The Rev. Al Sharpton rejected on Sunday the idea that Rep. Charlie Rangel should be accorded one final term, as a graceful exit for the longtime congressman.
“Rangel’s been in office 44 years,” Sharpton said at a church in Harlem. “I remember as a kid Rangel ran against Adam Clayton Powell. And won. … And now, all of a sudden people are going to tell us ‘Well, let Rangel retire in office.’ He didn’t let Adam retire in office.”
“Don’t come with some new litmus test that you didn’t have,” Sharpton said. “Adam Clayton Powell was the first black congressman in New York … led a boycott in Harlem before Martin Luther King did in Montgomery. And they didn’t let him retire. So, all of a sudden y’all got a new rule. … don’t try to come up with some new test that you didn’t meet.”
Sharpton was speaking at the 81st anniversary of the First Corinithian Baptist Church, which is led by Rev. Michael Walrond, the head of the ministers division of Sharpton’s National Action Network, who announced in January that he would challenge Rangel for the congressional seat.
Sharpton has not officially taken a position in the race, but several of his allies have given seed money to Walrond’s campaign, and on Sunday, speaking from the podium, Sharpton echoed Walrond’s campaign theme, saying, “I think that we got to really be clear that it’s time for us to have a new vision and a new day.”
“And some old things are going to pass away,” he said, sometimes they don’t “pass away quietly, but they pass on anyhow.”
Source: Capital New York | Azi Paybarah