So, if you ate the chicken, do you lose your job?

               In the wake of the press conference at which a black Rochester city firefighter told of being taken by his white captain to a mocking Juneteenth party featuring fried chicken and Hennessy, the natural question is: Who gets cancelled for this?

               At the press conference, Democrat County Legislator Rachel Barnhart said that all first responders in attendance should be fired. That was in response to a claim that one or more unnamed police officers may have been there.

               “There” was the East Avenue mansion of a millionaire dentist who, with his wife, likes to play at being part of Rochester’s rich royalty, and who threw the party.

               That would be Nicholas Nicosia and his wife, Mary.

               They’ve said they are eager to clear their names, but they have yet to do so, and have issued neither an explanation nor an apology.

               But they might well have destroyed a lot of people’s lives and livelihoods, including their own.

               He was the vice chairman of the board of Highland Hospital, she was on the board of the Landmark Society. They were part of the tuxedo-and-evening-gown set, smiling broadly at all the right society and non-profit events.

               And giving money to all the right politicians.

               Including Rachel Barnhart.

               And Mayor Malik Evans – who was oddly silent about the event for a full month after it was reported to fire department officials.

               Nicholas Nicosia is a Democrat, Mary Nicosia is a Republican, and they have ladled out money left and right for several years.

               In fairness, politicians usually can’t be held accountable for who gives them money – they can’t be expected to do background checks. Barnhart has matched money contributed to her by the Nicosias with donations to a non-profit, and La’Ron Singletary has returned uncashed the check they gave him.

               Those things seem reasonable.

               But firing everybody doesn’t.

               If the fire captain, the firefighters and the police officers at the event have to be fired, as the activists are calling for, what about everybody else who was there? And what about the Rochester non-profit elites who have lavished praise on the Nicosias for 20 years?

               Were they only poison that one day?

               The reality is nobody ever got on a non-profit board by being competent. They got there by being able to give the organization free labor, free money or free publicity. They may be coincidentally competent, and that’s a nice plus, but it’s not a prerequisite.

               Firefighters and police officers, on the other hand, have to demonstrate competence, and dedicate their lives to doing helpful, dangerous things.

               In terms of courage and caring, a cop or a firefighter is worth 10 politicians or 100 big-money people. And if everybody who was there isn’t getting fired, then nobody who is there should get fired.

               That includes the fire captain, and that includes the cop.

               The fire captain – Jeff Krywy – is a long-serving and useful firefighter, and has been a siren sounding the alarm over woeful response times for ambulance calls in the city of Rochester. His career has been exemplary, and he has been a key member of the county’s traffic safety board.

               And he did a stupid thing for which he should be punished. But justice doesn’t hold just a sword, she also holds a balance – to weigh the good against the bad. And to throw away a lifetime’s work over 40 minutes of poor judgment isn’t justice, it is vengeance.

               And if that’s the standard, then apply it to everyone.

               If the captain was wrong for 40 minutes of silence, then the mayor was wrong for a month of silence. If there must be firings at the fire department and police department, then there must be firings at City Hall, and anywhere else people cozied up to or covered up for this event and the people who sponsored it.

               Crucifying a fire captain and a cop or two and pretending that that is fair, or that it addresses the smiling racism of this event, is ridiculous. This isn’t about some blue-collar folks in the first-responder community, this is about the financial, political and social elites of Rochester, and a couple of their own showing their true colors.

         It's easy to throw away a fireman, and to denounce some more cops, but it's not just or fair. If those people have to lose their jobs, then everyone who went to that party needs to lose theirs.

         And that's why City Hall kept this quiet.

         And that's why this fire captain is going to be a sacrificial lamb.

         What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Even if the goose is a blue-collar firefighter and the gander is a blue-blood elitist or an elected politician.

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