It’s only racist when white people do it.
Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a Harlem activist with a controversial past who is running for term-limited Councilman Robert Jackson’s seat, circulated an email late last night in an attempt to plan a “private meeting” to “discuss the potential damage to the political empowerment of the Black and Hispanic community if Mark Levine, a White/Jewish candidate was elected to the 7th Council District in 2013.” This morning, Mr. Lopez-Pierre told Politicker he isn’t organizing the meeting himself and is working on behalf of a larger group who became concerned when they read a report on the political blog The Perez Notes that the Upper Manhattan political machine headed by State Senator Adriano Espaillat and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez has been working to “clear” the crowded field of candidates running for the seat to help Mr. Levine win.
“Now that he actually has a chance to win it’s scaring people,” said Mr. Lopez-Pierre. “So, what started first as a discussion of the blog post has now mushroomed among candidates and community leaders into basically a ‘Stop Levine’ campaign.”
The race to replace Mr. Jackson in the 7th District is shaping up to be one of next year’s most hotly-contested Council campaigns. In addition to Mr. Levine, who is a local district leader and founder of the Barack Obama Democratic Club, and Mr. Lopez-Pierre, there have been at least eight other candidates eyeing the seat. These hopefuls include local power broker and district leader Maria Luna, Socrates Solano, an aide to Congressman Charlie Rangel, Cheryl Pahaham, the outgoing vice chair of Community Board 12, and another district leader, Marisol Alcantara. [...]
In his email announcing the meeting about Mr. Levine, Mr. Lopez-Pierre identifies himself as the chair of the Douglass Grant club and said he has spoken to “a number of Black and Hispanic candidates and Black and Hispanic community leaders” who share concerns that Mr. Levine could win without the support of the area’s predominantly African-American and Latino voters because there are so many candidates running for the seat.