September 11 Digital Archive: XML Document
Title:Where is the support for McCall in the Haitian community?
Blurb:Leaders of Haitian-American community organizations are making the rounds, talking to Pataki government officials and seeking to ingratiate themselves with the hope of receiving grants in exchange for endorsements. Its appalling to see black leaders of all persuasions rush to embrace a man who only recently discovered that there was a burgeoning Haitian community in New York State.
Body:In New York politics, the more things change, the more they remain the same. But it is strange when everyone, including some of the highest elected Democrats in Brooklyn, are elbowing one another like crocodiles in a muddy pond to endorse George Pataki for governor.
Leaders of Haitian-American community organizations are making the rounds, talking to Pataki government officials and seeking to ingratiate themselves with the hope of receiving grants in exchange for endorsements. Even the quintessential Jean Bertrand Aristides point man in New York gives accolades to the biggest Republican in the state.
During the West Indian Day parade, a Haitian radio personality was elated when the campaigning Pataki jumped over a blue NYPD fence all soaked and wet to make a stop at his stand. He wanted to be seen on the scene reaching out once more to the Haitian community. It was something to see: A top Lavalassien activist stumping for a Republican running against H. Carl McCall, the first African-American to make a serious bid for governorship of New York.
Which brings me to the burning question of how much are the coveted Haitian-American votes worth?
In a conversation with one of Governor Patakis aides, these questions were put forth: What is the value you put on the Haitian soul? Why is the governor suddenly interested in our community? What do you expect the governor to do for our community that his administration could not do in the past eight years? How can an upstanding black citizen muster the courage to ask Haitian-American parents to support a man who believes that an eighth grade education is just plenty for our children? And lastly, what makes you think that this governor, his secretary of state and all his legislative gurus will do anything for us when he becomes a lame duck governor?
The audience was left with the burden of looking for answers somewhere else.
This is what I think will happen. They will all disappear as usual. They will be reassigned to different functions and telephone numbers as will all the promises of grant and pieces of the economic development pie in the sky they have promised you.
It is said that our indecisiveness and naïveté will cost us politically. It is said in politics that you can never play both sides and win every time. Sooner of later you are going to have to choose. It is also said we should not put all our eggs in one basket. That is also true. As responsible citizens and thinkers in our community we should always support the best man for the job. Right?
Well, lets not put all our eggs in one basket for crying out loud.
Now how are we going to explain to the people in the community that a man like McCall isnt just the best man for the job? Lets analyze this.
McCalls resume has no more room to enumerate his great achievementshis integrity is spotless. His reputation is the envy of other politicians. He is currently one of us. He is standing at the threshold of history. No one on the scene today is more qualified than him. Pataki, if he is reelected, may be a lame duck governor who wont owe anything to anyone. He did not do much for anyone in the downstate area. The word has always been that he never needed the downstate vote to win anyway.
Now, what is the excuse for the Haitian community not to support McCall?
Its appalling to see black leaders of all persuasions rush to embrace a man who only recently discovered that there was a burgeoning Haitian community in New York State.
When we go to the voting booth for the general election, we should remember these words. New York State went through the longest economic boom in history in the last two terms Pataki was in office. Now, in the era of budget cuts and economic recession, what will Pataki do for our community that he could not have done in the last eight years?