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The Pot Calling The Kettle White

The hypocrisy of the Reverend Al Sharpton.

by Michael H. Thomson
April 9, 2007

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The Pot Calling The Kettle White

"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:
  • Tawana Brawley Controversy – Tawana Brawley was a fifteen-year-old girl who made accusations about several men including several police officers in a rape and assault case in Wappingers Falls, New York in 1987. Al Sharpton highlights the case in speeches and makes several inflammatory statements in support of Brawley. Later the Grand Jury concludes that the incident never happened. Brawley and her mother escape to Virginia with $300,000 worth of defense fund money partially raised by Sharpton.  Even today, there is a warrant for their arrest if they every return to New York. Sharpton and his associates were later sued and had to cough up $345,000 for their false statements.
  • Crown Heights Riots – Sharpton was considered unhelpful in riots against a Jewish community in New York in 1991. Because of the nature of the riots, some Jewish leaders, commenting on the anti-Semitic characteristics refer to the riots as the Crown Heights Pogrom. A visiting rabbinical student from Australia was killed by the crowd screaming, "Kill the Jew."
  • Freddie's Fashion Mart – Sharpton was present when a Jewish shop owners shop was burned down. Sharpton denied standing in the crowd calling the shop owner a "white interloper." When confronted with a video tape disputing his denial, Sharpton asked what was wrong with calling someone a "white interloper?"
  • Predatory Lending Advocacy – blacks are more the victims of predatory lending than any other segment of our society. Until 2005, Al Sharpton was associated as a spokesperson for one of the larger predatory lending companies in the United States- Loan Max. After criticism, Sharpton ended his relationship.
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:
But I think that all of the facts that you have laid out the DA had — and I know this DA is probably not one that is crazy. He would not have proceeded if he did not feel that he could convict. So it tells me that all of what you said is either not true or he has convincing evidence that would certainly knock that out and no one is not letting him proceed. You know, a lot of those community leaders down there, pro and con, wanted a lot of people to come in.
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...

Comments (10)

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Brooks from Tar Heelia writes:
April 9, 2007
Racism from any mouth is still racism. This is something that Brother Al will never understand. Here in North Carolina, the legislature has passed legislation apologizing for slavery. To some this is not enough, payments are demanded. Well, let's check my family tree to see how many slave holders fall out. Not many is my guess. Paying for a past injustice does not make the injustice go away. Apologizies do say what is on our heart. Requiring more and more apologizes is racism.

Thanks Mike.

I hope you do not think that I am a card carrying liberal. I label myself a liberal-conservative.

Rick Wilson from Brewton, AL writes:
April 10, 2007
I am Irish on my mother's side (Braly). We also had our problems in history with slavery. I refer you to the following exerpts from an artical written by James Cavanaugh, entitled "Irish Slavery".

The Proclamation of 1625 ordered that Irish political prisoners be transported overseas and sold as laborers to English planters, who were settling the islands of the West Indies, officially establishing a policy that was to continue for two centuries. In 1629 a large group of Irish men and women were sent to Guiana, and by 1632, Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat in the West Indies.

By 1637 a census showed that 69% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves, which records show was a cause of concern to the English planters. But there were not enough political prisoners to supply the demand, so every petty infraction carried a sentence of transporting, and slaver gangs combed the country sides to kidnap enough people to fill out their quotas.

Although African Negroes were better suited to work in the semi-tropical climates of the Caribbean, they had to be purchased, while the Irish were free for the catching, so to speak. It is not surprising that Ireland became the biggest source of livestock for the English slave trade.

In the 12 year period during and following the Confederation revolt, from 1641 to 1652, over 550,000 Irish were killed by the English and 300,000 were sold as slaves, as the Irish population of Ireland fell from 1,466,000 to 616,000. Banished soldiers were not allowed to take their wives and children with them, and naturally, the same for those sold as slaves. The result was a growing population of homeless women and children, who being a public nuisance, were likewise rounded up and sold. But the worse was yet to come.

On 14 August 1652, Cromwell began his Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland, ordering that the Irish were to be transported overseas, starting with 12,000 Irish prisoners sold to Barbados. The infamous “Connaught or Hell” proclamation was issued on 1 May 1654, where all Irish were ordered to be removed from their lands and relocated west of the Shannon or be transported to the West Indies.

Mr. Sharpton, are we entitled to reparations and an apology as well?

Melody Vanosdol from Cleves, OH writes:
April 10, 2007
I would like to thank Mike and Rick for being very insightful and educational.

Thank you gentlemen.

meme from Missouri writes:
April 12, 2007
Thank you for your article. I was watching the morning Imus said what he did, and my mouth dropped. I don't think he was being malicious, however being married to a black man (I am white) for 30 years I have lived on both sides of the fence. It shouldn't have been thought, let alone spoke outloud. After saying that, the Rev Al seems to be nothing but a racist biggot himself. And Jesse Jackson is an adulterer. I think Rev Al, and Jesse live by double standards. And I wonder how many of those Rutgers player have popular cd's by various artists that use that and more explicit phrases than that. Come on this needs to stop on both sides. I heard that Snoop said: "it's what we know, its what we live, we are entitled to say what we do." And I ask... does he have a ho for a mom? I doubt it. What about his wife, daughters, grandmother. Sharpton asked basically for a boycot, so why can't the same be done about the sponsors of the radio stations, BET, etc. to get this stopped once and for all? It's totally inappropriate, and shouldn't be on any airways. Thanks for having this platform.

mike alexander from houston, Tx writes:
April 13, 2007
We all know the agenda that Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Jackson adhere to. Both are certainly more interested in furthering their own positions than in anything else including the betterment of those they purport to represent. They often do so at the expense of innocent people. Why are we only able to read this truth in obscure internet articles? Why does the mainstream media not expose their ridiculously transparent facade? When Al Sharpton has a radio show that he can use to call anyone a racist it reeks of hypocrisy. Certainly Imus deserved the axe. No matter his good heart and good deeds, those kind of hurtful remarks have no place on the air. However, he is certainly not the only one who doesn't deserve a pulpit. Mike Thompson said what every American has to know in their heart of hearts. It is just a shame that the major media outlets continue to give these guys their air time and are afraid to express what most everyone else already know.

Rick Wilson from Brewton, AL writes:
April 13, 2007
I have one more thought on this. Foul language spoken by any human being is foul language. If we want to make such language an issue, then by all means make it an issue....for all people regardless of race or sex. If racist language offends you, then be offended when your race uses the same offensive words as well. Many famous entertainers, especially comedians and singers, couldn't perform without using racist, foul language. People go to these concerts and laugh and dance. Where is the outcry? Where is the banishment? Where is the intolerance? Where are Sharpton and Jackson?

If we are to truly progress to new heights of awareness we must begin with intolerance within ourselves. We must say that certain racist terms are wrong to say at all times, no exceptions. If the word "stupid" offends you for example, then do not call others "stupid" and expect your wishes and desires to be met with sincerity. You are an opportunist who can't be respected.

If Martin Luther King, while professing peaceful demonstration, had done just the opposite, his legacy would have been tarnished, the respect for his cause dimenished.

Furthering a cause begins by setting the example. The same holds true for dignity and respect. Lifting one's self out of the dirt of indignity begins by standing for a cause by example. Such an example must be held to the highest standards.

Martin Luther King understood this. He lead by example. Where are the "Martin's" of this age?

Brooks from Tar Heelia writes:
April 14, 2007
Rick does bring everything into prespective. Still what Don Imus did is still sorry racism. I believe that anyone who utters the words, means them. Shock jocks such as Don Imus my have the right to say such epitaphs, but shouldn't he have the decency not to say those things. Just as the conservative name callers do not analyze the truth before they blow hard, shock jocks do not think before they blow off.

I don't like the actions of Rev. Sharpton in making demand after demand. I don't believe that CBS was listening to Al Sharpton when they fired Don. There were listening to advertisers and listeners. I don't believe Shapton is either. I commend CBS for listening.

george clark from waco, texas writes:
May 1, 2007
Sharpton's and Jackson's "fame" and notoriety is perpetuated by the media who pander to these two idiots, who never pass up an opportunity to pile on lies and abuse. They are racists in their own way, and I think it's outrageous that the media doesn't take Sharpton to task for his comments about the Duke lacrosse players. And then we have Jackson, that old "adulterer" who never passes up a chance to dump on "whitey."

We live in a society that is seemingly falling apart, where anything is acceptable, with the public always seeking anything more shocking to titilate their hunger for anything new...until it's novelty wears off in 24 hours....or until the next tidbit comes along.

History repeats itslelf, and it's as if the "Roman" times are here again...as we self-destruct.

I fear for my grandkids.

TomWebb from Cincinnati writes:
May 7, 2007
Brooks from Tar Heelia writes:
April 14, 2007
Rick does bring everything into prespective. Still what Don Imus did is still sorry racism. I believe that anyone who utters the words, means them. Shock jocks such as Don Imus my have the right to say such epitaphs, but shouldn't he have the decency not to say those things. Just as the conservative name callers do not analyze the truth before they blow hard, shock jocks do not think before they blow off.

I don't like the actions of Rev. Sharpton in making demand after demand. I don't believe that CBS was listening to Al Sharpton when they fired Don. There were listening to advertisers and listeners. I don't believe Shapton is either. I commend CBS for listening.

Brooks fails to mention all the rappers and the blacks also. The words are used by the blacks everyday. It means every rapper who utters those words is putting down his own people. Every black person who utters these words are as guilty as Imus. Every comedian who utters these words are guilty. They are all guilty of being RACIST, if anyone who utters these words mean it. Too bad the same can't be said for I'm sorry. And don't give me the BS about he has done it before, so has Sharpton many times.

Roy Gwynn from Canada writes:
May 19, 2007
Very interesting , all these comments on the good , bad and ugly.

One of the worst and yet best comments on white slavery is the Dr, Barnardo justification that he held the right to send whomever he chose into bondage in Canada as well as Australia , America and other lands held by the United Kingdom.

Yes , most of these people were far better off in this idea but many more fell into horrible hands and deplorable lives at the end of their journeys. Some merely five years old as my grandmother was. Luckily for her she got a wonderful family who cared for her. My grandfather was not so lucky. Seven years labor on a huge farm in Ontario Canada to pay just for a three week voyage from Liverpool to Canada...?

He left with just the clothes on his back.

SHAME and SHAME on a government and on the various churches and on England as well as Canadian governmental services for letting this ever happen as it did . There are many terrible stories of RAPE and slavery from terrible people whose ultimate fate need be at the end of a rope...but of course it never happened...Right.

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