Andrew Sullivan understates the case against Al Sharpton:
As for Sharpton, surely Imus hs a minor, but valid point. Sharpton deploys the vilest form of racist assumptions against whites in general, and gets away with it. He got away with it while accusing specific people of rape – people who turned out to be innocent. Again, since whites still enjoy vastly more cultural power than blacks, Sharpton's bigotry is more defensible than Imus's. But it's still bigotry. (And, to give Sharpton his due, he has spoken out against the rhetorical depravity of much hip-hop.)
Confining criticism of Sharpton to the Duke rape case and general "racist assumptions" is an insult to those who have had their lives ruined–who have even died–as a result of Sharpton's race and Jew-baiting.
In a 2005 column, Larry Elder summarizesï¿½about as well as I could:
Remember how Sharpton burst onto the national scene? He falsely accused then-district attorney Steven Pagones of raping Tawana Brawley. Brawley claimed a white man abducted and raped her, scrawling racial epithets on her body with feces! A grand jury later determined that Brawley made everything up to avoid punishment for staying out too late. Pagones received death threats and threats against his child. A unanimous jury found Sharpton liable for defamation, but it took Pagones over two years to collect Sharpton's judgment. Apparently, Sharpton transferred his assets to his wife's name, paying Pagones only when Sharpton's friends ponied up the money. To this day, Sharpton refuses to apologizeï¿½
In 1991, Gavin Cato, a 7-year-old black child, was killed in a
( Crownï¿½ Heights Brooklyn) traffic accident, when a car driven by a Hasidic Jew went out of control. Sharpton turned it into a racial incident, leading 400 protesters — one holding a sign reading, "The White Man Is the Devil" — through ' Jewish section. Sharpton called Jews "diamond merchants," and later said, "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house." During four nights of rock- and bottle-throwing, a young Talmudic scholar was surrounded by a mob shouting, "Kill the Jew!" and stabbed to death. A hundred others were injuredï¿½ Crownï¿½ Heights
ï¿½In 1995, a Jewish storeowner in
Harlemwas accused of driving out a black storeowner and sub-tenant by raising his rent. Sharpton helped to make it racial. At one rally meant to scare the Jewish owner away, Sharpton said, "[W]e will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business." Following a demonstration three months later, one protestor, an armed black man, stormed Freddy's Fashion Mart, screaming, "It's on now! All blacks out!" The man also set fire to the building, eventually killing himself and seven others. At first, Sharpton denied any moral responsibility, after all, claimed Sharpton, he never spoke at any protest rallies, and therefore could not be held responsible for the climate. But tapes surfaced, showing Sharpton did, indeed, make at least one provocative speech. Sharpton then said, "What's wrong with denouncing white interlopers?" Eventually, he apologized — for saying "white," not "interloper."
Imus may make racist remarks, but as far as I know, nobody has died as a result of them. It's sick that we live in a country in which Sharpton is still a public figure. Sicker still that he's been legitimized, having been given a speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention. But sickest of all that he's the guy to apologize to when you say something racially offensive.
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