The events of this weekend are horrifying. Two NYPD officers are dead in an unprovoked attack that seems to have been cheered by at least a segment of the public. A child has been left fatherless, sentiments on both sides of a heated debate have been ignited, and a city is in mourning.
But before you go discussing the relative impact of philosophies and agendas on the state of race relations in America, or consider how inflammatory remarks from community leaders may have ultimately worsened the situation, please remember that there is only one real victim here, and that is Al Sharpton, who held a press conference yesterday lest his “leadership” get dropped from the news cycle.
[T]he Rev. Al Sharpton, who has called for peaceful protests, condemned “eye-for-an-eye” violence and called it absurd to blame protesters or politicians for the officers’ deaths.
“We are now under intense threat from those who are misguided – from those who are trying to blame everyone from civil rights leaders to the mayor rather than deal with an ugly spirit that all of us need to fight,” he said.
Sharpton added: “There are those of us committed to nonviolence and making the system work. And there are those committed to anarchy and recklessness who could care less about the families of police or the families who have raised questions about police accountability.”
I’m not sure Sharpton can say that in confidence. While Saturday’s violence had its root where most tragic violence does – in an untreated mental illness – and Sharpton is unlikely to be responsible for the crazy decisions of a crazy man, the brutal response, that had people taking to social media to applaud a cold-blooded killer, most certainly has its roots in the rhetoric Sharpton has been purveying for weeks, not out of a spirit of caring, but because he was handed a chance to be relevant for yet another fifteen minutes.
The saddest part of the display is that Sharpton also sees the two officers’ deaths as a way of gaining a little bit of extra screen time.
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