Don't let them take back Harlem

Carlos E. Russell | 6/14/2012, 3:37 p.m.

May I respectfully suggest that whether Rangel stays or is removed is a decision to be made by the people of Harlem, NOT by those whose not-too-hidden agenda is to regain control of America and who are convinced that Harlem could give them a launching pad to capture the state of New York.

Think about this! Upstate New York is primarily Republican; so, too, is much of Long Island. If they can win Harlem by placing a wedge between Latinos and Blacks and do the same in Central Brooklyn, their chance of winning the state is not so far-fetched. A first step is to defeat Rangel and replace him with a politically weaker, less influential Latino. Divide and conquer.

There was a time when this would have been difficult for them to accomplish. Sadly, over the years, we have contributed to the existing division--a division that must be healed if we are to continue to control our communities.

There are those who will say it is time for Rangel to go. To do so, in my view, will be, as my grandfather used to say, "cutting off one's nose to spite one's face." I am looking at the bigger picture and would not want to give the far right any further possibility of encroachment into our communities.

Let us not let them take back Harlem nor Central Brooklyn. Let us defeat the harbingers of re-enslavement. Let our ballots say "Not in Harlem....Not in Harlem...Not in Harlem where Malcolm once walked."

Carlos Russell, Ph.D., founder of Black Solidarity Day, is a playwright and professor emeritus of Brooklyn College. He is a former ambassador to the United Nations representing Panama, his birthplace.