Rainbow-PUSH Coalition leader calls attacks on Ford "bottom feeder politics"
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rev. Charles Mckenzie, a NAACP leader and state coordinator for the Rainbow-PUSH Coalition, jumped to the defense of mayoral candidate Kathleen Ford today.
His letter to the St. Petersburg Times:
Laissez l'électeur méfiez-Let the voter beware
There is sometimes an urgent need to make a distinction between lively debate around issues of substance and energized chatter around nonessentials. In the midst of this important election cycle I believe recent events to be compelling in this regard. Our best efforts are spent when we take the time to engage in intelligent dialogue regarding important matters of public policy. However, when we allow ourselves to take on base and fruitless pursuits it filches from us the attention needed for what really matters. We become guilty of "maximizing the minimum and minimizing the maximum".
I am deeply concerned about the recent actions of some of those who support the candidacy of Bill Foster for mayor. I am not bothered by their absolute right to use their first amendment priviledges .Yet, it would be tragic if these individuals, many of whom are outstanding members of this community, have resorted to what amounts to bottom feeder politics and mean spirited character assassination of Mr. Foster’s opponent.
Those who examine the political landscape with genuine analysis will discover that it is often littered with ill founded accusations and bloated exaggerations which do more to distract than to inform. The political interests who have a stake in it will seize upon any seeming misstep of their opponents in order to boost their case. This is endemic to the process. Yet ,when intentional misrepresentations and venomous personal attacks are employed it is indicative of something much more menacing. There is either a serious shortage of political fodder or a deficit of ethical restraint, perhaps both.
Let the voter beware. We must exercise utmost caution when examining these matters and make an intelligent, informed decision that is beyond the clever machinations of tilted political interests.
Rev. Charles S. Mckenzie Jr.
State of Florida Coordinator
2nd Vice President St. Petersburg