Playing the Race Card

It isn’t unusual in city politics for someone to play the race card when an elected official is accused of corruption, but usually the people playing the card try for subtlety.

Not Rochdale Village Vice President Joe Evans. He accused state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of a “political lynching” for the indictment of state Sen. Shirley Huntley, who is accused of interfering in a state probe into an alleged scam to bilk taxpayers out of close to $30,000.

In leaflets distributed throughout Rochdale Village, Evans writes: “Not only did the political lynch mob led by Eric T. Schneiderman, a Democrat, wait just days before the election to bring charges, he planned weeks ago to arrest Sen. Huntley at her home where news outlets could take pictures of her in handcuffs. They planned to parade the 72-year-old southeast Queens elected official in front of the media to try and convince her supporters (black folks) into thinking she is guilty before the trial, more importantly before the election.”

He added, “We as black folks should immediately be able to identify this method of political lynching. Sen. Huntley is not the first black elected official to be unfairly targeted.”

Evans’ leaflet didn’t work. Huntley lost by a significant margin in the primary to City Councilman James Sanders Jr.

In fact, Huntley was treated no differently than other people accused of a white-collar crime. Everyone who gets arrested is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Huntley was arraigned in a Nassau County court in August, where she pleaded not guilty to two felony charges and one misdemeanor charge.

Schneiderman and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Huntley tried to cover up “a scheme to steal taxpayer dollars using a sham not-for-profit that did not provide services to the public.”

If Evans has evidence the case against Huntley is racially motivated, we’d like to see it. Aside from the fact that Huntley is a black woman, we don’t see what race has to do with this case. The important color here is green.

The people of southeast Queens should be offended by the race baiting in the leaflets distributed by Evans.

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