The Fifth Annual Ethics Alarms Awards: The Worst of Ethics 2013 (Part Two of Three)

Snowden

The Ethics Alarms review of a truly disheartening year in ethics continues with fallen heroes, ficks, fools and follies with Part Two of the 2013 Worst of Ethics awards….and there’s one last section to come. Be afraid..be very afraid:

Fallen Hero of the Year

Edward Snowden, whose claim to civil disobedience was marred by his unwillingness to accept the consequences of his actions, whose pose as a whistle-blower was ruined by the disclosure that he took his job with the intention of exposing national secrets, and whose status as a freedom-defending patriot lies in ruins as he seeks harbor with not only America’s enemy, but a human rights-crushing enemy at that. The NSA’s over-reach and mismanagement is a scandal, but Snowden proved that he is no hero.

Unmitigated Gall of  The Year

Minnesota divorce lawyer Thomas P. Lowes not only violated the bar’s ethics rules by having sex with his female  client…he also billed her his hourly fee for the time they spent having sex , a breach of the legal profession’s rule against “unreasonable fees.” Yes, he was suspended. But for not long enough…

Jumbo Of The Year

(Awarded To The Most Futile And Obvious Lie)

Jumbo film

“Now, if you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.”

—–President Obama

2013 Conflicts of Interest of the Year Continue reading

Unethical Quote of The Month: Martin Luther King III

“The vision preached by my father a half-century ago was that his four little children would no longer live in a nation where they would judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. However, sadly, the tears of Trayvon Martin’s mother and father remind us that, far too frequently, the color of one’s skin remains a license to profile, to arrest and to even murder with no regard for the content of one’s character.”

Martin Luther King III, the son of the martyred civil rights leader and humanist, speaking in front of the Lincoln memorial before thousands gathered on the National Mall  to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington, and his iconic “I have a dream” speech.

The passage was despicable and inexcusable, an insult to his father’s legacy and all of the courageous and sincere Americans, black and white, who have worked hard and effectively this past half-century to make remarkable progress toward the society that Rev. King envisioned.

“The tears of Trayvon Martin’s mother”  have exactly nothing at all to do with racial profiling or a “license to murder.” King’s son, proving once again that greatness of character and mind is seldom passed on to succeeding generations, chose to engage in divisive, misleading and cheap rhetoric that undermine his father’s goal of bring the races together. In this he was certainly consistent with the motivations of the event’s organizers, prominent among them Al Sharpton, whose paycheck and existence on the national scene depends on furthering the illusion of widespread racial discord, prejudice and injustice.

Even allowing for the excesses of oratory, the younger King’s speech deliberately misrepresented the historical, legal and factual record, which is this: a mixed-race citizen was pre-judged to be guilty of racism and murder by the color of his skin, and then demonized in order to provide a rallying point for a race-based political agenda. The civil rights establishment, aided by a complicit media and irresponsible politicians, distorted the facts of a tragic encounter so effectively that most Africans-Americans believe the lies rather than the facts, and bullied a politicized prosecution into bringing a criminal case to trial it could only win by jury intimidation, for it did not have sufficient evidence. Against all odds, a courageous jury embodied the best of the American justice system by properly acquitting an unpopular defendant who could not be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a standard that is crucial to maintaining racial justice in the courts. Despite this inspiring display of character, the organizers of today’s event, its supporters, and most of those in attendance, have chosen to judge those jurors as biased, comparing them to the bigoted jurors in the Emmett Till murder trial, based on the color of their skin.

How immensely hypocritical, destructive and sad.

Martin Luther King propelled the cause of racial harmony and justice forward on August 28, 1963.

Today his son made pushed that cause backward to-day in favor of hate, suspicion, and ignorance, 50 years later.