If you've ever tried to argue with someone on the Left over toxic influences in the Democratic party, they've probably smugly reminded you that they at least keep their crazies in check. "Come on," the usual line runs, "at least we don't let the Farrakhan types hold Federal office!"
Well, if this story from the Weekly Standard is any guide, that excuse is now completely broken. Meet Charles Barron, New York City Councilman, former Black Panther, anti-Israel demagogue and probable Democratic nominee to be the next Congressman from New York's 8th district:
In 2010, he told a reporter that in New York's Crown Heights neighborhood, Jews "only make up 20 percent of the population, but they've always walked these streets as if they owned them, and acted as if they are the only ones in the community that matter."[...]
Barron has also called into question the legitimate existence of Israel. "Where should we start [the discussion]?" he said at a Brooklyn church in 2010. "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?"
Not bad enough? Well, how about this - Barron has compared Israel's handling of the Palestinians in Gaza to concentration camps. Yes, literally:
Israel is out of control. They’re off the hook, they’re out of line; and Barack Obama has to stand strong and so do does Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, to say that this kind of aggressive, terroristic behavior and act of piracy will not be tolerated and the blockade should be lifted immediately, immediately. 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.
Barron's hatred of Israel is such that now even the Anti-Defamation League treats him as a collaborator with actual anti-semites. From their profile on him (emphasis added):
During media interviews and frequent speaking engagements around New York City, Barron levels a range of accusations against the Jews and the Jewish state, most notably that it should never have been created. In June 2010, for example, he asserted that Blacks, not Jews, are the "real" Semites—a position frequently advanced by anti-Semites in an effort to delegitimize Jews. In addition to Barron's public pronouncements, he has engaged with the broader anti-Israel movement and participated in campaigns such as the pro-Hamas Viva Palestina US convoy to Gaza.
Perhaps more troubling are Barron's close ties to radical groups like the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), the largest organized black militant hate group in the United States. Barron has forged strong ties with some of the most anti-Semitic and racist members of the NBPP's leadership, finding common ground over what they perceive as legal and social injustices affecting African Americans.[...]
During his remarks at the event, Barron urged African-Americans to vote in an upcoming election—in which he was running for mayor—so that more "elected revolutionaries" like himself could join city government. He also promised that if elected, he would turn Gracie Mansion into a homeless shelter and paint the columns of City Hall the colors of African unity: red, green and black.
Disdain for Barron's platform stretches across party lines. The relatively liberal New York Daily News newspaper has already endorsed one of his opponents, and had this to say about Barron:
Three hundred thousand registered Democrats have a critical mission on Primary Day this month. They must rush to the polls to choose Hakeem Jeffries for Congress.
They must do so because Jeffries is a superbly qualified candidate, and they must do so to spare New York the profound embarrassment of sending to Washington a racial bomb thrower who counts Moammar Khadafy as a hero.[...]
A relic of a bitter bygone era, Barron is a former Black Panther who plays a one-note trumpet of racial grievance.
He has called for training teachers in Ebonics. He has labeled housing development “a new wave of Jim Crowism.”
At a 2002 rally in support of reparations for slavery, he said: “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.”[...]
One man in this contest is a class act. The other is a malignant clown.
It is difficult to end on a stronger note than that. Terrifyingly enough, Barron has still managed to net the endorsement of the retiring Congressman, Edolphus Towns, and is in a very strong position to win. Hopefully all these revelations will enter the campaign in time to stop him. In the meantime, perhaps the best way to conclude would be with this interview in which Barron defends his stridently anti-Zionist perspective. If he can't defend himself in his own words, then no one can: