*Quiet as it’s kept, 86-year-old actor Harry Belafonte knows his politics and speaks regularly at campaign events for government officials and candidates he supports and against those he doesn’t.
The spritely ol’ chap, and staunch supporter of democratic policy, recently delivered a speech at the First Corinthian Baptist Church in NYC, hurling Klu Klux Klan references at Billionaire industrialists, the Koch brothers.
On the final Sunday of a mayoral campaign in which Democrat Bill de Blasio is poised to win in historic fashion, Belafonte set the crowd on fire, saying:
“Already we have lost 14 states in this union to the most corrupt group of citizens I’ve ever known. They make up the heart and the thinking in the minds of those who would belong to the Ku Klux Klan. They are white supremacists. They are men of evil. They have names. They are flooding our country with money.”
He continued, “They’ve come into to New York City,” Belafonte added. “They are beginning to buy their way in to city politics. They are pouring money into Presbyterian Hospital to take over the medical care system. The Koch brothers, that’s their name. Their money is already sewn into the fabric of our daily system, and they must be stopped.”
The Kochs are frequently lambasted by Democratic nominees during rallies and events; but their aides rarely hit back. This go round, Koch Industries spokesman Rob Tappan issued a statement.
“Mr. Belafonte’s comments are false and reprehensible,” Tappan said “His comments are divisive and destructive, and are indicative of the type of hateful rhetoric that leads to the breakdown of a civil and respectful society.”
He added, “It is unfortunate that he and others choose to make such false comments about Charles Koch and David Koch, who have devoted their lives to advancing tolerance and a free society — where every individual is judged on his or her individual merits and they are free to make decisions about their lives.”
De Blasio cringed when reporters mentioned Belafonte’s remarks after the church service.
“I disagree with that characterization. … That was the wrong way to talk about them,” he said, according to Capital New York.