Kim Gardner is known as a progressive prosecutor. There is no such thing as a progressive prosecutor. One would have to be a chump to believe that. And in any profession or sector of society, there are no progressive people. Nobody can be trusted to rule above society or manage subordinate lives just because they have an identity, like women or people of color, whose ancestors have known historical oppression.
This misunderstanding is a cloud that hangs over the insurgent social motion against police murder that began with the 2014 Ferguson, Missouri rebellion. It unfolded in the 2020 uprisings across the country. This spirit may appear again.
We do not understand politics and power until we cease allowing mediocre and degenerate aspiring rulers of color to capture our social motion and speak in our name and heritage. We must never confuse the burdens of Black people or ordinary women of color who toil to care for their families with those whose aspiration is to destroy families, express no integrity, and project themselves as the embodiment of Black community progress. This is to cry tears for those who ride the high tide of our resistance into an opportunity for power and authority only for themselves.
Kim Gardner Receives Slap on the Wrist for Hiding Evidence in Greitens Case
One of the major clouds that has hung over the administration of St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s administration was her handling of a criminal case against former Governor Eric Greitens. However, the clouds associated with Gardner’s attempted prosecution of Greitens have subsided and Gardner has emerged in the sun having only received a public reprimand and a $750 fine. In April, a three-person disciplinary panel recommended that Gardner be publicly reprimanded after she entered a “joint stipulation” with Missouri’s chief disciplinary counsel admitting that “errors” were made in Greitens’ prosecution.
The “error” that was made was Gardner’s office’s suppression of evidence, namely witness statements that would have been favorable to Greitens’ defense and allowing retired FBI agent William Tisaby to commit perjury when she had a duty, as an attorney, to properly advise Tisaby against making such statements. Gardner’s office hired Tisaby as a private investigator on the case, claiming she did not trust the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) to thoroughly investigate the case against Greitens.
We must ask ourselves if Gardner was willing to withhold and suppress evidence in a prosecution against the Governor, what evidence is her office failing to produce in prosecutions against the most marginalized and oppressed? Many people have not stopped to ponder this critical question because they hold Black and poor people charged with crimes in contempt and view them as a stain on official society.
Gardner’s “punishment” is a far cry from the suspension of her law license, probation, or disbarment that she could have faced, all of which would have resulted in her having to step down from the helm of the Circuit Attorney’s Office. It also pales in comparison to the heavy-handed punishment that her office metes out to the defendants that she prosecutes in St. Louis city, who are overwhelmingly poor and Black, under the guise of her being a progressive prosecutor.
An Effective Tool of the System of Hierarchy and Domination
Gardner’s mishandling of the affairs of former Governor Greitens proves one thing. While the different factions of the state and capital don’t always agree, and despite whatever is said in public among political parties, the rulers of St. Louis seem to agree that Gardner is what many historical observers have called “a useful idiot.” That is, Gardner is a person who believes she serves one cause, “justice,” while she can be manipulated to advance another agenda, the subordination of Black people with insurgent potential. It is not that Gardner has any genuine love for the multitudes of Black people, certainly not those who are uncompromising in pursuit of freedom. She has proven she has no special skill in administering the law. Rather, she appears a willing tool in the containment of Black people in St. Louis.
Anyone who is concerned about justice and fairness should be outraged at how Gardner has been able to shirk responsibility and accountability for her actions, while masquerading as some gadfly against racial injustice in the criminal justice system. It should be evident to even the most casual observer that she is not an insurgent force and moreover, she is not even a significant reformer, against mass incarceration of Black and poor people in St. Louis. Gardner is a political faker who rode the wave of insurgency of the Ferguson rebellion to parlay her way into an office that her tenure has proven she is not qualified to hold. Gardner is neither on the side of Black people rising or the ethical administration of the law, that is always unethical in how it favors the propertied.
Supporters Coalesce Around Gardner’s Farcical Crusade Against Racial Injustice
Many Black people circumambulate around Gardner like she is the Kabaa in Mecca, claiming that she is fighting against racism in the police department, and she is going after white racist conservative forces in an unprecedented manner. What such people fail to see is that Kim Gardner’s role has been to use her identity as a Black woman to lend legitimacy to a system that she claims is systemically racist. This begs the question why would someone who claims to be a fighter against racial injustice join institutions that are systemically racist? Gardner is not against the system. She is as dyed in the wool as one can get when it comes to affirming the system. You cannot be a career politician and be against institutions of hierarchy and domination. The notion that one can fight the system from the inside is a fairy tale and farcical idea.
The Weaponization of the Circuit Attorney’s Office for Personal Political Advancement
In a prepared statement released on August 30, Kim Gardner lauded the Supreme Court and chief disciplinary counsel for recognizing “that the ethics process should not be weaponized for political gain.” Of course, neither Gardner nor her supporters will acknowledge that she has weaponized her office for personal political advancement and failed miserably every time she attempted to do so. One reason she failed is the ascendency of Black faces to high places is not a legitimate new millennium freedom movement goal. And for pretenders who wish it to be so, they can only manufacture this myth at their own peril. Their unmitigated gall can be exposed when properly observed. Both the Greitens prosecution and Gardner’s attempted prosecutions of Mark and Patricia McCloskey are prime examples of this. Gardner is not an opponent of oppressive government or a fighter against fascism.
In the case of the McCloskeys, Gardner’s office was disqualified from prosecuting the case against Mark McCloskey because it was exposed that she used her prosecution of the case in her fundraising appeals, and in the process made Mark McCloskey, an elitist and virulent racist, a martyr. Now, Mr. McCloskey has experienced a meteoric rise that led to him running for Congress with some fanfare among conservative forces.
Professionals Must be Abolished as the Embodiment of Culture and Government
It is clear that Gardner cannot ensure that justice is carried out in St. Louis city to any degree. She plays a key role in the administration of the criminalization of poor and Black people. The only way that the Black multitudes will see a system where justice and public safety and security is taken seriously is by taking the organization and administration of judicial affairs in their own hands and rejecting political phonies like Gardner.
Gardner should be the poster child of why professionals need to be abolished as the embodiment of culture and government. Gardner makes a mess of things not because she is a Black woman. For Black women or any historically oppressed group are not God’s humanizing agents or redeemer peoples. Nevertheless, Black women should not feel especially embarrassed or degraded by her missteps. She does not represent the human and creative potential of women of color.
Rather, false concerns about the clouds over Gardner’s administration is a result that we still must learn that progress comes from our own self-directed liberating activity not elite representative government, whose personalities supersede our social motion and falsely tell us that their victory is our victory. We were closer to victory when nobody knew who Gardner was. The new society is closer where we recognize Gardner’s ascendancy is evidence that we still must learn to remain independent from those who wish to capture and contain our insurgent power that calls the entire system into question.
Gardner, as historically oppressed professional administrator of subordinate lives, reveals the system despite its oppressive character, can be legitimated for many. The rulers, even where they disagree, have propped up the mediocre and unethical presence of Gardner, so she can grace St. Louis with her presence. We must remember, instead of being sympathetic to the clouds gathering above Gardner, she administers the dangers looming over the multitudes regardless of color.