Character Assassination: The Attack on Jennifer Carroll
Americans take pride in broadcasting to the world that we practice a “true” democracy where citizens vote for leaders because of their ideals and vision to the growth and development of our society. We take comfort in knowing that we do not have dictators and military coups that direct the affairs of the citizenry. However, we fail to tell the world that our leaders are controlled by wealthy supporters, corporate entities, and are dictated by blatant lies and character assassination.
In the current presidential campaign President Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney have employed hundreds and spent millions on advertisement to misarrange the truth and to attack the character of each other. Sadly, the race for the Oval Office is not about gallant ideals of gentlemen, but, rather on the political machines that spin, misalign, and distort stories to destroy the persona and future of the rival. Thus, while we claim to have a democracy instead we have a republic of interest that negates the truth and the real representation of the American public. Regrettably, this issue is not only with national politicians and campaigns, but also at the local and state levels.
In 2010 as a leading candidate for city commissioner in Orlando I was bombarded with a vicious campaign from both the democrats and the republican parties. The leaders of both groups realized quickly that my campaign had a real vision for the underclass community of Orlando. In this light, they saw that I could not be bought or bossed by the power elite. In response they aligned with the cronyism of my opponent Daisy Lynum and her allies Mayor Buddy Dyer, Judge Theodore Bronson, and Mark Schlueb of the Orlando Sentinel to wage a campaign to discredit my campaign through character assassination. According to insiders, thugs were hired to physically confront me, while unrelated and false charges by my former wife were used to derail my quest for public office. For the short run my opponents—enemies of the people, were successful. However, after the election every charge that they initiated was found to be vile columns of filthy lies. But, like true cowards they never offered a retraction or apology.
The attacks on me are not unusual for true leaders, advocates and spokespersons. For example, Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King was maligned by former FBI director Edgar Hoover, who was supported by President’s Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson, as being “a degenerate, lying sexual pervert,” even going so far as to advise Rev. King to commit suicide before his people learn of his sexual affairs. Black Nationalist Malcolm X, before his death and most recently, was labeled as a Black bigot and homosexual. Former African-American presidential candidate Jesse Jackson, most recently has been attacked as being anti-gay and requiring homosexuals to perform menial task and requesting that they perform oral sex on him. Former Director of the Civil Rights Commission Mary Frances Berry is regarded as a castrator of white men and a racist. Minister Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam, is constantly stamped as a Black Hitler. Lastly and quite disturbing is that our first lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama is viewed as an angry Black female who harbors an underlining hatred for the United States. The issue is that the power structure does not want strong, vibrant and independent voices in Black America. The latest to be on the hit list is Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll of Florida.
Jennifer Carroll, the first Black and woman to hold the seat of Lieutenant Governor in Florida is an outstanding, brilliant, and consistent leader. Carroll, a child of Trinidad, a country that has given the world outstanding philosophers such as G. M. James, comes from heritage that is rooted in societal consciousness, political thought, and academia. To put it straight—Carroll is one of the few bright spots in Governor Scott’s administration. She understands the workings of Tallahassee and she is the smoothest of negotiators. Now, while Carroll is a true warrior for the GOP, if the Lt. Governor ever decided to follow a different line she would immediately become a forceful national leader. Nonetheless, the Lt. Governor is under a fierce assault by Carletha Cole, former web designer for Carroll.
Carletha Cole, a reactionary African-American, allowed her ambitions for political growth to dictate her activities in Carroll’s office. Cole, who lists herself as an African Methodist Episcopal Church minister, newspaper publisher and political consultant, is merely a self-seeker for power who would align with any party, philosophy, or group to meet her ends. In a rather quick and stunning move after her arrival to Florida from New York she attached herself to the white male dominated state republican party. The GOP desperately lacking and looking for Black figureheads to preach their brand of conservatism embraced Cole and later created a position for their Black lackey.
In a rush to find an acceptable African-American to be a face of Black leadership, influential members worked their magic to position Cole into the very powerful Southern Federated Republican Women Club of Seminole County. However, within months Cole befriended her supporters and the Club by stealing their website, equipment and other items for her own purposes. Actually the Southern Federated Republican Women Club had to legally threaten Cole to return the materials. Ultimately, she was ousted from the organization. The blatant actions of Cole reveal that she had a major character flaw; that, she wants power by any means necessary. Therefore, it is strange that given what happened in Seminole County no one asked pointed and hard questions about Carletha Cole.
In the aftermath of the FRWC problem Cole continued her upward march to the state’s capital. She played the part of a dedicated and sincere laborer for the GOP. Thus, it was not a major surprise that after Scott’s election she would get a job with the new administration. But the problem is that no one, including the media looked at her background. Even today, with her accusations against Jennifer Carroll no one in the media or any critic has investigated Cole to see if her allegations have proof, interviewed any other employee or asked why did it take over eight months for Cole (after all her public comments to the press never mentioning this or even when she was terminated) to now say this is what she saw in Carroll’s office. Did the press look to see if Cole’s business is registered in this state? Is it a legitimate business? Did the press look to see if she is really a student at Harvard seminary school? I ask these questions because it goes to the credibility of the accuser. If one is going to make such a vile accusation when they have an agenda of trying to get off of felony charges, then their credibility must be checked for validity.
The post of web manager was an underpinning position. However, Cole wanted more. Thus, she threw herself into the office mix as a “supposed” leader who was a confidant to the Lt. Governor. Functioning in this “dream world” she staged a move to consolidate her position by telling the media that Carroll was a dysfunctional and inadequate leader and administrator. However, Cole went on to say that working for Carroll, “was an opportunity of a lifetime.” In response, since this was a violation of her terms of agreement, the Office of the Governor rightly fired Cole. Days after being fired, Cole releases a secretly recorded taped conversation between her and her immediate supervisor John Konkus, to the media — a felony. Cole is arrested and retaliates by claiming that she caught Carroll and her aid—Beatriz Ramos engaging in sex in the Lt. Governor’s office. Well, to save her own neck Cole has decided to destroy the character, reputation, and honor of Jennifer Carroll. Sadly, our political system is set up to allow rumors and half-truths to run as facts. Already, citizens, especially political and racial critics to Carroll have polarized her as an adulterer, hypocrite, and liar, ignoring her 20 plus years of public service and most importantly, her role as a dedicated wife and mother.
Character assassination is the harshest weapon of political warriors and pundits. It never has to be proven or retracted. Once it is in the public space — it is there forever. For the uninformed and conditioned, public truth is directed by blatant allegations. However, if we are ever to create a real democracy Americans must aggressively denounce all forms of political lies, regardless of party, group, or individual. The only positive to all of this is that, if they have the testicles and the time to create a lie—you must be a friend to the people and a threat to the power elite.
The Truth Teller
Dr. Vibert White