Muddling over Malcolm (Smith, that is)


 Hello All:

Okay!  By a show hands, how many of you were surprised or amazed that  New York State Senator Malcolm Smith had been caught in a sting operation trying to get on the ballot as the Rep-ughh-blican nominee for mayor.

Neither was I.  In fact, it was like an accident waiting to happen.  Here's Malcolm Smith who had to be told that he had to make some kind of statement in reference to the killing of   Sean Bell, one of his constituents, in Queens, after he had been so brutally gunned down in a hail of bullets by cops bent on turning him into human swiss cheese.

It was Malcolm Smith, who, as speaker of the New York State Senate, caused the Latino contingency to mutiny and go over to the Rep-ugh-blican side, after he ignored their requests for assistance in a serious matter affecting their constituents.  For the first in in the history of the New York State legislators, they staged  a full blown mutiny that nearly wrecked the entire New York State legislative system, further impairing Governor David Paterson's already fragile ability to maintain loyalty and control throughout the rest of his term.

Nor was I surprised when Fred Brown, of the Black Rep-ugh-blicans of New York, announced - very proudly and smugly, I might add - that Malcolm Smith was going to run for mayor on the rep-ugh-blican line. Okay! Okay! So maybe I was just a little caught off guard.  After all I was at a birthday fundraiser for Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.  I couldn't even figure out why Fred was there.  But he was one of large number of Black republicans who voted for "our guy" President Barack Obama.  For that, of course, I have to give him high praise.

However, the announcement about Malcolm Smith running for mayor was kind of puzzling.  I mean, why tell me?  I basically have little to no interest in Malcolm.  And as for his running for mayor on the Rep-ugh-blican ticket, my response was - and who's going to vote for him if he gets on - and that's a big if, because it will be a cold day in hell before he's endorsed by the Rep-ugh-blicans; and we Dems will look at him as a traitor.  So what would be the point?   Fred just smiled and said they had already gotten every thing arranged.  The announcement would come soon.

That was December 2012.  I was in Washington, DC for the President's Inauguration, and ran into Fred Brown again.  I had nearly forgotten about his original announcement; but there he was again asserting that Malcolm Smith would be on the Rep-ugh-blican ticket for mayor of New York.  And since Malcolm was not there to either confirm or deny the allegations, I just smiled, said "Bet!" and kept walking.

Now the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus happens in February of every year during President's week.  All the state legislators along with the movers and shakers across the state come together to plan out the events of the coming year.   During that time the legislators from across the state come to Albany to meet, share, great - give and receive accolades and awards for jobs well done.  Malcolm's name did not appear on any of the programs; nor did he participate, except to announce some event his wife, an AKA, had coming up that should be of interest to members.

I thought then, this would be the perfect place and time to make such an announcement - everybody was there; the place was packed with youth, adults, constituents.  However, he cut into the program made his announcement, and then promptly left.

Fast forward to two weeks ago, when, on April 1, it was announced that Malcolm Smith had been arrested for trying to bribe his way into the Rep-ugh-blican camp to run against the Democratic nominee for mayor.  How stupid can you be?

Given the previous circumstance, I can say I think Malcolm was trapped.  I can also say Malcolm is not the brightest light in the chandalier, or he would have realized he was being set up.  No matter what those little voices were saying inside his head - they were not the problem - he was.  By allowing greed and ambition to cloud his already befuddled judgement - and now he's in a pickle of monumental proportions.

What puzzles me, though, why the chump change?  Generally speaking, when you're trying to buy a mayoral seat, shouldn't you  have big bucks?  You know $100,000, $1 Million, or something in those ranges. We are, after all, talking about becoming  the mayor of New York City, aren't we?  The second most, if not the most, powerful position in the world.  Which is why Bloomie worked so hard to keep the position.  But, if you're going to sell your soul, make sure you get top dollar for it.  Otherwise, what's the point?

What happens next with Malcolm Smith is anybody's guess.  He's got a lot of 'splaining to do.  But what happens with us should be crystal clear.  We have a very important task before us in reference to our elected officials who get into the office and betray our trust, and violate their vow of loyalty and care to us.  We cannot turn a blind eye to these kind of inappropriate activities on Smith or anyone else who is supposed to represent us.  We deserve better.  Everybody who gets caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar is not a victim; some of them have been moving in that direction for quite some time.  We have been watching, but weren't quite sure what we were looking at. Well now we know. 

And while we won't abandon brother Malcolm in his hour of need, we can no longer afford to have him, or others of his kind, occupy a seat that is clearly meant for someone who really has the future of Black people at heart.

We have to pray for Malcolm, and at the same time pray for someone who can and will give us the representation we need and deserve.

I was just going to close this article, but had a flash of insight: We have five Borough President jobs up for grabs, not to mention those of  Public Advocate, City  Council, Assembly, and most importantly -  THE NEXT MAYOR OF NEW YORK, are also on the table.  Now we can get cute and elect people because of some sloganese, or because they're part of some sort of group, or we can really look past all that non-essential stuff, and get serious.  This is no game - this is our lives on the line.  For the first time in the history of New York City Black people have the opportunity to walk away with all the marbles.  Or we can sit around with eggs on our faces, wonder what happened this time.

We can have a Mayor who looks like us, represents us and knows us, or we can go for the okie doke - based on some b.s. that has nothing to do with the really issues we will surely face if we don't organize ourselves.

Malcolm Smith's arrest was meant to be an embarrassment to Black people and Black elected officials in New York.  And it was kind of embarrassing to see someone of our family engaged in such buffoonery.
But the real embarrassment would be to have come this far, to have re-elected the President of the United States to 4 more years, and to not use that same organizational power and unity to bring about a clear revolution in not only having a Black mayor, but borough presidents as well.

Now that you know, what are you going to do?

Stay Blessed &
Gloria Dulan-Wilson


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