Hansen Clarke On The Way To US Congress
When Hansen Clarke won against Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick in the Democratic nomination for Michigan’s 13th congressional district, a solid democratic base, he virtually assured himself a ticket to Washington DC in November, 2010. Clarke ended a 14-year congressional career for Kilpatrick, and with that came the end of a political dynasty.
Hansen would bring a breath of fresh air to the U.S. Congress which is now filled with stench of corruption from Charles Rangel, Maxine Waters, and their likes. Here is a man who, with his stint as a state senator, has already proved that he is more a public servant than a politician.
If you think Barack Obama has a checkered history, you may be more intrigued with the story of Clarke, who at the age of 53 may be just beginning his dream journey. His father came from a small town in Bangladesh and married a black woman from Detroit. His father died when he was eight and he was raised by his mother with earnings from her crossing guard job at a school, supplemented with food stamps.
The year Hansen received a scholarship from Cornell University, his mother died. People from Clarke’s Detroit neighborhood raised money for his education, and Hansen never forgot that. He is probably the most unassuming politician in the country, - a man with true grassroots connections - and his door is always open to his people.
As the news of his unbeatable lead over Kilpatrick came on Tuesday night, there was wide-spread jubilation in the Bangladeshi community of Hamtramck and other suburbs of Detroit. It was their illustrious son who had cemented a permanent bond with the community with a trip to his ancestral home in December 2007.
Dr. Safiul Hasan, a well known Bangladeshi GI from Bloomfield Hills was instrumental in sponsoring Hansen’s visit to Bianibazar, Bangladesh, a trip that left a deep impression on both Hansen and his relatives in this small town. Thanks to Dr. Hasan and his friends, the visit was well publicized in his home town and people came in droves to see him. It was a welcome fit for a royal, and the prodigal son of the village was overcome with emotion.
Hansen never forgot the bond that he formed with the people of Bangladesh, and it only grew from that point. Yet, he does not belong to any particular community; such is his personality. He belongs to the nation, a humble son, for whom the greater glory awaits.