A Conyers Civil War in Detroit’s Dirty Dynasty

John Conyers II is out. Long live John Conyers III.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

After spending almost 60 years in Congress as a politician and a staffer, Rep. John Conyers II has to decide which of his many relatives to pass Michigan’s 13th congressional district to. It’s like King Lear, if Shakespeare’s fictional monarch had been forced to step down after groping a woman in church.

The 13th is a very nice district to inherit. Conyers has won it by 77%, 79% and 82%. Fidel Castro couldn’t ask for better elections. Whichever Conyers clan member gets it will be staying in Congress for 60 years.

And will inherit Rep. Conyers’ government Cadillac Escalade. 

The Conyers fief stretches from Detroit to Highland Park to Garden City in Michigan’s lower peninsula. It’s majority African-American. A quarter of the population is unemployed. Median household income is $29K. Only 14% of the serfs on the Conyers political plantation even have a college degree.

It’s a typical Democrat plantation where only the politicians have a future.

One day, Rep. John Conyers took John Conyers III up a hill or toxic waste dump overlooking the parts of Detroit, the failed schools, murder hospitals and burned out buildings that are the legacy of the Conyers family and said, “Son, one day all this will be yours.”

When John Conyers II announced his retirement on a Detroit radio show, he did say, "My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now. This too shall pass. ... My legacy will continue through my children."

When your legacy is nepotism, it really can’t be diminished. But nepotism is a better legacy than propositioning your staffers in your underwear or groping them in church.

“I have great family here and especially my oldest boy, John Conyers III, who incidentally I endorse to replace me in my seat in Congress,” John Conyers II declared. “We're all working together to make this country a better one, to make equality and justice more available."

This is what a civil rights icon looks like. 

What better way is there to get “equality” and “justice” than by treating political offices as an inheritance to be passed on to your oldest son?

But while Rep. Conyers deeded the seat to his son, John Conyers III, also known as Civil Rights Icon Jr, just like King Lear’s legacy, the political inheritance of the Conyers Seat is already being contested.

By a Conyers.

Senator Ian Conyers (of Michigan, not America) smelled blood a few days ago. Ian is the grandnephew of Congressman Conyers.

“If he resigns or retires, I will run for the seat,” Senator Ian Conyers announced. "The work of representing the working families must continue.”

The working families in question are all named Conyers.

You can’t just wait around a McDonald’s parking lot waiting to be handed envelopes of sewage cash. You have to work hard for it. 

Monica Conyers, John’s wife and (presumably) the mother John Conyers III, went to prison for accepting envelopes of cash in a McDonald’s parking lot to sway a $1.2 billion Detroit wastewater contract. The company that got the contract was Synargo, the largest processor of sewage sludge in the country, outside the Detroit City Council where Monica once served as president pro tempore.

In Detroit Latin, president pro tempore means you serve until you get convicted of something.

The last president pro tempore was George Cushingberry Jr, an associate pastor and bankruptcy lawyer whose law license was suspended twice while in office, and was caught with booze and pot in his car. Cushingberry not only, allegedly, put his girlfriend on his payroll, but the other guy with him in the car. He also had bold ideas for making Detroit great again like breeding the animals in the Detroit Zoo for sale, “massive marijuana production” while using “hemp cloth to make alternative seating" for cars.

But enough about Detroit’s bright political future of getting high on car seats and breeding ligers.

It’s about who inherits Michigan’s 13th congressional district and the groping of its staffers. The only clan that might challenge the Conyers family would be Clan Kilpatrick. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick used to sit in the 13th, but the Kilpatrick dynasty fell from favor when her son, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, a fine Irish name, was convicted of wire fraud and racketeering. This was actually a step up from his previous notoriety for the mysterious death of a stripper and using the N-word in the State of the City address.

Her husband, Bernard, who had once compared critics of their son to the Nazis, was also convicted in a Kwame scandal involving Synagro.

And so that just leaves the Conyers clan to squabble over the 13th.

On social media, Ian has been rallying support over John with the hashtag #DemocracyMatters.

That’s the one thing that doesn’t matter in Detroit.

Unlike John Conyers III, Ian Conyers has a little more political experience. He was Obama’s regional field director and a treasurer for the 13th. And he’s a “rising star” in Michigan Dem politics.

That means he hasn’t been convicted of anything yet.

John Conyers III’s greatest experience in politics came when his father had to reimburse the government for his son’s “misuse of his taxpayer-funded Cadillac Escalade.”

Now III will inherit his father’s seat and his taxpayer-funded civil rights Cadillac Escalade.

If Ian Conyers doesn’t get the seat, that will deal a real blow to his ability to introduce a nationwide version of his racially insensitive mascots bill that would fine schools for having offensive mascots.

Meanwhile Monica Conyers accused Ian of not even visiting Rep. Conyers during his hospitalization for sex scandal related trauma. But, maybe there were offensive mascots visiting the children that day.

Whichever Conyers wins, the people of Michigan’s 13th can be confident that they will be represented by a Conyers. And maybe this one will be able to keep his pants on for a few of the next 60 years.

In Congress, Rep. Conyers chose Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to read his resignation statement. He chose well. Rep. Jackson Lee is famous for demanding African-American names for hurricanes.

Like Conyers, she is a civil rights icon.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee called Conyers, the “Dean of the United States Congress.”  Then she read his letter.

“I’ve been a champion of justice for the oppressed and the disenfranchised,” Rep. Conyers said in his humble missive. The actual disenfranchised in Detroit are non-members of his family.

Conyers touted his support for slavery reparations and tried to prove that he really respects women because he had once hired Rosa Parks. That would explain why Parks tried to move to the front of the bus. Like so many of his staffers, she was trying to get away from her boss.

Then Conyers complained that he wasn’t being “afforded the right of due process”, but affirmed the “progressive vision” which he owes to “my loving wife Monica” (who was sentenced to jail for bribery) and his son, “John III” who offers “hope to this generation of leadership, is committed to being an advocate for fairness and justice for all, and who never leaves my side.”

What better “progressive vision” could there be than infinite generations of the Conyers clan representing poor and bankrupt communities while enjoying the good life?

The progressive vision has bankrupted Detroit, but it’s been good for the Conyers clan.  And if it comes to pass, then in 2144, civil rights icon John Conyers VIII will be groping staffers in Congress.

Fairness and justice for all.

But maybe the “progressive vision” can be met with a dream. Maybe someone in Detroit even has a dream in which, to quote an actual civil rights icon, “justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream” and washes the ruling families of Detroit and the blue kingdoms into the gutter.

And then, “all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at Last! Free at Last!!’”

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