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Ron Radosh

In New York City, the U.F.T. Betrays Al Shanker’s Legacy

June 24th, 2012 - 12:03 pm

Two days from now a primary election to pick the Democratic Party candidate for Congress in the 8th Brooklyn-Queens Congressional District in New York City will take place. The two men contending for the spot are New York City Councilman Charles Barron and New York State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries.

Both men are African-American, but their differences are profound. Jeffries is a moderate centrist who has gone against the grain of his own party by supporting school vouchers and educational reform. In contrast, Barron is a an ultra-leftist who chose opposition to Israel as the major focus of his candidacy and who is in no uncertain terms a black racist.

Last week the former KKK leader David Duke gave Barron his endorsement:

The possible election of [Barron], a dedicated anti-Zionist to the U.S. Congress, has thrown the Zionist-influenced media and the Zio-political establishment in a tizzy.

Duke acknowledged that he doesn’t agree with Barron on everything but stressed that “I certainly agree with Barron that Israel is the worst rogue terrorist state on Earth.”

Among Barron’s most notable statements are his praise of the late Moammar Qadaffi as a hero, inviting the Zimbabwean killer and dictator Robert Mugabe to City Hall in New York, and saying at a rally on behalf of reparations for slavery,

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.

As for Israel, Barron has said that “the biggest terrorist in the world is the government of Israel.” In the New York City Council, he protested about sitting near a statue of Thomas Jefferson, who he said was “a slaveholder, a hypocrite and a racist.”

The opponents of Barron read like a Who’s Who of New York’s Democratic Party establishment. They include Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Jerry Nadler, and others. These Democrats see a Barron victory as an embarrassment to their party and city, undermining the clout of their congressional delegation. They are terrified about the possibility that Barron will win the primary, and hence win a seat in Congress in a district that always votes Democratic.

The problem, however, is that New York City’s major trade unions, led by AFSCME, have endorsed Barron and are actively supporting him. DC-37 represents 25,000 Department of Education employees and backs Barron because of his opposition to charter schools, which the union opposes. Its executive director, the leftist unionist Lillian Roberts, stated that “city workers and their unions have had to fight major battles to protect rights that we fought hard to win as well as to preserve the vital safety-net services we provide to an ever-growing clientele,” which is clearly enough for her to support Barron despite his racism and extremism.

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