Wali "Diop" Rahman: Radical, Resolute & Running for Mayor

By Michael Alan Goldberg
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 20 | Posted Oct. 26, 2011

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“Uhuru is moderate,” says 51-year-old Louis Fornwald, a white man whose wife is black. “We honestly just try to work for justice and bring people together.” The Fornwalds’ son Milo was shot and killed by a PPD officer in South Philly in 2003 when police tried to apprehend the 20-year-old after an alleged drug deal. Fornwald—who says his son was innocent and provides a PPD memo stating that the officer who shot his son “did not discharge firearm according to departmental policy”—got involved with the Uhuru movement after they showed up to protest the killing.

Fornwald says Uhuru is considered extremist because, “you know Philly—it’s kind of a prejudiced town, and any kind of group like this is ‘scary.’” A perception that definitely spells trouble for the Olugbala campaign. “People find out he’s with Uhuru, it sets off the scary meter and he might as well be in the New Black Panthers,” says Fornwald.

For his part, Olugbala insists that if he wins the election, he’ll be everybody’s mayor. “I make no apologies for saying that I represent the historically oppressed black and Latino communities in the city. But I also see it’s in the interests of everyone in the city—white, black or whatever—to unite with the struggle to empower the disadvantaged,” he says.

“Why would it be such a threatening thing to a rich white lady who lives in Rittenhouse Square for me to demand economic development and the opportunity for others to enjoy the same comfort of living that she does?” he adds.

“When black people say, ‘We want self-determination and we have to have economic development,’ for some strange reason sometimes that makes white people feel like, ‘Well, that means you’re going to do something to me,’” says Waller, the campaign manager. “We never say we’re going to do something to you. We say, ‘This is what our community needs.’ Why should that scare you?”

Back outside City Hall, Olugbala says that the only thing that scares him is four more years of Nutter. “If we allow him to get in there again,” he says, nodding toward the building, “we can expect a lot worse than what we’re getting right now.”

“We need an alternative,” he says. “Someone who’s really going to serve the people.”

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 20 of 20
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1. cn2004 said... on Oct 26, 2011 at 12:29PM

“If making excuses was a profession, this idiot would be Bill Gates.”

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2. LimpWristedLiberal215 said... on Oct 26, 2011 at 12:52PM

“Pathetic. This lame-o needs to grow up and stop making excuses and stop acting like a thug. He complains about me me me, us us us. totally self-concerned phoney. 4 kids and he's on welfare and gets food stamps. GET A JOB, YA' BUM!”

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3. Elisha Lowe said... on Oct 26, 2011 at 02:00PM

“Geez Mr. Rahman/Olugbala please take it down a notch. You need to be relatable to all Philadelphians or at least a majority to win an election. That whole angry/ mean mugging thing will definitely take away from your message (which sounds like it needs fine tuning).”

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4. Anonymous said... on Oct 26, 2011 at 02:30PM

“Nutter isn't anti-black or anti-Latino. He is anti-bum. Get jobs, speak like intelligent beings, stop getting together in groups and beating up innocent people, etc. The youth shouldn't be roaming the streets at all hours of the night. When I was growing up my parents knew where I was and what I was doing and sure never included mobs of any kind. Today, I am a respectable adult and productive member of society. This isn't a race issue and it's a bit tiring to hear the race card pulled constantly. Get over it. Act respectable and you'll be respected.”

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5. jake said... on Oct 26, 2011 at 05:50PM

“hahaha! the drug dealers and violent criminals can't wait to vote for this clown!”

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6. antoine said... on Oct 26, 2011 at 06:06PM

“he wasn't arrested for holding up a sign. he was arrested because he was asked to sit down and when they tried to remove him, he resisted. You can't go into city hall and disrupt the court rooms and stand up and block other people's views. you have to be civil or you won't be treated with civility or respect. here is the full clip.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmnZs349Euk”

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7. Anonymous said... on Oct 27, 2011 at 10:27AM

“Why do I feel like this guy is going to try to run up to my car and sell me a pie?”

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8. Anonymous said... on Oct 27, 2011 at 10:52AM

“These stats about stop and frisk are just plain wrong, and the journalists have an obligation to go and find the truth. Stop and frisk has been instrumental in making my neighborhoods possible to live in and raise a family. SWCC was a drug-infested hole with a lot of potential that the black community here never tapped for the most part. There were a few black renovators, but not that many, and they were definitely not the norm.

