by Chris Stevenson
“They now have nearly one bomb for every one individual and if you don’t like the way they’re runnin’ things and you call them up and tell ’em, they may send you yours” -Gil Scott Heron-the Ghetto Code
Still on the subject of racists known and unknown, some funny things have been happening in Albany New York. First there was the purge of black leadership that was initiated by two Hispanic gentlemen who come from an ethnic group who speak a faster version of Spanish than… well the Spanish. One is an accused slasher, the other an accused embezzler. You might say they pulled a fast one.
Alton Maddox the controversial New York attorney said in the Amsterdam News that he feels that it’s an example of what happens when our black political representatives are asleep. I disagreed with that statement then. I think it’s worse. When you sleep there eventually is a point when you wake up. This is perpetual naivete; the kind of Kumbaya-coma that makes a black watchman open the door to a secured location when a white man with a rifle is approaching the entrance. From a political standpoint Malcolm Smith was almost shot down but thanks to Governor David Patterson and his aides Smith is still-as of this writing- Temporary President of the New York State Senate. As it goes today, black people are not to consider Smith’s 6/8 removal an act of racism. Just Ask Governor Patterson, he is currently being vilified by the right for simply stating he feels that race is behind the criticism of people like Smith, MA Governor Deval Patrick and himself and he feels this will intensify against President Obama in the future (as if things aren’t bad enough now).
So much for post-racial America. Are we there yet? Who could fathom that back in September 9 the New York Democrats would win the majority seats in the Senate 32-30, clearing the way for the first Democratic majority leader in 40 years and the first African American ever to take such a position. This saw the emergence of Smith. There was just one small problem, Smith had some ideas of his own-as all individuals do I hear-he wanted to make the Senate more open, more transparent and bipartisan according to a web bio. Powerful whites are getting enough of that today from Obama. Under Smith the new majority fired 4 men who were hired locally, as the saying goes, you can fire people but you can’t fire money. Attempts to get the un-fantastic four rehired were unsuccessful, thus began the coup. At some point Tom Golisano (money) of Florida-and sometimes even New York I hear-became a Chile-Dog Democrat and began plotting with Puerto Rican American Senators Pedro Espada Jr. from the Bronx and Hiram Monserrate of Queens to break rank and join the republicans and get Dean Skelos appointed as Majority Leader. Obviously usurping Smith.
This is the same Golisano who helped the dems gain the majority seats by contributing $4.4 million. This is the same Golisano who played the spoiler to another black man running for New York statewide office back in 2002; H. Carl McCall when he ran for Governor. Golisano gained 14% of the vote, a significant difference considering McCall’s 33% to Pataki’s 49%. Even with Upstate New York’s turncoat black church voting Pataki, McCall might have edged him out.
Where does this currently leave Mr. Smith. In the immortal words of Austin Powers “who does number two work for?” By 6/9/09 he was bamboozled, hoodwinked and almost gone, had Skelos become Majority Leader, Espada would have become Temporary President and the two positions would have belonged to separate parties for the first time since 1913. This whole matter put New York State politics under a very bad light nationally and affected politics in Albany and New York and Buffalo. The most immediate solution is to avoid outsiders like Golisano. It may be his money, but he had no such plans of divisiveness or coups when Joseph Bruno was Majority Leader (since ’94), did he? I’m sure throughout the history of New York it wasn’t the first time an Italian set blacks and Hispanics against each other. We were previously just used to organized crime and police doing that.
Chris Stevenson is a syndicated columnist, respond to him at the comment link below.