THE VIEW FROM PAEONIAN SPRINGS
The Pot Calling The Kettle White
The hypocrisy of the Reverend Al Sharpton.
by Michael H. Thomson
April 9, 2007
"This is not about whether you're a good man," Sharpton said. "What you said was racist." Al Sharpton commenting to Don Imus on Al Sharpton radio program on April 9th, 2007
Barack Obama – whether he's a temporary phenomenon in American politics or not – is amazing indeed. 26 million dollars in donations and 100,000 individual donors make him noteworthy of comment. He is a player and will most likely remain so at least through the super primaries early next year. Obama is distressing the Clinton's because he is developing a following of black voters who the Clinton's once coveted as exclusively theirs to take into the polls on their victory run.
One that is not jumping on the Obama bandwagon is former presidential candidate Al Sharpton. Al's complaint against Obama is that essentially Obama isn't black enough i.e. Obama hasn't marched in the marches, gone to jail, or been up in the face of the white establishment. Fortunately for the black voter and for an increasingly multi-cultural electorate, Barack Obama is marching – past Sharpton and towards the future.
Two of the most popular articles I have written for this magazine were about Don Imus, the irreverent host of Imus in the Morning. The first article was extremely critical of Imus. In A Criticism of MSNBC, I went so far as to suggest that the FCC monitor some of Imus's language as I thought he crossed several lines of good taste. In my second article, Revisiting Don Imus, I was much more conciliatory and I mentioned some of the truly good works that Imus was doing for children, wounded veterans, and the autistic.
Don Imus is a shock jock with a heart. He is 100% offensive to everyone – including his beautiful and talented wife Deidre who he calls the "green ho" because of her national advocacy of removing toxins from our homes and work places. Imus has made fun of politicians like Representative Joe Barton R-TX, who Imus has attacked unmercifully for Barton's holding up passage of a critical bill on autism. When John Kerry made the gaffe that took him out of a second run for the presidency, it was his friend, Don Imus, who took him to task for it, and publicly chastised Kerry on TV. Imus has called Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney war criminals, and has been one of the more thunderous voices condemning the conditions at Walter Reed Army Hospital and various VA hospitals.
Last week, Don Imus made a big mistake and discovered the limits of free speech. Commenting on a women's basketball game, he called members of the Rutgers's women's basketball team a bunch of "nappy headed ho's." Subsequently he apologized for his comments and then after criticism from Al Sharpton, Imus apologized again. The second apology pained me because in what I would call a capitulatory gesture, Imus agreed to appear on the Sharpton radio show and apologize again – and explain himself.
This pains me because - despite Don Imus's controversial reputation - Imus has more character in his pinky than Al Sharpton has in an entire lifetime. Sharpton, like his mentor Jesse Jackson, has become a professional shakedown artist. Some facts:
Al Sharpton has been at the center of several incidents where using the power of his speech he has needlessly inflamed passions. Here is an excerpt from an interview where he comments on the Duke Lacrosse Team rape case. Another instance where Sharpton and his cohort Jesse Jackson inflamed passions and probably prolonged the agony of the victims - who turned out to be the team. That case was dropped this week. Sharpton's publicity drawing comments were made last year during an interview with Bill Oreilly:
Al Sharpton's inflammatory rhetoric and status as a former presidential candidate do not change who he really is – a street punk in a suit...
About the Author:
Mike Thomson - a somewhat white looking man - In 1983 publicly took the Alabama National Guard to task for racist recruiting practices and knows racism when he sees it. Don Imus is not racist - despite his talk, but Al Sharpton definitely fits the profile.
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