Rep. Charles Rangel played the race card yesterday as he entered the final stretch of his renomination campaign before the Sept. 14 primary.
Speaking to scores of supporters at an outdoor celebration organized by church leaders in Harlem, the embattled Democrat described himself as a “foot soldier” in African-Americans’ struggle for equality, and urged everyone to vote for him to keep the fight alive.
“All of you remember that this fight is never, never going to end. I’m just one of the foot soldiers; just one of those [who] fought in the march so that one day our kids [will] be able to say, ‘Do you remember when there was bigotry and prejudice in this country? Do you remember when there wasn’t fairness?’
Rangel faces five opponents as he battles a slew of ethics charges in Congress, including failing to pay taxes on property he owns in the Dominican Republic and not declaring investments on his tax returns.
“It’s very difficult to understand . . . when the commander-in-chief is leading our great nation involved in two wars for people to be so overtly critical of him knowing, knowing, that the enemies of democracy are listening to that–it’s just not right,” Rangel said after the rally.
Comparing African-Americans’ gains in politics to being allowed into a meeting, Rangel said, “It won’t be long now before they’ll be telling our president, ‘You can’t attend the meeting.'”