The Benefits of Whiteness: Paul Manafort Won't Be Going to Rikers Island. He Can Thank the Department of Justice

Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

Paul Manafort is a criminal.

Paul Manafort is also a rich white man.

Paul Manafort was supposed to be sent to Rikers Island while awaiting trial on New York State charges because that’s what happens when someone commits crimes in New York.

Advertisement

But, Paul Manafort is also Trump’s former campaign manager.

So, Paul Manafort won’t be spending a day in Rikers.

Confused? Don’t worry, whiteness as a system is confusing.

For spades players, it’s the Big Joker.

Paul Manafort won’t be going to the notorious New York jail like a CRIMINAL-criminal because Manafort is a white man who is also a Trump loyalist, and as such, the deputy US attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, sent a letter and worked it out so that Manafort would be kept in federal custody, citing “health and personal safety” concerns.

That’s right, the Department of Justice intervened on Manafort’s behalf to ensure that the 70-year-old won’t serve time like most inmates facing state charges.

According to NY Mag, New York City prosecutors were surprised to see a letter from the DOJ about one of their tenants, considering most federal inmates don’t have the White House on speed dial—but again, whiteness.

Advertisement

From NY Mag:

At Rikers, Manafort was expected to be kept in protective custody, the standard for most high-profile inmates. Instead, he’ll either await trial at a federal jail in Lower Manhattan or in the Pennsylvania prison where he’s serving his seven and a half year sentence.

A senior DOJ official said in a statement Tuesday that the department decided to “err on the side of caution” and grant the request to keep Manafort out of Rikers. But it’s the involvement of the deputy attorney general that is raising eyebrows.

Advertisement

Needless to say, everyone took to Twitter to note that this is some bullshit.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Confused? You should be. Whiteness was designed to be confusing, it was designed to cause head-scratching and bewilderment. It was designed with a thumb on the scale always leaning toward...whiteness. It’s an amoeba; both free-living and parasitic. Manafort won’t be in JAIL-jail—or at least, not jail the way black and brown people do time. The most heartbreaking tweet that sums up all of this is that the unmerciful measures of solitary confinement only become concerning when whiteness is involved.

Share This Story

About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.