By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District Bronx County, New York
Assemblyman Denny Farrell shows no respect for Bronx residents, for Bronx elected officials, and especially no respect for the Bronx’s growing Hispanic population.
“You must understand, for the last 40 years, whatever district Charlie Rangel wants, we give it to him. I say, ‘Charlie, we can’t draw anything else in the state till we draw you.’ That’s always been our position — we do you and then everything. He’s the dean. He’s the No. 1.”
These words expressed today in a Daily News column by Bill Hammond titled ‘Albany's Gift to Charlie Rangel’ practically confirmed to the world what I have been asking all along about our representatives in Albany: Are they are all a bunch of sell-outs or do they have the best interest for our community as their top priority?
Today, my dear reader, Harlem is a very different community. Charles Rangel and Keith Wright may have brought “progress” to Harlem with great business proposals, 125th Street is thriving with stores and businesses, and people now go to Harlem to shop, but there is one big problem. They pushed their residents out – especially the African American community. They did not protect Harlem residents.
There are not enough African American residents in Harlem to keep Charles Rangel in his position, and there is no one to blame but Charles Rangel himself – and his colleagues. They allowed African Americans to lose Harlem to others communities. In other words, today Harlem is owned by others – not by African Americans as it used to be.
We cannot deny, and you should know, that Charlie Rangel is a legendary figure in the African American community and that whatever he wants for Harlem he has always gotten.
We also have to note that the historical beauty of Harlem has been their residents, their struggle for survival and their history. Harlem was a strong political power for the African American community in the eyes of the nation, until their leadership, led by Charles Rangel, sold them out to former President Bill Clinton and his business associates.
Now Charles Rangel, Denny Farrell and Keith Wright – after losing Harlem – want to come to the Bronx and without respect or consideration to the leadership, to the people of the Bronx, and to all of us who have fought to keep our community intact, contrary to what they did in Harlem. Remember Denny Farrell’s words, “Charlie, we can’t draw anything else in the state till we draw you … we do you and then everything.”
What a joke! What a farce! What a lack of respect to Sheldon Silver, to the rest of the Assembly members and to the people of the Bronx!
We in the Bronx have built housing to protect the Black and Hispanic community from leaving us. The census verified that the Bronx did not lose people – the Bronx gained residents because the Bronx leadership has been responding to the needs of its community and has not allowed others to come and push our people out.
We do not need Charles Rangel to come to the Bronx. We have enough people to get two congressional districts independent and apart from everything else, to take over our struggles and our fight.
When I hear Denny Farrell practically say that the Assembly will not do anything until “we do” Charles Rangel. I must wonder who is the real Speaker, Sheldon Silver or Denny Farrell. I also wonder how my Bronx colleagues will respond to this insult. I’d like to know how they can allow themselves to be disrespected like that.
I am Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz and this is what you should know.