Congressional race in New York highlights the growing strand of extremism on the Left.
A primary contest taking place in New York next Tuesday portends yet another embarrassment for the Democrat Party. In the newly re-drawn 8th Congressional District, City Councilman Charles Barron is running against state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries for the Democratic nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Ed Towns. Yesterday, the African-American Barron picked up an endorsement from former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke. How is this possible? As Duke explained, "The possible election of a dedicated anti-Zionist to the U.S. Congress, has thrown the Zionist-influenced media and the Zio-political establishment in a tizzy," he said in a web video.
Duke, a self-described "white nationalist," clarified his reasoning for backing one black American against another black American in a race far away from his home state of Louisiana. “In a race for Congress between an anti-Zionist black activist and a black activist who is a bought and paid for Zionist Uncle Tom, I’ll take the anti-Zionist any day,” Mr. Duke continues in the video. “In this election of limited choices, I believe that Charles Barron is the best choice. Why? Because I think there’s no greater danger facing the United States of America and facing the world than the unbridled power of Zionist globalism."
The reason for Duke's support is obvious: Since Barron's election to City Council in 2001, he has associated himself with anti-Israel groups and regularly demonized the State of Israel. In a 2009 interview with the Amsterdam News, he referred to the Gaza Strip as "a virtual death camp, the same kind of conditions the Nazis imposed on the Jews," further claiming the Jews "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."
He has also insisted Israel should never have been created, asking Brooklyn churchgoers in June 2010, "Where should we start? Should we start with the 1906 Zionist Convention, or in 1914, with the Balfour Declaration? With Menachem Begin, the terrorists, all the wars, you want to discuss Israel becoming a state in 1948 when it should not have? Who are the terrorists? You want to talk about the definition of terrorism? How do you define acts of piracy?"
In the same month, at a rally opposing Israel's raid of the flotilla trying to break the Gaza blockade during which nine activists were killed on the Mavi Marmara, Barron compared conditions in Gaza to “a concentration death camp.” “Israel is out of control," Barron fumed. "They’re off the hook, they’re out of line...There’s too many children and women and innocent men of Gaza dying because you’re isolating them and not allowing anything in. It’s like having a concentration death camp. It’s horrible, and the whole world is and should be outraged.”
When questioned about the death camp reference, Barron continued, "Any time that you deliberately cause the death of innocent children, whether you are a government or a non-government organization, you’re participating in genocide and you’re in participating in a violation of the human rights," he said. "And if you allow for this death and destruction to go on for years because you’re blocking humanitarian aid from coming in, you have set up a death camp."
In August 2010, he appeared in Harlem with members of the leftist New Black Panther Party (NBPP). During the rally, NBPP members referred to Fox New as "Fox Jews" and New York City as "Jew York City." Shortly afterward Barron expressed his allegiance, saying he and the NBPP "are embracing each other with unity..." In 2010 he complained to a reporter that Jews “only make up 20 percent of the population, but they’ve always walked these streets (in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights) as if they owned them, and acted as if they are the only ones in the community that matter.”
David Duke heartily concurs with this worldview, all too common on the Left today (see here for a list of many others). “I certainly agree with Barron that Israel is the worst rogue terrorist state on Earth. It’s not Iran folks,” Duke contends. “Barron is certainly right about Zionist control over the media and our government, and the treason that’s existed in our Congress and he’s right about the fact that Zionist wars have caused the death or harming of hundreds of thousands of Americans and cost you trillions of your tax dollars. Barron’s opponent, on the other hand, is a complete Zionist sellout of both the black people and all the people of America.”
Duke's endorsement notwithstanding, whoever wins the Democrat primary nomination is a virtual shoo-in in the November election, due to the 8th Congressional district's overwhelmingly Democrat composition. And while most of New York's Democrat establishment, including powerhouse New York Senator Chuck Schumer, is backing Jeffries, retiring incumbent Rep. Edolphus Towns has endorsed Barron. Towns has been the incumbent since 1983, and it remains to be seen how much influence he still wields.
Barron is also receiving considerable support from two major city government worker unions, District Councils 37 and 1707 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). "He’s always been there when we asked him to be there," said DC 1707 political action director G.L. Tyler. Barron's track record of remarks? Tyler insisted issues outside New York City government are "not our concern." They might also be of little concern to parts of the new district, such as East New York and Brownsville, that Barron has represented on City Council since 2001. Still another X factor in the primary is turnout. It is expected to be low, and the political speculation suggests that Bedford-Stuyvesant, with as many as 9000 votes up for grabs, could turn the election one way or the other. Both campaigns have flooded the area looking for support.
Jeffries has a vastly superior amount of money to spend, and the backing of progressive groups like MoveOn, the Working Families Party and most of New York's government unions. Barron has superior name-recognition and a devoted fan base. No polls have been taken in this race, and this is the first time the primary vote will be held in June, exacerbating efforts to get out the vote for either side.
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