My cmnt: Sharpton was born Alfred Charles Sharpton Jr. on October 3, 1954, in Brooklyn, New York. Outspoken and sometimes controversial, Sharpton has become a leading figure in the fight against racial prejudice and injustice. He developed his commanding speaking style as a child. A frequent churchgoer, Sharpton became an ordained minister in the Pentecostal church at the age of 10. He often traveled to deliver sermons and once toured with Mahalia Jackson, the famed gospel singer. from biography.com
My cmnt: Al Sharpton, like the “Reverend” Jesse Jackson, have profited greatly from the civil rights movement. Like many democrat politicians they make a lot of money while in office or even from simply fund raising to run for office and also from their nonprofits. At this point in their lives (and for many years) they have mostly been race hustlers. National white democrat politicians have to bow before them and kiss their rings to obtain their endorsements. These two men will continue, like Barack Obama, to foment racial divisions and lie about the progress America has made in racial justice because that is how they make their livings. New, young race hustlers like AOC will continue this scam as long as democrats continue to dominate and control major blue cities and states.
As Isaac notes, on Monday, MSNBC included Al Sharpton on a panel of pundits to discuss the hostage-taking situation in a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas. Of all the nearly 8 billion human beings available to chime in on an antisemitic incident, Nicolle Wallace thought that Sharpton was the best choice available. This would be akin to bringing David Duke on after the killing of Ahmaud Arbery to discuss how Americans could do a better job protecting African-Americans lives.
It will never cease to amaze me how Sharpton, one of the most pernicious characters in New York history, is constantly being trotted out by MSNBC as if he has the moral high ground on issues of tolerance. I’m old enough to remember one-time conservative congressman Joe Scarborough authoring the resolution, “Condemning the racist and anti-Semitic views of the Reverend Al Sharpton.” These days, the two are buddies.
It can never be repeated enough that before he was a kingmaker, sought out by national candidates and presidents, Sharpton infamously used a tragic 1991 car accident to incite a three-day race riot in Crown Heights. Sharpton took advantage of the accidental death of a boy named Gavin Cato to spread conspiracies about a Jewish “nexus” between “Tel Aviv” and “South Africa” (then still an apartheid state) and the “diamond merchants” of Crown Heights. “All we want to say is what Jesus said: If you offend one of these little ones, you got to pay for it. No compromise, no meetings, no coffee klatch, no skinnin’ and grinnin’,” went the eulogy from the Baptist minister.
After the Jewish community protested this kind of rhetoric, Sharpton responded, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Well, a mob found a man with a yarmulke named Yankel Rosenbaum, a 29-year-old Orthodox Jew visiting from Australia, who had the ill-fortune of turning down the wrong street at the wrong time. He was dragged from his car to the shouts of “Kill the Jews!” by throngs of angry protesters and stabbed to death.
In 1995, Fred Harari, a Jewish subtenant who operated a store called Freddie’s Fashion Mart in Harlem, had his rent hiked, and he ended up evicting his own sub-subtenant, a black-owned record store. Sharpton used this incident to stoke vile racist, anti-Jewish sentiments for weeks on New York radio. “Kill the Jew bastards and burn down the Jew store!” protesters yelled in front of the store. “We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business,” Sharpton told an audience. Soon, a 51-year-old man named Roland Smith entered the store, asked the black customers to leave, murdered seven people, and then firebombed the store.
Sharpton, of course, most famously threw an entire city into turmoil in 1987 when he cynically exploited a hoax of a black teen girl named Tawana Brawley — who claimed to have been raped, kidnapped, smeared with feces and left wrapped in a plastic bag by a “cult” of white men in Dutchess County, New York. Sharpton accused a prosecutor named Steven Pagones of abduction and rape of a teenager — “on 33 separate occasions,” according to the Associated Press — destroying the man’s career, destroying a teenager’s life, and exacerbating racial tensions in the city. Sharpton would also go on to blame a secret cabal led by the Irish Republican Army for the rape, because he is a dangerous clown. (Tom Wolfe satirized the devious Sharpton as “Reverend Bacon” in The Bonfire of the Vanities, a book that captures the 1980s New York zeitgeist better than any.) A state grand jury found Brawley’s claims to have been fabricated, perhaps as a way of avoiding the wrath of her dad for staying out late one night. When he was successfully sued for defamation, Sharpton refused to pay damages, as always, allowing others to pay his ride.
Sharpton never killed anyone. He is just an insidious huckster and shakedown artist who cynically stoked chaos and violence to catapult him into national prominence. Never once, as far as I can tell, have any of his colleagues on MSNBC challenged him to explain these career highlights or his history of Jew baiting. Nor had Sharpton ever apologized or showed the slightest genuine regret for his role in tearing a city apart. As Yankel Rosenbaum’s brother Norman has pointed out, his rehabilitation was largely predicated on an “egregiously distorted and sanitized” version of his involvement in these events. He’s never set the record straight. Never made it right with anyone. And why should he? If you hate the right people, all can be forgiven.