Darn the luck!
I really was hoping that New York City Councilman Charles Barron would win last Tuesday's race for an open seat in New York's 8th Congressional District. As it happened, New York State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries soundly trounced him.
Despite a late scare, and hints that Barron might pull off the upset, Jeffries ended up winning more than 70 percent of the vote. It was a crushing defeat.
And what was Barron's reaction? Why, to demand a recount, of course. How can you not love a guy with that kind of chutzpah? How can you not appreciate Barron's penchant for lowbrow comedy and downright buffoonery?
Oh, this guy is a piece of work. That's why I wanted him in Congress. I need the comic relief. How funny is Barron? According to a New York Post editorial, the man actually blamed his lopsided defeat on "the white media." Never mind that his opponent, Jeffries, is as black as Barron is.
There may be those who don't find Barron so funny. A group of Jewish lawmakers, upset about Barron's anti-Israel salvos in the past, openly rooted for Jeffries in the race. Barron has been known to express admiration for such leaders as Libya's departed -- and now deceased -- Moammar Gadhafi and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.
Barron first came to my attention in the summer of 2002. I met him at a Brooklyn church where a debate was being held about reparations for slavery.
The folks who organized the debate had a curious view of fairness. On one side were about 10 to 15 people, all advocating that black Americans be paid reparations for slavery.
On the other side were exactly two guys: myself and Niger Innis of the Congress of Racial Equality.
As the debate progressed, I expected that at least one of the people on the pro-reparations side would get in a dig about Innis and me being Uncle Toms. Barron was the one -- he did not disappoint.
The next time I saw Barron was on television, in August 2002. He spoke at the "Millions for Reparations" rally -- attended by all of a couple of hundred -- held here in the nation's capital. What profound, pithy insights did Barron share with his fellow reparations advocates?
"Sometimes I feel like slapping a white person for my mental health," Barron said.
Ah, Charles Barron! Black. Liberal. A Democrat. A man who is guaranteed to embarrass Democrats whenever he has a chance. A man who is so over-the-top that he received an endorsement from ... David Duke! Yes, the former Ku Klux Klan member endorsed the former Black Panther Party member in the recent election. And, like Barron did at that Brooklyn church 10 years ago, Duke whipped out an Uncle Tom card of his own.
"The possible election of a dedicated anti-Zionist to the U.S. Congress has thrown the Zionist-influenced media and the Zio-political establishment in a tizzy," Duke said. "In a race for Congress between an anti-Zionist black activist and a black activist who is a bought-and-paid-for Uncle Tom, I'll take the anti-Zionist any day."
The bought-and-paid-for Uncle Tom, in Duke's eyes, is Jeffries. And here I thought a guy that was an avowed KKK member would appreciate an Uncle Tom, not diss him. Shows what I know. Barron also received endorsements from at least two public employee unions, and the retiring congressman he hoped to replace, Rep. Ed Towns, D.
Can you imagine the uproar that would have occurred in January of 2013 had Barron won the election and walked into the halls of Congress, with David Duke's endorsement? I can. That's why I'm sorry Barron lost.
Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.