View From The Middle
I couldn’t have been happier when I read the figures stating the final outcome of the primary election two weeks ago where City Councilman Charles Barron was TROUNCED by Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries in the 8th Congressional District race. I must admit I’d kept my feelings to myself previously — even in this opinion column — so as not to upset Barron and make him feel that the “white media” was working against him.
Now I find it easier to “work against him,” pardon the expression. I would find it that way when talking about any hate-monger, no matter what color he or she is.
Had I become involved in writing about the election beforehand, I most surely would have cited some of the outlandish filth spewed from the mouth of this racist, a former Black Panther, who told crowds of his affection for the likes of Libya’s late Moammar Khadafi, who killed thousands and thousands of his own countrymen, including women and children and, in 1988, was allegedly responsible for downing PanAm Flight 103, carrying 270 people near Lockerbie, Scotland, killing them all.
His allegiance to Zimbabwe dictator Marxist Robert Mugabe couldn’t be ignored, nor could his absurd remarks calling Thomas Jefferson a pedophile and pledging never to salute the American Flag be put aside. His remarks delivered on a hearing regarding reparation also must be quoted: “I want to go up to the closest white person and say, ‘You can’t understand this, it’s a black thing,’ and then slap him just for my mental health.” It’s almost understandable if coming from an uneducated sevenyear old, but from a man running for Congress?
Let us not dismiss Mr. Barron’s disdain for Jews.
Yes, disdain, as he called Israel “the biggest terrorist in the world,” even comparing the Israeli treatment of Palestinians to the Nazi treatment of Jews during World War Two. And his philosophies extend to current apparent anti-Semitic feelings. We know that several current and former New York Jewish elected officials, including ex-Mayor Ed Koch, Rep. Jerrold Nadler and fellow Councilman Dov Hikind, had denounced his candidacy, gathering earlier in the month in front of the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park to call him an “enemy of the State of Israel.”
Of course, where most losers in political elections eventually take it on the chin, acknowledging their defeat with, well, maybe some bravado, but nevertheless bowing to the winner, you could have bet on the fact that Mr. Barron wouldn’t take it so easily. He was quoted as saying that, while he didn’t want to sound like a sore loser, his defeat was more due to the opposition of “white law firms,” hedge funds and, uh, you guessed it, the media. I suppose we should have expected that.
Oh, incidentally, the final count was 77 percent for Jeffries and 23 percent for Barron. He didn’t refer to those figures after the race.
Now wait a minute. Can EVERYTHING said about Councilman Charles Barron be bad?
Although I wouldn’t acknowledge his aptitude for the House of Representatives for a second — a position he wouldn’t have been up to — I’d say he was probably just right for the job he’s been doing for the past three terms in the council. He will be term-limited out of that job at the end of this year and it will be hard to fill his shoes. The man’s rhetoric stinks, but his confrontational attitude, his will and his capacity for working for his constituents cannot be denied. No question he has been a good worker for the downtrodden and those who really needed him.
He’s been vociferous (an understatement) in defending “his” people and, whether you want to call it showboating and grandstanding (yes, I want to call it that!) or not, he has been the first in line when it comes to defending anyone he thinks has been wronged by the Establishment.
Let’s face it. When it was felt that he was starting to make strides as a candidate during the waning weeks before the primary, people in Washington started to run scared. Who needed this radical in their midst? Of course, they didn’t mention that our country was founded by a bunch of radicals. It’s just that they figured this guy was a little too tough to take and has his priorities all wrong.
We don’t know where he goes from here. His wife, Inez, is an Assemblywoman, and it wouldn’t be unheard of if he decided to switch with her and try for a legislative seat Upstate. On the other hand, word has it that he might be up for a run for Brooklyn borough president. That’s a possibility — if you want this man to be symbolic of what our borough is all about.
No doubt there are some admirable qualities of Charles Barron. His passion in fighting for the little guy is undeniable. If the battle was for the right cause, I would hope he would be on my side; but the battle first has to be just, and his priorities would have to be straight.
Right now, the “little people” need a fighter like that. Just not in Congress.