I don’t mean to pee on someone’s parade, but I have to ask a question that’s been bugging me for a very long time, what the heck does Rev. Al Sharpton bring to the table in terms of his ability to calm tensions between protesters and police? More to the point, what can Rev. Al possibly do to make things better in Baltimore?
Just a quick look at Sharpton’s experience in these matters suggest that he is totally unqualified to be a leader or a figure of unity in times of civil unrest. See, Sharpton has a habit of stoking racial flames; and, at times, he comes across as being a downright bigot.
“If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house,” —Rev. Al during the Crown Heights Riot.
“White folks was in caves while we was building empires…. We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.” —Rev. Al during a speech at Kean College.
“As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways, so don’t worry about that; that’s a temporary situation.” —Rev. Al on Mitt Romney’s bit for president.
In addition to putting his foot in his mouth on more than one occasion, Sharpton’s been no stranger to controversy. He was a staunch defender of Tawana Brawley, an African American girl who lied about being raped and assaulted by six white men. Sharpton was a spokesman for LoanMax, a company that charged 300 percent APR loans. Additionally, Sharpton has been somewhat of a delinquent when it comes to paying taxes. In 2014, his business ventures owned $4.5 million in state and federal taxes, according to the New York Times.
So, now Sharpton’s in Baltimore with the goal of leading a peace march. I’d argue that he’s late to the party. The rioting, looting and criminal mischief is largely under control thanks to a 10 p.m. curfew and a large police presence that’s been bolstered by the national guard. Given that things appear to be headed in the right direction, what can Sharpton possibly do to make things better? With his dubious past and race-baiting statements, isn’t he one of the worst guys for the job in Baltimore?
What are your thoughts on Sharpton? Is his presence at sites of tumult and turmoil really a benefit for the public?