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When you are of African ancestry in America, you are at war on many fronts. And on all of these fronts, be they health, criminal justice, education, jobs, homelessness, community groups and more, there are passionate people fighting the good fight and so involved in their own struggle that their paths seldom cross.

But on a bright sunny day on City Hall steps, they came together as one because a chord had been touched.  A common front had presented itself. The community was being prevented from honoring Sonny Abubadika Carson, and because of that,  doctors, homeowners, community activists, artists, retirees, educators, scholars, workers all came together and said, “Oh No!  This will not stand.  You’re going to deny a man because he fought for us and loved us?   Speaker Quinn, you have seriously miscalculated this situation.”
Now the Speaker must run those numbers again and reassess the downside risk, if she, or anyone who votes with her, has any aspiration to citywide office, or to any office  that has an African-American vote.  
Deny Sonny Abubadika Carson because he didn’t fawn over you? Sonny did not hate white people.  He hated white supremacy, but what’s not to hate about it?  The United States is suffering the worst presidency ever, with people losing their lives moment-to-moment and the nation’s treasure being burned before our eyes, because the votes of African-Americans were not counted and the country had no real problem with that.  That was white supremacy in action and look where it has taken us. 
Deny Sonny Carson? New York City should issue a proclamation  in his honor for putting his life on the line, closing crack houses and for saving the African Burial Ground for posterity.  When the African ancestor’s bones were first discovered, and at a time when work would have proceeded as usual, a warrior was needed to stop the project.
It was Sonny Carson and his band who stepped in front of the bulldozers, awakened the people and so redirected the thinking of the city, state and federal governments that the site is now a National Monument.
We were genuinely stunned when Councilman Charles Barron said that it was Speaker Quinn who had initiated a street be re-named after Al Jolson, an entertainer best known for his work in blackface.  To do that and deny Carson, a member of the 82nd Airborne who jumped out of airplanes and fought in Korea for this country, leads the way for the Speaker to become the poster girl for divisiveness in New York and a disaster for any council person who votes with her. 
The Speaker wields the purse strings but what was seen on the steps of City Hall was only the very tip of the iceberg. Beneath that small crowd, there is a community with deep, personal interests in the Council vote May 30th.
Term-limited council members who wish to continue in politics should understand  that the litmus test question for all will be, “Did you vote for or against the Sonny Abubadika Carson street renaming or did you aid and abet anyone who voted against it?”              David Mark Greaves

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