The battle to succeed scandal-scarred Rep. Charles Rangel erupted into a last-minute, internecine race war when the Rev. Al Sharpton blasted opponents of his favored candidate as “Negroes you ain’t never seen before.”
Sharpton made the inflammatory comments during a Harlem rally attended by Rangel and former Mayor David Dinkins. All three men are backing Assemblyman Keith Wright for Rangel’s seat in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election.
“You’re supposed to be attracted to these Negroes you ain’t never seen before,” Sharpton said Saturday at his National Action Network headquarters, according to reports. “I mean, they must have a laboratory to just create these Negroes.”
Candidate Clyde Williams, who is black, fired back at Sharpton on Sunday, telling The Post that the firebrand minister was “race-baiting.”
Williams also sent out an email to supporters — titled “The Race to be Racist?” — in which he accused Sharpton of doing Wright’s bidding “to attack me — using racially divisive language.”
“Democrats everywhere are trashing Donald Trump for his racism, xenophobia and politics of hate — and yet we have the same disgusting tactics in our own back yard,” added Williams, a former political director for the Democratic National Committee.
The heated rhetoric followed Wright’s allegation that supporters of state Sen. Adriano Espaillat — who is again running for the seat after narrowly losing to Rangel in 2012 and 2014 — were plotting to “suppress the black vote,” as revealed in a fundraising email sent out by a pro-Espaillat political action committee.
Wright ratcheted up his attacks with a Sunday email that further accused Espaillat of refusing to stop a “shadowy mystery . . . group from Virginia” from sending out mailers.
An Espaillat spokesman on Sunday accused Wright of resorting to “dirty tricks and divisive racial attacks.”
Nine Democrats are vying for the congressional seat that Rangel, 86, has held since 1971.
In 2010, Rangel was censured by his House colleagues for a raft of ethics violations, including failing to pay taxes on rental income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic.
Rangel was shamed into handing over $10,800 to the IRS and New York state by a 2008 Post exposé about his getaway.