Best Bonnie-and-Clyde duo in City Hall (2008)

Charles Barron and Viola Plummer

Who needs a bank heist when taxpayers will gladly pay you to jack City Hall? Councilman and diehard Black Panther Charles Barron and his black-radical chief of staff, Viola Plummer, win the award for political gangsta couple of the year. It's no secret that the two are very familiar with controversy, but shit got out of hand on May 30 when the council turned down their bid to rename part of Gates Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant after the late Sonny Carson, a black nationalist and community hero (a fact the media refuse to acknowledge). The rejection sparked Plummer's revolutionary fire, and she threatened to assassinate Councilman Leroy Comrie, one of the members of color who abstained from the vote. Plummer quickly said she was referring to Comrie's career, not his life, but it was too late. Security was immediately beefed up at the hall (just in case the 70-year-old grandma showed up to work packin' heat), and Councilman Comrie rolled with a security entourage deeper than 50 Cent's. In the meantime, Council Speaker Christine Quinn pledged to look into whether Plummer should be fired (weeks later, she was). How did Barron and his round-the-way girl respond to the heat? They kept it gangsta, of course: On June 16, the defiant duo led a congregation of more than 200 residents in a renegade renaming of Gates Avenue. Plummer's message to the crowd: "We are going to go block by block to remove these slave-owning, murdering, bloodsucking crackers from these streets." Brace yourselves, p.c. crowd: She also said that this campaign could slow down the wave of gentrification—because "crackers" might think twice about moving to a neighborhood where all the streets are named after black freedom fighters.


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