Shame On Charlie Rangel
Black Star News Editorial
Rep. Charlie Rangel shown with Clinton; he hasn’t been campaigning for her lately
Black Star News Editorial
NEW YORK (RUSHPRNEWS) February 29, 2008 – While announcing his support for Hillary Clintonâ€™s presidential run over Barack Obama, Congressman Charles Rangel who represents Harlem said Obama had no chance.
Rangel professed admiration for Obama yet claimed the people who enthusiastically backed him were motivated by â€œBlack pride.â€ Now that Obama has won millions of votes and more states and more delegates than Clinton, we wonder whether Rangel has reassessed his outlook.
Perhaps the millions of white voters that have preferred Obama over Clinton are also motivated by â€œBlack prideâ€?
So much so that Senator Obama even got more white votes than senator Clinton did in Virginia–the first time he beat her in the white vote count in a Southern State.
Might these millions of voters â€“Black, White, Latinos, Asiansâ€”not be responding to senator Obamaâ€™s message of change, hope, empowerment and unity that resonates with all races, ethnicities, gender and religions?
The Rev. Calvin Butts of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York, while endorsing Clinton, also similarly disparaged Obama. Butts said he was supporting the â€œbest candidateâ€ and that it wasnâ€™t about â€œrace.â€ Former New York mayor David Dinkins made a similar argument in supporting Clinton over Obama; that it wasnâ€™t sufficient that Obama was Black.
Dinkins and Rangel even travelled to South Carolina to campaign for Clinton. This, even
after the Clinton campaignâ€™s attack dogs had employed race baiting tactics, casting Obama as a drug dealer. Her husband Bill Clinton had also referred to Obamaâ€™s campaign and opposition to the Iraq war as a â€œfairy tale.â€
Earlier, Bill Clinton had claimed electing Obama was like â€œrolling a dice.â€ Since he didnâ€™t make similar remarks about John Edwards, who was then still a candidate, the implication was that â€œAre you going to hand over the keys to the White House and the nationâ€™s atomic arsenal to a Black manâ€?
Beginning with South Carolina, voters have spoken loudly; rejecting such race baiting and gutter politics.
â€œRace pride,â€ might have been a factor in Obamaâ€™s drive to succeed throughout his life.
But race pride didnâ€™t get him into Columbia; race pride didnâ€™t take the exams that propelled him to Harvard Law School; race pride didnâ€™t get him elected President of the Harvard Law Review; race pride didnâ€™t get him elected to the Illinois senate, and then to the United States Senate; and, race pride, hasnâ€™t brought him to the doorsteps of a possible singular achievement—on the verge of becoming the Democratic Partyâ€™s nominee for U.S. president.
We can understand how the Clintons may have succumbed to the worse type of human instincts in their desperate quest for the White House; itâ€™s much sadder when so-called Black leaders are recruited to join in such ugly misadventure.
Rangel, Butts and Dinkins have the right to support any candidate whom they want. No one is obligated to emulate pioneers such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Congressman Adam Clayton Powell or Shirley Chisholm. But itâ€™s wrong for them to belittle another trailblazer as being propelled by â€œblack pride.â€ It only sullies their reputation.
When Rangel set out to become a congressman, and when Dinkins set out to become New Yorkâ€™s first Black mayor, and when Butts stepped to the pulpit at the great Abyssinian, each one of them, we are sure, hoped they offered more than their pigmentation to supporters.
Congressman John Lewis is an honest and honorable man. He has re-evaluated
his position about Clintonâ€™s inevitability and come to the correct conclusion.
At the very least, Rangel, Butts and Dinkins owe senator Obama an apology.
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