i live in upstate new york and am about 4 hours or so from new york city- or 'the city' to new yorkers. yep. it is, apparently, the only one. anyhoo, a reader of my rantings sent me an email regarding kevin powell who is running for congress in brooklyn's 10th district, i think, please correct me if i am wrong- i only know about the 5 boroughs- not how they work :) anyhoo, kevin is running against an incumbent who is looking at his 13th year in the house and apparently, according to many of his constituents, basically checked out. should be a done deal right? smart, charismatic young african american man in his mid 30's or so running against an incumbent that is basically collecting a paycheck. ahhhh.... but it's new york politics and it's 2008 and nothing is ever as simple as we would like it to be. now, i am not going to rehash the whole sordid tale here- i will provide links and whatnot. apparently, kevin is a 'recovering misogynist' or something like that. he admits to having what we in human services like to call 'anger management issues' and he became physical with several women- and men- and has said that he has been working towards changing via therapy, spirituality and apparently, gloria steinem. the last known act of violence allegedly occurred in a nightclub with an altercation with stuff magazine contributor bart graham- however, the only place i could find any mention of the story was in the new york post- and links to the wildly popular 'page six.'
so, of course, i started down the path where i doubt the emailer wanted me to go. because misogyny has been so much a part of the news over the last year or so- as has race- and both come into play in this scenario. kevin powell writes freely of his childhood upbringing on the streets of new york city- and i don't know enough about him to know if he uses this as an excuse for his behavior or merely as background information. i do know that there is no excuse for committing violence towards another person or persons and i certainly don't condone it. but i do think it is disingenuous to hold kevin powell to a different standard than john mccain, for example. i mean mrs. buffalo chip? now, i don't know if mccain ever laid hands or staplers on another person or persons. i do know that he treats people badly. very badly. and derives pleasure from it. i can't speak for kevin powell- there are only his own words to do that:
"And, moreover, I APOLOGIZED to those few women I violated nearly twenty years ago, and they have accepted my apology and forgave me, as have all the males I have ever had conflict with, Congressman Towns, for the record. Human beings appreciate honesty, and they appreciate accountability. If a Malcolm X or a Bobby Kennedy, two of my heroes, could change, could grow, could learn to be fully human, self-critical, and accountable in their very short lives, Mr. Towns, why can't I? If they both could grow into world-class humanitarians, Mr. Towns, why can't I?"
so, i don't know if kevin has truly changed but i do know that congress is made up of men- and a few women- who are pedophiles, cheaters, liars, misogynists, homophobics, drug and alcohol abusers, spouse and child abusers, and on and on.... i know that these people all share a common trait and that's a lust for power. of that, i am sure kevin has no shortage. but then again... neither does john mccain.