New York City, NY

Puttin' On the Ritz - The "kid glove" treatment for Allen Weisselberg

William "Dollar Bill" Mersey

Talk about White privilege after falling in the crosshairs of the law. Allen Weisselberg is the poster boy. Rikers Island would hardly be considered New York City’s number one vacation spot. But there are certain places, dorms, and units that are more dangerous than others. And Allen Weisselberg has been designated to about the cushiest deal the jail offers. Hardly a surprise. Still, even I, who suffered a similar circumstance, am offended.

Oddly, I am a geriatric caucasian who committed the same crime as Weiselberg: tax fraud. You would think that given the similarities, Allen and I would suffer the same fate. Not quite! I was placed in a dorm with Trinitario gangbangers upon passing through the hallowed portals of the Eric M. Taylor complex. The moment I entered my designated unit the bangers were in my face:

“Yo! You bangin’?” asked the first inmate I encountered not more than two steps inside. I looked him straight in the eye as if he was crazy. “No, I’m not bangin’!” I fired back.

Two steps farther in: “Yo! You a chomo? You f — k with kids?” asked a younger Hispanic inmate. “No, I’m not a chomo,” I once again responded emphatically.

He eyed me up and down for two seconds and then offered “Ok! Welcome to the unit. You need shower shoes or a t-shirt?” I’d gained admission to Harvard!

Next up was a big, friendly Russian Kirk Douglas lookalike. He shook my hand with an iron grip and introduced himself. “I’m Reuben,” in a heavy Russian accent. “You want to work in the kitchen?”

As a one-year veteran of MCC federal prison (from which I’d been released the day before) where I’d worked in the kitchen, I knew that kitchen workers ate better than the rest of the general population. And when I informed Reuben of my past — and that I indeed did want to work in the kitchen — I was all set.

“Ok! You come with me tomorrow at 5 AM. I get you job!”

Kitchen work at Rikers paid $40/week, a relative bonanza compared to the $12.50/month the same employment paid in federal prison. I supposedly had $1316 getting sent over from my MCC commissary account to Rikers. But I knew how MCC rolled and figured they’d foul that up like they did everything else. And I was right. It took 30 phone calls, 5 emails, and 6 months to finally extract my money from MCC. That $40/week came in handy.

Compare my trial by fire to Weisselberg’s. Allen drew the jailhouse pussy unit where he won’t have to deal with anybody beyond contemporaries with similar non-violent crimes. Nice! Does he get a feather pillow and down comforter as well? Does he rate a Sealy Posturepedic?

Clearly, this was a sweet deal negotiated beforehand by his division of lawyers all paid by the ex-president — while Allen still draws his salary. We know how that goes. When you don’t rat out the big guy, the boss rewrds you.

Rumor has it that Weisselberg will be working a kitchen job. Uh huh! Something tells me he won’t be mopping floors or scrubbing pots and pans. Yet another perk of being Trump’s boy. More super White privilege.

When I heard that Weisselberg will suffer 5 years of probation after his measly 5-month sentence, I pictured him peeing in front of an officer every 2 weeks for 5 years — and how he’d like that honor. Now I’m wondering whether he won’t skate on that front as well. Ya gotta hand it to the big crime boss. It sure looks like he hooked his boy up for keeping his mouth shut.

Back to the white privilege thing. Forever and a day, reformers have complained about white privilege when it comes to prosecution. What I wanna know is where was mine? I lived in 50 square feet with a drug dealer who shot a competitor in the stomach and beat his previous celly senseless while I was incarcerated at MCC federal prison. How does Weisselberg skate on danger?

Answer: Stay loyal to the Don. That’s how. What could be more obvious?

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Alt views, news, and opinions from Greenwich Village, NY. Contributor for the Daily Beast, New York Daily News, Daily Mail, The Independent, and New York Times

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