Anybody who takes even a casual interest in any issue that gets couched in terms of race knows Al Sharpton. He first burst on the scene in 1987 as the lead agitator in the Tawana Brawley case. Sporting a velour sweatsuit, a gaudy medallion, and a hairdo that left no doubt of his affection for his James Brown, Sharpton accused six white men (including a county prosecutor) of raping the 15 year old black teen. Mrs. Brawley's rape story turned out to be false and both she and Sharpton were successfully sued for defamation.
Sharpton never paid the court ordered judgement nor did he apologize for his actions. He did, however, go on to fame and fortune as what is known in some circles as a race hustler. Wherever there was a story about a black person who appeared to have been wronged by "the (white) man", Al was there, hogging the camera and purporting to speak for the victim and for the entire race.
Today the Revered Sharpton finds himself with a television show and a radio show. And, based on his clout in the New York police department, some view him as all but an honorary police commissioner, much to the dismay of the official commish and his charges . He is Mayor Bill de Blasio's right hand man for all things black. Sharpton knows it, de Blasio knows it, and scores of other shameless politicians know it. That was made clear by the parade of A-List politicians who made a point of paying public tribute to him on the occasion of his recent 60th birthday party, despite knowledge of Mr. Sharpton's history. The article, The Democratic Embrace of Al Sharpton has the details below:
In fact, it is other young black men who are responsible for the high homicide risk faced by black teens, and it is proactive policing that has dramatically reduced that risk, saving thousands of young lives in places like New York City. Mr. Sharpton’s longevity as a public figure rests on the enduring power of racial grievance to elevate those politicians who accede to it, while distracting attention from the family and social breakdown afflicting the black community. Mayor de Blasio’s Sharpton predicament is nevertheless a cautionary tale about the risks of getting too close to the Reverend Al."
Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows. I hope the voting block that Mr. Sharpton purportedly speaks for one day realizes that it's being played by him and all the others who've been "helping them" all these years. In the very least, Sharpton should start splitting the hustle proceeds as he seems to have done much better for himself over the years than he has for all the voiceless masses he's been fighting for.