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I spoke at some length with Charles Barron at the height of the "Al Jolson Way," controversy.
Amazingly, he was not as close-minded as I was expecting. After all, I was giving him information and making a case for something that was 180 degrees the opposite of everything he had been taught and believed. I think it helped that we discovered that we went to the same JHS on the Lower East Side, about a year apart, and we know many of the same people and teachers! That loosened things up a bit. At the conclusion of our talk he did say, "I'll have to re-examine this issue," -- which I considered a major victory -- and I told him that!
I don't think our chat changed the outcome of the vote as Ms. Christine Quinn, the City Council President, assured me they already had enough votes for approval. I just hated the fact that Barron used a picture of Al Jolson in his defense of the Sonny Carson re-naming, saying, in effect, that if they can re-name a street for this bigot who mocked black people, then how can they say "no" to the Sonny Carson re-naming. Haven't had any contact with him since.
Regarding the recent insanity involving the tearing down of statues, I have no real way of knowing anything but my gut tells me do not be shocked if "Al Jolson Way," is taken down. In the current political and social environment anything is possible. Especially where votes are at stake, or perceived to be at stake. These are, after all, politicians.