Thirty-year Congressional veteran Edolphus Towns retired in April leaving an interesting battle for the Democratic Party Nomination in New York’s 8th Congressional District-a district that is overwhelmingly minority (52.9% African-American, 18% Hispanic).
The race pits NY State Assemblyman Hakim Jeffries the pick of the Democratic Party establishment against New York City Councilman and former member of the Black Panther Party Charles Barron who happens to hate Caucasians, Jews, and Israel, but has an affinity for despots and tyrants. Here are some fun examples of Barron’s rhetoric.
- At a 2002 rally in support of reparations for slavery, he said:
“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
- After his election to city council in January 2002, Barron called for the removal of all City Hall paintings of white men and replace then with black leaders
"We’re bringing the ’hood to the Hall!" Barron said at the time. He then called Thomas Jefferson, whose statue stands in the City Council Chamber, a "slaveholding pedophile."
- In 1982, when Barron was head of the Black United Front's Harlem Chapter, he and Preston Wilcox from the Institute of African Research led more than a dozen fellow protesters in attempting to "forcibly remove" a white employee, historian Robert Morris, from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where Morris worked as chief archivist (they believed the position should have been held by an African America).
- In April 2011 Barron accused President Obama of being a tool of white America
“Let’s be very clear, President Obama is merely a mouthpiece for a racist imperialistic American foreign policy controlled by generals and corporate elites.”
- At the House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn, June 17, 2010 he said the Jews aren’t really Jews:
"I am tired every time you criticize Israel, you are anti-Semitic. Well technically my pastor taught me about the Semitic people, the Semites are black
- In an article about Jewish/Black relations Barron was quoted as saying
"Even when leaders moved in to quell the violence, they never dealt with the perception that Jews get preferential treatment in Crown Heights. They only make up 20 percent of the population, but they've always walked these streets as if they owned them, and acted as if they were the only ones that mattered..."
"....There is a way of thinking that says black life is not as good as Jewish life. That way of thinking has real consequences. It puts a chip on the shoulders of those made to feel inferior and gives a false sense of entitlement to those placed on high. The fact that they [Jews] have their own ambulance service and volunteer police detail in the heart of the community speaks to that.Barron uses the modern version of the Anti-Semitic blood-libel criticizing Israel and regularly employs Holocaust analogies likening Israeli actions to those of the Nazis.
- In June of 2010 he told CBS News
“[Gaza] is a concentration camp and you're deliberately causing the death of people and you cannot continue to justify that by saying that you're trying to secure Israel or you're fighting against terrorism."
- In July 2009 he told the Amsterdam News:
"They massacre the Palestinian people, bomb their homes, churches and schools, and then block anybody trying to deliver aid to them. What this amounts to is genocide."
Later that same month he told the paper:
"Gaza is a virtual death camp, the same kind of conditions the Nazis imposed on the Jews,"I don’t want to give you the opinion that Charles Barron hates everybody, there are people he strongly supports:
- On The death of Qaddafi
“Out there, they don’t know that Qaddafi was our brother. … People say ‘Didn’t he kill all those people?’ I say, ‘I don’t know anything. The man was a freedom fighter,” Councilman Barron said exemplifying the pro-Qaddafi sentiment expressed at the event.”
- On the murderous despot from Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe
“In the year 2000, when he said one farm, one farmer, he was vilified,” Barron told me. “For 20 years they loved Mugabe because they didn’t take the land from the whites.” In South Africa, he goes on, whites “still own 80 to 90 percent of the land. That’s why they like Mandela. That’s why they like Bishop Tutu. They let the whites keep the land.”
As for the violence, Barron said that he had seen no evidence tying the government to the attacks on opposition supporters; that there were bad things done by opposition supporters, too; and that none of the reports on what’s happening in Zimbabwe were objective.
- On Fidel Castro
Mr. Barron said that, comparing the American regime to the Cubans', "There is no question in my mind that Castro is a better leader than Bush.On June 26th, voters in New York’s 8th Congressional district will choose between Hakim Jeffries and Charles Barron. While other reports regarding this race have claimed that Councilman Barron was about to win this race in a district with a big Jewish population, they are sensationalizing the story. District 8 is less Jewish than the rest of the city. According the World Jewish Population Survey 14.9% of NYC residents are Jewish. Only 22% of the district voters are White, a major segment of those voters live in the heavily Italian/Catholic area of Howard Beach and Ozone park approximately 60,000 people live in those two neighborhoods. Based on that knowledge it is safe to assume that 12-15% of the 22% white voters figure is not Jewish, making this district one of the least Jewish Congressional districts in NYC.
"If you want to look at morality and humanity," the councilman said, "Castro has exported medical equipment and medical services and engineers and architects. ... Every time you hear of Castro exporting something, it's humanitarian aid. When America exports something, it's killing and war machines and bombs and troops."
Also unlike other reports it would be very unlikely that Barron would win the nomination. Governor Cuomo and other NY Democratic Party Icons such as Former Mayor Ed Koch, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Councilman David Greenfield, and Assemblyman Dov Hikind support Jeffries the popular Assemblyman as well as others. The Liberal Daily News and the Conservative NY Post support Jeffries as well. Additionally Jeffries Assembly district is fully within NY-8 (his last two elections Jeffries won 98% of the vote) and the new parts of the district Ozone Park and Howard Beach tend to be a bit more conservative than the average NYC Democrat.
While Charles Barron is not likely to be the next Democrat nominated for Congress in this district, it is important to keep an eye on and expose haters such as him, it is the only way to ensure that they never move on to higher office.