Saturday, June 13, 2015

Frank and Nicky and Rudy and Hillary

In 2000 Mark Jacobson interviewed '70s heroin kingpin Frank Lucas for New York magazine. The resulting article became the basis of the Denzel Washington movie American Gangster, and on the eve of its release in the fall of 2007, Jacobson, once again writing for New York, moderated a conversation between Lucas and former rival Nicky Barnes. Here's an excerpt:

from left, Nicky Barnes (photo credit: Tyrone Dukes,
The New York Times/Redux) and Frank Lucas
(PR Newsfoto/BET Networks/Newscom)
MJ: Rudy Giuliani chased both you guys when he was D.A. What do you think about him running for president?

NB: Giuliani would make a good president because he's a principled guy.

FL: When Giuliani tells you something, he means it. But I don't think we're ready for an Italian president. I don't think we're ready for a black president. I don't think we're ready for a woman president, but I tell you right now: I think Hillary Clinton will win this thing hands down.

NB: Hillary will be the next president.

FL: No question about it.

The lesson: Stay in school. Don't do drugs. Don't deal drugs either, but the most successful dealers are usually the ones who don't mess with their own product, so when you look at it that way— SHUT UP, SOCRATIC METHOD, WHICH PEOPLE LEARN BY STAYING IN SCHOOL.

Look, just don't do drugs, okay, kids?

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