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Queens Chronicle

Movie showing revives race issues

Black Spectrum Theatre sponsors film, Sen. Sanders’ talk on politics

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Posted: Thursday, May 2, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:48 am, Thu May 9, 2013.

Shot in Southeast Queens, “Let’s Get Bizzee” is a feature film that is said to truly inspire youngsters to make a change and be a part of the political process, according to director Carl Clay.

Clay’s re-released film will be featured on May 10 at the Black Spectrum Theatre followed by a panel discussion hosted by state Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton) on “Attack on Black Leaders: Corruption or Conspiracy?” at the event.

Rapper Doug E. Fresh acts in the film as Sam Baker, a young high school student who discovered that his neighborhood would be torn down by a high-end real estate development that would drive everyone out of the projects. Finding out that the politician he relied upon to save the neighborhood had made a secret deal to diminish it, Baker decides to run a campaign against the corrupted politician.

Clay said that his inspiration for the film came from issues that affected young people who don’t have a voice to speak out. “Let’s Get Bizzee” is a film that is a call of action to get young people involved in the political arena.

“Just watching and reading the newspapers of some things that occurred, I would listen to people and observe what was happening throughout the city,” said Clay. “It’s truly an American story because it applies everywhere. It’s all over. There are a lot of very good politicians and bad ones out there as well.”

With New York plagued by political scandals and the recent arrests of state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Hollis) and Councilman Dan halloran Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) on corruption-related charges, some have questioned if racism was involved in targeting black politicians.

During his campaign for the 10th Senate District last year, Sanders ran on “character counts,” saying that state Sen. Shirley Huntley’s (D-Jamaica) “character should be questioned.” Huntley was exposed for her misuse of taxpayer funds in a charity scheme along with her niece and former aide. She was arrested before her re-election.

In support of Huntley, Joe Evans, second vice president of the Board of Directors of Rochdale Village, and Reverend Chuck Norris of the Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church believed that the investigations were racially motivated. Evans has called it “political lynching.”

York College Political Science Professor, Conrad Dyer said racism clearly has nothing to do with Black politicians being arrested for the act they’ve committed.

“These people stood against the political machine and are therefore paying the price,” said Dyer. “Huntley and Smith clearly compromised themselves in that situation. The whole party structure is like a hierarchy of power; anyone can be taken down if they’re taken out of line. Now you can call that political lynching, but I just don’t see it. I think certainly political betrayal.”

According to Dyer, in public life there are no secret deals anymore since there is technology including wiretaps and cameras that make it easy to record anything.

“Malcolm Smith was focused on his own ambitions,” he said.

Councilman Ruben Wills was investigated for a $33,000 grant to a nonprofit organization to help single mothers that was unaccouted for.

Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) was also named the “most corrupt member” of Congress in a recent poll.

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