Charles Barron: “Racism Permeates Every Institution in This State”

Celeste Katz, New York Daily News, August 16, 2010

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Barron [Brooklyn City Councilman Charles Barron] had perhaps 75 people with him on the steps of Brooklyn Borough Hall. One was waving a huge red-black-and-green pan-African flag. They piled stacks of petitions on a table that Barron said had 45,500 signatures, and chanted “Blacks and Latinos first!” and “Whose party? Our party!”

“No longer are we going to allow the Democrats to take the black vote for granted, Republicans to ignore us or the white progressives on the left to use us,” Barron said. “No longer will we let this state be quiet on race. Race matters. Racism permeates every institution in this state, and we’re gonna let it be known loud and clear.”

The councilman, who discussed taxing the rich and ending stop and frisks by the police, continued: “{snip}This party is a black- and Latino-led party that is open up to everybody. If we take care of blacks and Latinos, the state will be better off. Because if you’re giving us living-wage jobs, you can keep your welfare. If you give us youth centers and workforce development programs in our community, you can keep your prisons.”

The official slate is Barron for governor, Eva Doyle of Buffalo for lieutenant governor and Ramon Jimenez of Bronx for attorney general. (No comptroller candidate yet.)

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Of all the candidates out there running, Barron said in regard to petition-gathering, “The only gubernatorial candidate, the only attorney general candidate, the only lieutenant governor candidate that took our case to the people is the Freedom Party. The all-white state slate of the Democratic Party is unacceptable.”

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As for debates: “Let the debates begin! When we get in the debates, tell Cuomo I’m looking for him! Tell Lazio he’d better get out the way. And if they try to say we’re some fringe organization, and we can’t be in the debates, we’re going to break the door down! This is not fringe!”

Barron noted that lawyer Alton Maddox, Jr.–the lawyer who defended Tawana Brawley and other notable clients before having his law license suspended–organized much of the signature gathering both upstate and here in NYC through his group, the United African Movement.

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Asked about petition challenges, Barron said, “Bring it. We dare them to challenge us. Why would you want to challenge 43,000 signatures? Whoever challenges us, we welcome it, and we’re going to say to this state, anybody who challenges these petitions obviously wants to keep the state all-white.”

Lisberg also saw Senatorial hopeful Gail Goode, who is running a longshot primary campaign against incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. She said she’s also frustrated at all-white Dem slate and was shooed away from doing anything at the Dem convention. She says she has enough signatures and is on the ballot, but if she loses a primary, won’t run on the Freedom Party slate.

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