Clarke wants Caribbean nationals to ‘demonstrate the power of the vote’

Guyanese Bishop Melda B. Williams, of More Grace Redemptive Church, delivers a message at the breakfast.
Photo by Nelson A. King

As Americans voted in Presidential Elections on Tuesday, a prominent Caribbean American Congresswoman wants Caribbean nationals to “demonstrate the power of the vote.”

“It really pulls on all of us — what we have done for our core values. I wanted to encourage you all again. I want you to demonstrate the power of the vote,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, in addressing a fund-raising Prayer Breakfast at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal (Anglican) Church in Brooklyn on Saturday.

“The power of this nation is that you reap everything you do,” added Clarke, who represents the largely Caribbean Ninth Congressional District in Brooklyn. “And we’re all part of this fabric. We’re on the verge of electing the very first woman President of the United States.

“This is about moving forward,” continued Clarke, as her mother, Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, a former New York City Councilwoman and the first Caribbean-born woman to be elected to the Council, cheered on. “This is about the inconceivable.”

The congresswoman had been hopscotching across the nation in rallying for votes for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Presidential candidate.

Her mother urged patrons to “call everybody you know to vote on Tuesday.

“Our vote is kind of damp,” said Dr. Clarke, expressing concern that Caribbean Americans and African Americans are not demonstrating enough enthusiasm for Clinton as they did for President Obama.

“We have to now preserve his [Obama] legacy,” she added. “Barack Obama is still on the ballot.

“Don’t forget our color, and our accent may be the wall,” the elder Clarke continued. “I came to this country just before the Civil Rights Movement [in the 1960s]. They wanted to put the muzzle on us. Go to the polls and vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

A number of Caribbean clergy prayed at the breakfast for Congresswoman Clarke, who was also on Tuesday’s ballot.

They included Guyanese-born Bishop Melda B. Williams, of the More Grace Redemptive Church in Brooklyn, who delivered the sermon, and Haitian-born Rev. Luc Pierre, pastor of the New Jerusalem Church of the Nazarene, also in Brooklyn.

“When there’s a prophetic voice, the prophetic voice brings direction,” Bishop Williams preached. “There’s a time for change. The change is about to take place in the United States of America.

“I hear a voice that’s telling me, it’s my time,” she added. “It’s time to soar. Somebody, flap your wings. It’s time to soar.”

On Monday, a large number of Caribbean nationals joined the Hillary for New York campaign, at the Flatbush Junction in Brooklyn, at a “Get out the Vote” rally.

Herman Hall — the Grenadian-born publisher of the Brooklyn-based Everybody’s, a popular Caribbean magazine, and a registered Republican, who is supporting Clinton — said Caribbean Americans are “solid for Hillary 97 percent.”

“When more than eight percent of Caribbean-Americans vote for the Republican presidential candidate, the Republican wins the presidency,” he said. “When more that 90 percent of Caribbean-Americans vote for the Democratic Party presidential candidate, the Democrats wins the presidency.

“The Caribbean-American vote is part of the black or African-American vote,” Hall added. “The Caribbean-American vote is small but significant.”

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