Like Claudine Gay, Fani Willis is Learning the Hard Way: When You’re Black and Famous, Keep Your House Clean

Like Claudine Gay, Fani Willis is Learning the Hard Way: When You’re Black and Famous, Keep Your House Clean

Like Claudine Gay, Fani Willis is Learning the Hard Way: When You’re Black and Famous, Keep Your House Clean

Remember how Donald Trump did everything wrong that a budding politician could muster?

All of his racist, sexist and anti-LGBT invective delivered at a third-grade reading level? His comments about grabbing a woman’s you-know-what? Remember how, despite all of that, he steamrolled over his competition and spread his plague throughout the Oval Office seven years ago this month?

On Monday, former Trump campaign staff member Michael Roman, one of the 18 Trump co-defendants whom Willis indicted last August over election tampering, made a court filing accusing Willis of “an act to defraud the public of honest services” for her failure to disclose her engagement in a “personal, romantic relationship” with attorney Nathan Wade, whom Willis hired for the case when they already had relations.

Wade has allegedly earned more than $650,000 since starting on the case in January 2022 – money from Fulton County taxpayers on which Willis signs off and which she’s allegedly benefited from by way of luxurious trips with Wade.

Making matters stickier is the discovery that Wade billed $4,000 for two eight-hour meetings with President Joe Biden’s White House in 2022. Any perception that the White House is coordinating the investigation and not Willis’ office brings the whole affair under further scrutiny. Willis, Wade and the White House have not responded to press inquires as of Wednesday morning.

Roman is leveraging these discoveries to get his case dismissed, and you can only imagine the field day Trump supporters (and general racists) are having at Willis’ expense on Elon Musk’s former Twitter.

We all love Willis here at The Root, which is why she got the top spot at last month’s The Root 100 ceremony. But she absolutely should’ve known better than to put herself in this position. There were countless elite attorneys who would’ve frothed at the mouth to take down Trump and his Trumpettes — and she picked the dude with whom she’s messing around??

Though she’s making headlines for all the wrong reasons, Willis’ career might survive the legal and ethical implications of this week’s discoveries. But what Claudine Gay did also wasn’t illegal or unethical, and she had to step down as president of Harvard University president unfold because of her own lapses in judgment – or perhaps because she didn’t have enough Black friends to help steer her clear of the coming alabaster attack.

It’s as if these incredibly successful and intelligent Black folks have blinders up that make them forget that their houses must be twice as clean as those of their white counterparts.

Or they forget what happens to prominent Black folks who mess up, like disgraced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick: His operation was undeniably corrupt, but they threw the book at him with a 28-year federal sentence that was a hell of a lot harsher than what fallen white politicians received for similar crimes. (Trump commuted Kilpatrick’s sentence in 2018.)

We see it unfolding with Eric Adams, New York City’s first Black mayor since 1993, who caught every shred of legal Hell late last year. Adams’ list of alleged crimes is a Post-It Note in comparison to Trump’s, but you wanna bet which one will see the inside of a prison cell first…?

And don’t get me going on Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), who was caught on video pulling a fire alarm at a federal building, claimed he didn’t realize it was a fire alarm that a blind 5-year-old could’ve parsed out and blamed racism for the “attack” on him. Anyone think his silly Black ass will ever move up in politics after that?

The sad part is that Willis is being oversexualized by the right on social media as I type, which is par for the Black woman course in America. She said during her Root 100 acceptance speech: “There is no room to hate someone because of the skin God put them in, and it aint none of yo’ business who they love at night!”

She’s right, but she should’ve known that’s not the reality of the country in which we live – especially for Black women. We hope that her poor decision making won’t destroy her career or allow Trump’s people to go free.