The errant ways of Pittsburgh’s former Chief of Police Nate Harper can be best described as Machiavellian at worst and dumb at best. Another fallen public figure just adds to the popular consensus that “they all do it and it just so happens this guy got caught”.
The fact that the former Chief of Police is the culprit adds insult to injury. His slam-bang act of contrition even further rankles the taxpayers as he sheepishly admitted to the error of his ways. Like so many other quickly confessed wrongdoers he seems to be admitting to the error of his ways only because he got caught.
The head cop had ample opportunity to learn about right and wrong at home, in church, in school and/or on the job. Even if no one else enlightened him, he still had 60 years to have figured it out on his own. Didn’t he spend decades wearing a badge proclaiming his public commitment to truth, justice and the American way?
However, forgiveness and eventual redemption will probably be his end game. Harper appears to be a first time sinner and the amount of miss-appropriated loot looks like chump change compared to how much public money is squandered daily. The best news is that no one seems to have been physically harmed in this smarmy affair. Harper will quickly become a footnote in local history.
His betrayal of the public trust speaks for itself. We have a legal system that will dutifully resolve Nate’s fate. My personal wish is that there will be no prison time. In most instances sending first time white-collar criminals to the slammer is just not an efficient expenditure of tax dollars.
However, Nate has caused lasting damage to those of his skin color. His stumble from grace will surely cause pain to others of color in current and future public positions in our City.
The disgraced Harper may have unwittingly advanced the cause of bigotry. His failings have added another “I told you so” moment to the racist agenda of hate.
There are those who are already making a poster boy out of Nate Harper. They are showcasing him as an African-American who secured his job only because of his blackness. They allege that he was hired because of some kind of liberal quota system. They say that the proof is in Harper’s failure.
Earlier this week I read a prejudicial posting where the cowardly author spoke for many of his slimy brethren when he wrote that “this is what affirmative action gets you”.
Letting down fellow African-Americans may be Mr. Harper’s enduring legacy.