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Ear to the Ground

Sharpton’s Short List

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Posted on Dec 26, 2007
Sharpton
americanrhetoric.com

In an America where Barack Obama could be president, how important is Al Sharpton? Very, if you ask the candidates who are falling over themselves for his endorsement. As the reverend himself puts it: “On a bad day, I’m talking to large portions of the black community. ... If I’m a guy seeking office ... I would not want me against me.”


Washington Post:

Sharpton said he is going to decide among Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Obama and former senator John Edwards of North Carolina. And like much of the black community, he is torn about which way to go.

“I really haven’t decided,” he said. He said he is most concerned about finding the candidate who will pursue his racial justice agenda.

He said he is also “being strategic,” and will make his endorsement before the South Carolina primary, where he hopes to have the biggest impact because of the state’s large black vote in the Democratic primary. In 2004, when he was a candidate for president, in the South Carolina primary, Sharpton said, “I got 10 percent—and spent like $2.”

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By cyrena, December 28, 2007 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

Cy,

It would appear from other excellent comments on this thread, that nobody much cares whether or not you wanna give your hate to the Rev. In reality, he’s NOT running a campaign, (divisive or otherwise) because he’s NOT running for office. And, the excellent comments from MackTN, make it pretty clear that Al the Rev, doesn’t represent the interests of the mainstream black community, or any other one.

So, while YOU might find him ‘charismatic’, the rest of us figure he’s pretty much full of shit, and that pretty much sums it up.

Sorry about that apology you’re after. What can I say, other than what I already have? Maybe you shouldn’t have paid so much attention to him to begin with.

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By mackTN, December 27, 2007 at 11:55 am Link to this comment

Al Sharpton is far from being my kind of spokesman—he’s self-interested, forms too many views on the fly, and really has no foothold in any black community I’ve seen.  At least Jesse Jackson comes from a long-standing, well formed philosophical base of civil rights activists in the black community.  Uh, what’s the name of Sharpton’s organization…?

Sharpton is largely a creation of white media, not the black populace.  The media continue to designate him as the go-to guy for some strange reason—and, of course, Sharpton feeds on that by showing up and inviting himself to events not generated by him but at which the cameras instantly shift to him as a focal point. 

But all this doesn’t mean that everything he says is whack.  But these views which we I agree are not unique or original to him—he’s just the one getting the camera time.  It’s important not to discount everything that comes out of his mouth as ridiculous just because he tries to take ownership of it. 

First, I supported Obama fully.  But growing concern over Obama’s positions and his ties to the corporate-ocracy trouble me, not to mention the substantial number of Republicans steering his campaign. 

John Edwards has focused on domestic problems that are shattering the low-middle classes in this country and rightly attributed much of the decline to the creation of a shadow government Nafta/Nau, a system that reveres the corporate presence and overturns the strides we’d made in worker protections.  His point of view is right.  We can no longer separate the domestic from the global and think we can solve our problems without minding the surroundings.  HillBill got us into this mess; I don’t think they’re the ones to get us out.  Obama just doesn’t have the know-how or the toughness to take it on.

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By Thomas Billis, December 27, 2007 at 11:52 am Link to this comment

Cyrenna your posts are well written and insightful.Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are hustlers.They have nothing to do with social justice or racial inequality.Their idea of a coup is to get Don Imus fired.They were both late to the Jenna Six debacle and then when both saw publicity advantaqes to the situation drowned out the people who really worked to help those kids.The media has made these two hustlers the spokesman for the black community.They are dependable and quotable.The only thing these two represent are their own interests.I am originally from New York and watched with amazement the growth of Al Sharpton.He is good.

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By P. T., December 27, 2007 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

Bad as he is, Al Sharpton does say things with which one cannot disagree.  Obviously, he realizes the system is rigged in favor of the people at the top.  And he does have a sense of humor.

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By Conservative Yankee, December 27, 2007 at 7:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sharpton is a race baiter pure and simple, and while he says things with which I strongly agree, I can not forget my time in Cold Spring New York in the mid eighties when Sharpton directed his steaming vitriol against a population of semi-rural whites, simply because they lived there.

Tawana Brawley was not raped and abused by “us-ens” but unlike his position on other issues (like the Jena six) he never issued an apology to the people along the river.

But it is obvious from his ongoing divisive campaign he wants my hate…. I refuse to give it to him… I am sorry that such a charismatic person doesn’t use it better.

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By cyrena, December 27, 2007 at 2:56 am Link to this comment

#122694 by Thomas Billis

Thomas,

I have to admit that I share your concerns, especially if this really can be ‘conceived’ as a reverse trajectory from Martin Luther King to Al Sharpton. BUT, I don’t believe that it is.

Then again, the entire population (not just black folks) of the past 4 decades, have been denied the knowledge of what MLK was really all about, and the principles that he stood for and behind, and basically was killed because of.

So, Al Sharpton addresses ‘racial justice’ (instead of social justice, which would be the MLK way) and these younger generations make them the same.

I should also add that there are still many left over from the generation of Martin himself, who STILL refer to HIM as a troublemaker, not unlike the same things that they hurl at Al Sharpton. (not based on the diffences between them that WE know of, but rather the standard race hate on the superficial level)

So, based on that, it is true that ignorance doesn’t necessarily evolve, but is simply handed down. And racism has long ago proven that it doesn’t go away, (as I foolishly believed back in Martin’s Day).

Still, we should beware of making such connections between them, because they may only encourge those who are determined to hold on to that racist ideology at all costs, including their own.

On the more positive side, (and I accept that ‘positive’ is very much a matter of relevance here) Al Sharpton has at least continued to air what are indeed the continuing racial injustices in our society. I don’t like his way of doing it, and others have done it better. (including journalists like Amy Goodman, just to mention one) But, at least it’s not totally buried,(such as things with the Jena Six)that WOULD have otherwise remained buried,  because that stuff has been buried for decades, even though nothing has ever changed about it..at least not in places like that.

Such as it is I suppose.

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By P. T., December 27, 2007 at 12:39 am Link to this comment

Who’s chasing the Tawana Brawley endorsement?

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By Thomas Billis, December 27, 2007 at 12:14 am Link to this comment

What a country.Jasmes Brown’s former gopher who found religion to foster his hustler tendencies gets a major voice in American politics.From Martin Luther King to Al Sharpton I am starting to doubt evolution.

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