. Martin that listeners to The Nick Taliaferro Show tend to be suspicious about “any type of governmental action against an elected official who happens to be Black.” While they are aware of the possibility of “human culpability” by Black elected officials, said Taliaferro, they also believe that “the government has found itself on the shadier side of prosecutions when it comes to Black officials.”

“This has been an eight-year effort by some in the Department of Justice to link my public service career to some form of wrongdoing,” Fattah said in a statement. The subtext being that he was targeted. Was he?

The National Journal reported in 2012 that about one-third of sitting Black lawmakers have been named in an ethics probe during their time in office. And very few members hold ranking positions.

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