Barron; By Any Means Necessary

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New York City Council member, Charles Barren, is known for his uncompromising beliefs—in Black liberation and empowerment.

Although he’s dubbed “controversial” because of his leftist ideas, his complete dedication to the Black community is just what we need in a leader.

When I envisioned New York City council members, I thought of middle-aged white males in expensive suits, ignoring the real issues that plague our communities. The few Black men who were allowed to be tokens would only be reinforcers of the ideas of their White male co-workers and would continue to ignore our plight.

My ignorance lead to a shocking realization that there is indeed hope for radical change. This dawned on me after a comment by Barron to assembled media last Wednesday over the issue of his chief of Staff Viola Plummer, who was dismissed – a judge will rule on the validity in September- by Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

After Barron and others failed to get the necessary votes to have a section of Gates Avenue in Brooklyn changed to honor Black nationalist Sonny Carson – a measure Quinn had opposed and campaigned against, claiming Carson had been “anti-white” – Plummer allegedly called for the destruction of the political career of Leroy Comrie, a Black councilmember who abstained from voting; “assassinate his ass,” was the term Plummer allegedly used.

Barron says Quinn’s action against Plummer was simply because she had joined those who defied the Council Speaker. “Black people are not supposed to get angry with whites when they abuse their power, we’re not supposed to get angry, we’re supposed to take it quietly,” Barron declared.

The fact that Barron was conscious enough to conclude that Quinn might have felt threatened by a challenge to her assumed White matriarchy and realized the submissive role that some whites wish for Black people to play, made me interested in learning more about this man. He made the remarks openly before a sea of white media; without hesitation at all and made it clear that race is an issue in this situation.

I wonder how this former Black Panther is able to fight for on a daily basis in the political world of white patriarchs and Black puppets. I was even more pleased when I read more about Barron’s views and realized that his stances are ideal for Black empowerment.

Barron maintains that government and the police have been enemies not allies of the Black community. What kind of politician could say that the government is our enemy? A politician that strives for betterment and Black empowerment.

Barron even refuses to say the pledge of allegiance because it is contradictory to the true conditions of America and certainly there is no “liberty and justice for all.” Barron’s stance reminds me of myself in high school--the only 10th grader that refused to pledge allegiance.

Barron is an advocate against police brutality within our communities and realizes that crime is not the fault of the Black community but is directly correlated to our economic condition. Crime is a manifestation of poverty, deprivation and lack of opportunities.

This idea is different from those of some elitist Blacks who believe poor Blacks are solely responsible for their conditions and should “pull themselves up by their boot straps.”

Barron knows that crime can only be reduced by economic advancement rather than throwing our men in jail—after miseducation. He realizes that augmenting police forces, building more jails, and passing stricter laws will only put a band-aid on our problems instead of addressing the conditions of malaise.

He has been a fearless activist for years. In 1987, Barron was arrested with more than 70 others after demonstrating against racism in the city during the “day of unrest.” He spent 45 days in jail. Years earlier, in 1982, Barron was arrested after he physically removed a white historian who had been appointed chief archivist for the The Schomburg Center Library for Black History.

Barron’s actions prove that he maintains a “by any means necessary” mentality when fighting injustice. He doesn’t just rant and complain about what needs to be done for our community; he takes actions. He’s not afraid of defying the law.

Barron not only concerns himself with the plight of Black Americans but takes a keen and active interest on the African continent. In 2003, Barron along with other politicians, went to Zimbabwe for a fact-finding tour to assess the impact of the land redistribution program. Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe had finally seized land from the white farmers who stole them during the colonial era, and shared them amongst landless Africans. Mugabe had been widely vilified and demonized in white corporate media by writers and editors who empathized with their kith and kin.

Barron is a true Pan-Africanist with an understanding of his connectedness with all Blacks throughout the Diaspora.

Most corporate media outlets depict Barron as a “racist, angry Black man.” These media have no interest in Black betterment nor do they appreciate the extent of the abysmal conditions faced by the Black underclass.

Since Barron does not strive to keep the rich richer or play the uncle tom role, he is automatically depicted as a threat.

Those who challenge the system and go against the white elite are seen as a threat to the white American patriarchal structure.

Yet, change can only come by having more people following in Barron’s path and going against the system.

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