What You Should Know

Ruben Diaz

July 23, 2012


By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz

32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York

Tel. 718-991-3161

New York State’s Highest Ranking African American Leader: John Sampson

You should know that Senator John Sampson serves as New York State’s highest ranking African American elected official. While Congressman Charlie Rangel serves in the U.S. Congress, it is John Sampson who serves as New York State Senate Minority Leader and as such, he is officially the highest ranking African American leader.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Action Network founded by Rev. Al Sharpton, the National Rainbow Coalition founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson and many other national and local organizations were created with one purpose in common: to fight for, obtain, and protect political, educational, social, and economic equality for the African American community.

You should all know about heroes in that struggle such as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others who gave their lives to ensure that the African American community would be respected and that the African American community would obtain their fair share in participating in America’s political process.

In regards to John Sampson maintaining his leadership, I have to question: where have these organizations all been? It seems to me that John Sampson has been abandoned.

All of the previously mentioned African American organizations have allowed Governor Andrew Cuomo and the political establishment to abuse, to make a mockery of, and practically destroy John Sampson.

They have even allowed four “Independent” Democrats to disregard Senator Sampson’s leadership and form their own Committee, creating a force that has practically ignored and disregarded the official political achievements of African Americans and the minority community in the State of New York.

Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network seem to have dedicated themselves to raising their voices on civil rights issues by engaging in lawsuits whenever there is abuse in the community. On the other hand, the NAACP seems to have shifted its purpose to using its resources and energy to align themselves with the gay marriage and abortion issues.

I can remember that from time to time, my mother used to give my father grief when he would be out spending time with his friends. I remember how my father used to tell my mother: “My friends are my friends with their virtues and their defects.”

My humble suggestion to the NAACP, to Rev. Al Sharpton, and to Rev. Jesse Jackson is to wake up and smell the coffee. It’s time to get behind Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson right now and make sure that the African American community takes action to ensure that he doesn’t lose his leadership in New York State. I only hope it’s not too late to make them realize what they may have lost already.

Instead of bowing to Governor Andrew Cuomo and others who make a mockery of what the African American community has already achieved, now is the time for the African American leadership nationwide to take a stand and extend to John Sampson, New York State’s highest ranking African American leader, the support he needs. It’s time to show him the courtesy and respect he deserves and give him everything he needs to maintain his leadership position.

Because ladies and gentlemen, like my father used to tell my mother about his friends, John Sampson with his virtues and defects, is still a friend.

I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz and this is what you should know.