The norm was drugs, living on welfare, in public housing or subsidized housing, and just living for today. No one expected anything of the black community. Democrats just threw money at the community with "economic development" and "housing" funds that no one really knows where it all went.

If stop and frisk only got guys carrying in 1 in 10 stops because they store the drugs and don't carry, or get kids to hold for them, then that is still a success.

Diop/Rahman types are just drug trade stooges, the largest Philly employer.”

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9. Wendy said... on Oct 27, 2011 at 11:57AM

“Diop Olugbala has the necessary leadership skills to transform Philadelphia into a city of opportunity for all people. As a white person, I understand the power and benefit I receive by virtue of the color of my skin. I understand that there is a wealth gap of 20 to 1 between whites and Blacks. I unite with his plan to dismantle a brutal police force and focus on economic development; we ALL benefit from this!

The ignorant comments in response to article confirm even more deeply the need for REAL leadership and REAL change! My vote is for Diop for mayor!”

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10. Joe said... on Oct 27, 2011 at 01:46PM

“He's got a really nice website, anyway. http://www.diop2011.com/”

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11. Frank Dios said... on Oct 27, 2011 at 02:24PM

“Nice try, Wendy. Why don't you come live in da' hood for a few months and then tell me you want the police force cut. This clown doesn't work, gets free food, free room and board while he has 4 kids and he's crying about not getting justice. He wouldn't have lasted a day in 1950s America. He's soft, ignorant and foolish.”

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12. Natasha said... on Oct 27, 2011 at 06:04PM

“I am proud to see Wali "Diop" Rahman running for Mayor of Philadelphia. He is what is needed for the young and old generations, real solutions and real change. Diop has my vote and many other votes from the North Philadelphia community!!”

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13. Ben Fan said... on Oct 27, 2011 at 06:48PM

“I love articles about men like this. Makes me feel so glad that I, unlike this clown, is a contributing member of society. Wali needs a serious reality check as to what is owed to him and his community.”

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14. Anonymous said... on Oct 28, 2011 at 08:56AM

“Thank you Wendy for speaking the truth! To the vast majority of commentators to this article, you all demonstrate EXACTLY what the Brother is talking about as being problematic with the Nutter camp in his[their] depiction of the Voices in the Margins
"...black, mistreated, misunderstood, mischaracterized."

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15. Jay Gaultieri said... on Nov 1, 2011 at 01:33PM

“This kind of Black rage might mean something if it was about the ghetto becoming an economically self-sustaining area, but at the end of the day Rahman is just fronting the same solutions that the poverty pimps and the squishy liberals have for decades: More taxpayer money meant to sustain an ethnically monochromatic hellhole of poverty, crime, and hopelessness.”

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16. Rosemary Reeves said... on Nov 7, 2011 at 12:21PM

“This is not black rage. This candidate is using logical statements, like if you encourage black-owned businesses, it will improve the economy for all races. Also, putting more police on the streets only makes the jails full, which the tax payer suffers for, because it is expensive to keep people in jail. Fix the economic disparity and there will be less crime. That's all he's saying. Look past the dreadlocks and tattoos and really listen, because few of you seem to be listening.”

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17. Anonymous said... on Nov 8, 2011 at 05:54PM

“Vote for Diop! Diop for Mayor!”

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18. Anonymous said... on Nov 24, 2011 at 11:16AM

“4% of the vote for that con artist is too much. Ask him what he does with the million dollars a year Uhuru reports as income.”

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19. Kali said... on Dec 8, 2011 at 08:55PM

“YES!!!!!!! He actually had some good points...if they're just "stop and frisk"? without arrests, thats just harrassment, plain and simple. C'mon and get real...the police are friggin crazy...thats why crooked cop stories make the best movies. Anyhoo, everyone commenting seemed pretty old so ill make the first 21st century girl vote as a YES, if you can hold your own in an interview like that and not look or sound dumb or ignorant, with sensible policies that apply to everyday people, i admire that.”

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20. sid said... on Aug 19, 2012 at 08:20AM

“Someone's gotta stand up for the oppressed. This young man is a revolutionary and this f...g country needs a revolution, like right now.”

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