Allegheny County’s district attorney denies and therefore confirms systemic racism in the criminal (in)justice system

Allegheny County

There is a new blog post entitled, “Stephen Zappala’s resignation would be nowhere near enough.” I have substantially updated this post since it was first published, tying up some loose ends in my own thinking on racism.

Paula Reed Ward, “Allegheny County judge halts plea deals amid questions surrounding DA Zappala,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 2, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/allegheny-county-judge-halts-plea-deals-amid-questions-surrounding-da-zappala/

Paula Reed Ward, “Zappala: No plea deals to Black attorney who called his office ‘systematically racist,’” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 2, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/zappala-no-plea-deals-to-black-attorney-who-called-his-office-systematically-racist/

Paula Reed Ward, “DA Zappala says office halted plea deals with Black attorney to avoid ‘false claims of racism,’” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 3, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/da-zappala-says-office-halted-plea-deals-with-black-attorney-to-avoid-false-claims-of-racism/


Muhammad Ali


If I’m not mistaken, Muhammad Ali is pictured with Malcolm X. I remembered the former in a blog post on Memorial Day, entitled, “On Memorial Day, remembering Muhammad Ali.” In refusing the draft for the Vietnam war, he said,

My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape and kill my mother and father. … Shoot them for what? How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.[2]


  1. [2]Muhammad Ali, quoted in DeNeen L. Brown, “‘Shoot them for what?’ How Muhammad Ali won his greatest fight,” Washington Post, June 16, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/06/15/shoot-them-for-what-how-muhammad-ali-won-his-greatest-fight/

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