Sunday, May 4, 2014
Public Servants and Dirty Closets In Scioto County
I understand that each case requires careful inspection and an application of unique interpretation of the law; however in my opinion, we should make a charge that all people, regardless of their standing in the community -- all classes, all financial brackets, all races, all ages, the rich and poor, the destitute and handicapped, the privileged and the underprivileged -- should be treated with the same mercy and justice applied to "special people" in our county.
Certain deals concerning investigations and enforcements reeking of injustice by judges, prosecutors, lawyers, and cops are common knowledge here. I realize this entitlement and immunity are inherent in the system everywhere. Justice is never perfect. Also, I realize some of the "deals" may be seen as warranted, yet I believe those in the legal and enforcement fields should demand the highest standards of equality be applied to all local residents. I have reached the conclusion that too often this is not the case in my home county.
Our area smacks of political collusion and partisan politics. Part of this is due to the small population of the county and the Appalachian tendency toward clannishness in respect to friends protecting relations and other close friends. To get a job here, it is best to know someone in power. To get respect here, it is best to have friends in high places. Equal justice here is tied to influence, to patriarchy, and to becoming part of special "clics" granted "get out of jail free cards."
Before you say that I am a conspiracy theorist, consider what does and doesn't make headlines in the media and what does and doesn't command equal treatment. Without being specific (for fear of upsetting the established standards and causing wrath upon my household), one can correctly speculate the outcome of case after case by examining preexisting relationships and class standings -- whose offenses are revealed, who is even brought into court, who works within the system with questionable ethics, and who is granted privileges to "stretch" the same laws others of less standing must adhere to without question.
The inability of the system to "clean its own backyard" is truly hypocritical. These public servants are bound by oath and by law to fix their own discrepancies and their own vices. It is this, more than anything else, that the underprivileged abhor -- the fact that they suffer most for any infractions while others who protect wrongdoers in the system continue to feed inequality and prejudice. Making different judgments depending upon power, influence, and money is sickening.
When those already suspicious individuals struggling to make a living see the reality of this unfairness, they doubt the integrity of all public servants. At best, they strive to discover who within the network of cronies they can trust. And, of course, this, in turn, hardens the opinion of courts and cops concerning the worth of these "ignorant" and "distasteful" human beings just for their daring to question the time-honored system. It is a vicious circle that continues to affect good judgments and equal respect.
I am sick of politics in Scioto County -- both governmental politics and personal politics. I see the need for unbiased individuals to take charge. It takes a special person to afford kindness and respect to those he tends to prejudge as lowly and undeserving. But, that injunction must be an imperative for working in the system. If an employee does not take time and effort to insure he grants utmost dignity to all, he shouldn't be on the payroll of public servants.
Scioto County should no longer be an environment where community "bosses" and "big names" tilt the scales of justice. It should no longer be a county whose residents understand equal treatment depends upon your place in the pecking order. I would say doubters should read "the writing on the wall." More than a few public servants' priority is to keep their jobs and the power inherent in the politics of their position. They view fairness as secondary and are willing to bend for favor.
At one point in my life I was very skeptical of those who told me of gross maltreatment from certain offices. I was also very skeptical of those who told me about the indecent conduct of some employees. I was raised to respect the law. But, over the years, my old head has softened to the low opinions of the legal system because my own eyes have witnessed numerous cases of oppression dealt from these high perches.
In order to effect some much-needed change, total accountability is needed. Judges, lawyers, cops -- all should come clean, stop the cloaking, and allow public transparency.We have become so used to allowing others to intimidate and to control this aspect of our citizenship that we have let the favoritism "slide," and we chalk it up to being underlings in the system. Nothing will change as long as silent servitude rules the day.
In closing, I honestly say I respect many individuals in these positions of public service. Yet, I can't understand how the good servants live with infractions of their bad cohorts. No shield of profession must allow continued internal ineptitude. It is happening now though. And, again, certain elements and incidents are public knowledge held as proof of this grievous allowance. No one is fooled.
In addition, I believe the good will of all people supersedes callous, uncaring treatment by officials doing their jobs without total respect for all clients. Instead of excuses and "buck-passing words," promises and delivery of positive convictions is needed. If the system is willing to downplay its own injustices, how can the people feel when confronted with rigid, even rude treatment by those in charge? Any needed investigation is a needed investigation despite the perceived "worth" of those who stand aggrieved.
I want less wall building and more sincere communication between the justice system and the public. In order for this to occur, domination and indifference must be eliminated. The first steps toward equality are taken with care in the understanding that justice is required for all, not just some. In my view, the business of today is the same old business of the past, and that stagnation speaks of unconcern for the most vital element -- the welfare and justice of the common citizen.
If I am wrong, I take responsibility for my errors in judgment. I do see the good as well as the bad. I know great judges, lawyers, and cops. It's just that one speck of injustice, as small as it may be, feels like a mountain of dirt in the eyes of those who distrust government. These tiny particles can become permanent impairments to future vision. Yet, heaps of injustice become insurmountable and most definitely impair the view of all. If we clean up these dirty situations, we can improve our own homes.
Posted by Frank Thompson at 7:49 AM