On Friday, has-been actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced to two weeks in federal prison. Her crime, such as it was, was to donate some $15K to a “charitable foundation” (astonishingly the foundation did not have Clinton in the name). The “donation” actually paid for a ringer to take the SAT on behalf of Huffman’s daughter to enable her to get into an selective college. And Huffman pocketed a tax write off. I was not one of the ones cheering about this. My first thought was “great, this means that real crime has been eradicated and now we’re down to using federal law enforcement for virtue signaling.” Just the exposure, by itself, destroyed Huffman’s relationship with her kids, probably prevented the daughter she tried to help from ever getting into any real college and shamed her for life by her name being connected to the scandal. Huffman should have been hit by a civil IRS lien for the 15K and that should have been it. I feel this way about everyone involved in this. The parents are shamed, the kids are shamed even among their friends, they will carry this scarlet letter forever, the coaches are out of work forever, the scammers have been exposed. That is justice. But that is not the society which we have built.
I was raised in a fairly down-in-the-heels section of Virginia. It was a place where the social class structure was pretty damned rigid and it was accepted that those “with” would always stick together to the disadvantage of those “without.” As I’ve recounted several times, my options upon finishing high school were chopping tobacco, working in a furniture mill, or working in a textile factory…or getting the hell out of Dodge. Much to my surprise other supposedly smart folks were shocked to learn that wealthy people and connected people actually used connections and broke rules to help their kids get a leg up. They labored under the illusion that Chelsea Clinton and her ilk were some kind of virtuosos who just stumbled into their 6-figure jobs fresh out of an elite college because they were just so damned smart and talented. These are the people who were shocked and offended by this college scandal. Bottom line, I don’t have the time and energy to care what a handful of rich people to to advance their whelps into the upper classes. This has no impact on me or mine. This is not who we are.
But the great thing about America is that there is virtually no social ill that cannot somehow be contorted enough to become an example of racism.
Tanya McDowell serving 12 years for sending her child to school in a better district and Felicity Huffman getting 14 days for scamming a university is proof the justice system works for the people it's designed to work for.
— Travon Free (@Travon) September 13, 2019
Actress Felicity Huffman got 14 days in prison for paying $15,000 to boost her child’s SAT scores in a college admissions scam. Remember when a Black homeless woman named Tanya McDowell got 5 YEARS for using the wrong address to put her son in kindergarten? Why the difference?SMH pic.twitter.com/HpiC9fYySv
— Judge Greg Mathis (@JudgeGregMathis) September 13, 2019
If everything it racism then this is definitely your story: A wealthy white woman gets two-weeks for her role in a cheating scandal and a poor black woman gets 5 years for enrolling her kid in a different school district. And if you are sufficiently woke, this is freakin catnip.
Then Snopes got into the act. Snopes, if you aren’t familiar with their work, is the highly woke fact checking website that is currently engaged in some kind of vendetta with the satire website Babylon Bee. This is their rating.
The problem is that this is not merely false, it is an outright lie.
Here are the facts.
McDowell, who claimed she was homeless, was arrested for larceny after she signed an affidavit attesting to her residency at a different address to enroll her kid in a different school district. Reading between the lines here, this sounds like McDowell was a pain in the butt to the public housing development where she lived and they used the fraudulent affidavit as a reason to evict her (or ban her from the premises because the story is convoluted). The cops just became the pivot man in this circle jerk.
The police investigation into the residency began in January after Norwalk Housing Authority attorney Donna Lattarulo filed a complaint alleging McDowell registered her son at Brookside, but actually lived in an apartment on Priscilla Street in Bridgeport.
As part of the evidence presented in the complaint, police received an affidavit of residency signed by McDowell and dated last September attesting that she lived in the Roodner Court public housing complex on Ely Ave.
Before this charge was acted on, other things happened.
Several weeks later, she was arrested for selling drugs to Norwalk undercover officers on five occasions in Norwalk and Bridgeport.
When she was picked up on the drug charges, police found her in front of Brookside Elementary School holding 30 small bags of marijuana and 23 small bags of crack cocaine, prosecutor Tiffany Lockshier said during her sentencing hearing.
In Bridgeport, McDowell pleaded guilty earlier this month to two counts of sale of narcotics to undercover officers in Bridgeport and when she is sentenced on March 27, faces up to five years in jail for those convictions.
Selling narcotics in front of an elementary school. Selling narcotics in front of an elementary school. Selling narcotics in front of an elementary school. Selling narcotics in front of an elementary school. I’ll say it again. Selling narcotics in front of an elementary school.
When she appeared in court she pleaded guilty to the drug charges and entered an Alford plea to the larceny charge. The judge made it clear that he was sentencing her based on the drug deal alone:
That case drew protests by residents and civil rights groups who claimed McDowell was being persecuted for her attempt to get a better education for her son.
[Superior Court Judge Frank] Iannotti retorted Tuesday that the Norwalk case had nothing to do with why McDowell was before him.
“This case is about the convictions for the sale of narcotics to an undercover police officer,” the judge said. “I think you understand that because that is really the essence of what has gotten you into the predicament you find yourself today.”
On the two counts of sale of narcotics, the judge then sentenced her to 12 years, suspended after she serves five years and followed by five years probation. The sentence is to run concurrently with a five-year sentence she received in the Norwalk case.
“When you are released, go back to doing an honest living and become a role model for your son,” the judge added.
The Snopes fact check is simply a lie. Period. Full stop. Felicity Huffman got two weeks in prison for cheating to get her kid into a good school. McDowell got five years for selling narcotics in a school zone. These are not the same thing. They aren’t even in the same universe of criminal acts.
Sad to say, this is not unusual behavior for Snopes. One hopes this noxious bunch of self-righteous, if deeply dishonest, twits gets put out of business. And soon. Because they are the real problem with #FakeNews on the internet.