Jamaal Bowman on Primary Election, Police Violence, Donald Trump - Rolling Stone
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‘The First Time’ With Politician Jamaal Bowman

The New York Congressional candidate opens up about his community and love of hip-hop

Jamaal Bowman may pull off a major progressive upset in his Democratic Congressional primary against Rep. Elliot Engel, who has been in Congress sine 1989. While the absentee ballots are still being counted in New York’s 16th district, Bowman sat down with Rolling Stone to discuss how much he loves teaching, first getting into hip-hop, experiencing police violence at a young age, and Donald Trump.

After pontificating on what going viral specifically means, Bowman gives us the behind-the-scenes story of his “just vibing” tweet. “That was the day I got the call that we were going to receive the Elizabeth Warren endorsement,” says Bowman. “And I was sharing my reaction with our staff and you know, Wayne Wonder ‘No Letting Go’ just happened to be on the radio, and I just turned it up and started vibing.”

Elsewhere, Bowman recounts hitting clubs in the Bronx when he was a kid: “Maybe night clubs I shouldn’t have been in as a 15, 16 year old.” He heard Wu-Tang Clan for the first time on the dance floor, and Bowman’s face mask donning the Staten Island group’s logo would become a signature image of his campaign. “It came full circle for me,” Bowman admits.

At the end of the clip, Bowman reflects on his speech from Tuesday night after the polling locations were closed and he felt his chances of winning were strong. In that speech, Bowman said: “But you know what Donald Trump is more afraid of than anything else? A black man with power.” Bowman goes on to declare, “We ain’t afraid of him. That’s number one. And we’re going to let that be known on a consistent basis throughout this campaign.”

In This Article: Democrats, Donald Trump, New York


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