Why Gillibrand will fail Black New York
Alton H.Maddox | , Jr. | 4/12/2011, 4:38 p.m.
In designating Cong. Kirsten Gillibrand (Sarah Palin) to represent New York in the U.S. Senate, Gov. David Paterson has behaved like all Black politicians. They desire to represent all the people. This means treating their base constituency like it has the bubonic plague. Black people must remain in the closet until every Election Day. They are still second-class citizens.
If it had not been for Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, the Senate would not even have a token Black, Roland Burris, as a member. The federal government conducted a pre-dawn raid on his residence to ensure that he would not get to his office to appoint a Black person to the U.S. Senate. Of course, Illinois is the "Land of Lincoln." Blagojevich chose to elevate principles over politics even if it meant facing impeachment and imprisonment. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made it clear that the Democratic Party opposed an integrated Senate in 2009.Paterson caused a different problem.
Democrats control both the Illinois Senate and the Illinois House. Usually, impeachment proceedings occur when the head of the executive branch of government has ticked off the majority party. Blagojevich should view himself as an abolitionist. Like in 1863, the Democratic Party is ticked off.
Blacks, Latinos and Asians make up nearly 40 percent of the state's population. In Gillibrand's 20th Congressional District, Blacks, Latinos and Asians make up only 5 percent of her constituents. Most of these oppressed groups, statewide, live in urban areas. The 20th Congressional District is rural.
To make matters worse, Sen. Charles Schumer has never aligned himself with historically oppressed groups. Only urban, suburban and rural whites will enjoy representation from New York in the Senate. Blacks, Latinos and Asians will have to fend for themselves. Gillibrand is only a nominal Democrat. Her father, Douglas Rutnik, a politically connected lawyer and lobbyist, is an ally of former Gov. George Pataki. She worked for former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato and had clerked for Roger Miner, a conservative federal appeals court judge in Manhattan.
She is a dyed-in-the-wool Republican. At Paterson's press conference announcing his designation of Gillibrand to represent New York in the Senate, no one stood closer to Gillibrand than D'Amato. It is called guilt by association.
Although New York State is 87 percent urban, Gillibrand will be walking into the Senate with no urban agenda amid tough economic times. She successfully sought House assignments on the Agricultural and Armed Services committees. She is the poster girl for the NRA. Nebraska would love her for promoting guns and butter.
It will certainly take more than two years for Gillibrand to become acquainted with her historically oppressed constituents and progressive whites. Like Lincoln, she has never had any relationship with historically oppressed groups.
Her appearances in Harlem and Queens on January 24 were public relations gimmicks. She has no interest in the plight of Blacks, Latinos and Asians in addition to progressive whites. Her first contact with Blacks was, in fact, on January 24,2009.
No political relationship exists between Gillibrand and Obama. Like Paterson, she sided with Hillary Clinton in her bid for the White House. Caroline Kennedy, on the other hand, campaigned for Obama. Rev.Al Sharpton sat on the fence during the 2008 presidential primary. Obama voted for the bailout package in late 2008. Gillibrand voted against it. Over the past two terms in Congress, Gillibrand's political votes have mostly sanctioned Bush 43's legislative packages. The 20th Congressional District voted for Bush 43 in both 2000 and 2004.