Happy Black History Month
I am taking a break from the kitchen today in honor of my ancestors. Happy Black History Month to you all! I would be remiss if I did not add something to the current conversation about being Black in America. Black In Real Life is a funny, heart felt podcast hosted by Christen Rochon and Yoli Ouiya. The women graciously feature me in a discussion about Black food.
We talk about Chitlins or Chitterlings and the social stigma some connect to them. I say you have to be careful preparing and eating them – you do not eat everyones’ chitlins is a Black edict many of us fervently embrace. But is that not the case for raw chicken or pork too that you must handle with care or risk poisoning? In the proper hands, chitlins taste amazing like anything else we douse with hot sauce.
As the meme retorts, I am Black 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Furthermore, Black history is world history, constantly occurring and never static. To ensure a Happy Black History Month for all, I will be curating some poignant moments in our history the entire month of February. My first tale is the ongoing saga of Bitcoin billionaire Arthur Hayes. Just like me you probably did not know the most successful Bitcoin exchange was created by a Black man thus feel you have grasped your Black history lesson for the day/week/month. Any worthwhile lesson is never that straight forward.
Mr. Hayes is being charged by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York “with violating and conspiring to violate the Bank Secrecy Act by willfully failing to establish, implement, and maintain an adequate anti-money-laundering program.” “Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years behind bars.” The irony is that scores of banks such as Wells Fargo, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, “Barclays, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, ING, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered have all paid fines for conduct that has included money laundering, sanctions violations, and massive tax fraud. In the world of high finance, charging corporate officers in their individual capacity is rare.
“Since 2000, JPMorgan Chase, America’s largest bank, has paid tens of billions in fines, including over $2 billion for anti-money-laundering deficiencies alone. Yet its CEO and chairman, Jamie Dimon, and his top lieutenants have not been pursued criminally. Instead, Dimon, who had toyed with a 2020 presidential run, collected $31.5 million last year in salary and incentives.” Sounds oddly familiar. I am glad Mr. Hayes can afford top notch legal advice. Stories such as this necessitate a Gin Cocktail chaser.