Best and worst from this week’s headlines

While sociology professor Xolela Mangcu made history by becoming the first African author to pen a biography about Nelson Mandela, Ward 2 Councilmember and Metro chair Jack Evans has come under fire once again for violating ethics codes regarding conflicts of interest.

Here’s the best and worst from this week’s headlines:

Thumbs Up:

Mangcu, who teaches a class on “Comparative Race and Ethnicity” and grew up in Apartheid South Africa, will become the first African to author a biography about former South African president and anti-Apartheid activist Mandela.

Mandela is an notable figure around the world for serving as South Africa’s first black president in 1994, the year Apartheid was abolished. Having his biography written by an African with first-hand experience of Apartheid in South Africa brings black representation and perspective to a country still trying to heal since the segregation ended less than three decades ago.

Through his novel, Mangcu wants to bring insight on what South Africa was like before and after Apartheid and give readers an accurate representation of what it was like to be black in South Africa during Apartheid. Mangcu’s biography will ensure the novel is accurate and true to the history of South Africa and the former president’s leadership – both the good and the bad.

Thumbs Down:

D.C. Councilmember Evans has made local headlines nearly every week.

Most recently, a Metro board investigation found that Evans violated ethics codes relating to conflicts of interest while he served as the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority chair. Evans, who was removed from his post as Metro chair days after the findings were released, did not disclose his consulting agreement with Colonial Parking, Inc. where he was paid $50,000 per year while the company sought contracts with WMATA.

Allegations of corruption are not new to Evans. In March, Evans was accused of using his seat as councilmember to secure personal business deals and faced federal criminal investigations. His race for reelection as councilmember is also getting more contested by the week – four candidates are now vying to unseat him. Evans’ unethical actions has already violated the community’s trust in him – and the Metro board’s findings from its probe confirms his corruption.

As the news of Evans’ investigation unfolds, it is clear that he has tarnished his reputation and trust in constituents. The council is meant to represent residents of D.C. and tend to the city’s needs. Evans has not done his duty to the people of D.C. and residents should take note of his actions when the time comes to vote in 2020.

Hannah Thacker, a freshman studying Political Communication, is The Hatchet’s contributing opinions editor.

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