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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

President Obama's New "Best Friend," Al Sharpton: Murderer, and Professional Bigot

One of my wife's friends had a cousin visiting from Greece. He was looking for a ticket for the hottest Broadway play. My wife explained to him that the play was sold out, but if he went across the bridge to New Jersey he could get a ticket from a scalper. After my wife explained what a scalper was, the tourist from Greece exclaimed, "You Americans, you can make a business out of anything" ---he was right.

We have people who play cards for a living, we have people who scalp tickets for a living, and we have people are professional bigots.  Al Sharpton is a professional bigot. The "Wrong-Reverend" has made a career of using bigotry to promote Al Sharpton. A real minister would build bridges across ethnic divides, Sharpton burns them. But to be fair, Sharpton is a master at it. Why does Sharpton do this ? Because by fanning the flames of hatred it helps him market his number one product. That would be Al Sharpton, judge, jury executioner, and professional bigot.

When Barack Obama first began his run for office, Sharpton hinted that he would not endorse the future president because the Illinois Senator had not done his due diligence (kissing the Sharpton ring). In the two years since, the two have made up to the point that the WSJ now describes the master of hatred almost as a liaison to the African-American Community.

....President Barack Obama has turned to Mr. Sharpton in recent weeks to answer increasingly public criticism in the black community over his economic policy. Some black leaders are charging that the nation's first African-American president has failed to help black communities hit hard by the downturn, leaving party strategists worried that black Democrats will become dispirited and skip November's congressional elections.

Mr. Sharpton has emerged as an important part of the White House response. On his national radio program, he is directly rebutting the president's critics, arguing that Mr. Obama is right to craft policies aimed at lifting all Americans rather than specifically targeting blacks. One recent on-air fight with Tavis Smiley, a prominent talk show host and Obama critic, grew so heated that it has created a small sensation among black leaders.

"The president does not need to get out there and do what we should be doing," Mr. Sharpton told Mr. Smiley during the testy exchange. He argued that expecting Mr. Obama to become a "black exponent of black views" was "just stupid," because it would create fodder for conservatives looking to defeat legislation that could ultimately help blacks.

In an interview, Mr. Sharpton added that it was a "double standard" for Mr. Smiley and other critics to expect more from a black president than they would demand of a white Democratic president.
The Journal says that Mr. Sharpton is an unlikely White House partner, given his racially polarizing history, apparently they have never heard of presidential appointments like Cass Sunstein or Van Jones.

But Mr. Sharpton could help ensure that blacks remain energized for November's elections—an important task in a year that finds the Democratic base to be less enthusiastic about voting than are Republicans.

...Mr. Sharpton has been to the White House five times since Mr. Obama took office, most recently this month as part of a small group meeting with economics advisor Lawrence Summers. Mr. Sharpton's radio program, which airs in 27 markets, has become a friendly platform for administration officials to address black listeners, allowing Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, for example, to take credit for a recent $1.25 billion settlement with black farmers who had sued the government for discrimination.
Now there are signs that Mr. Sharpton will play a role in this fall's midterm elections. Democratic National Committee Chairman Timothy Kaine conferred with Mr. Sharpton this month on sending him to black churches and neighborhoods in politically important states to register and mobilize black voters.

For the president, the alliance with Mr. Sharpton carries risk. Where Mr. Obama has worked hard to mute race as part of his persona, Mr. Sharpton is famous for inflaming racial sensitivities, as when he represented Tawana Brawley, the black teenager whose 1987 claims of rape by several white men were discredited.

Former Virginia Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, America's first elected black governor, said that Mr. Obama "went to great lengths to show that he is the president for all people, not just some people." Outreach to Mr. Sharpton, while shoring up black support, could hurt that image, he said.
"Sharpton brings a profile, whatever you think of it," said Mr. Wilder. "When he first got known was with the Tawana Brawley incident. A lot of people still remember it, and many of those old enough to remember it still haven't gotten over it."
Yah Think?  November 1987 Ms Brawley claimed that she had been repeatedly raped and sodomized for four days by six white kidnappers, at least one of whom was wearing a police badge. She further alleged that her assailants had chopped off some of her hair, forced her to perform oral sex on them, urinated into her mouth, smeared her clothing with feces, and covered her chest with racial slurs. It was a horrible story. It was a Hoax.

If Sharpton's role was merely giving comfort and advice to a family who thought their child was savagely raped, it would have been quickly forgotten. Six-months later the Brawly story broke the "Reverend" broke the commandment about bearing false witness. He  accused Stephen Pagones, Dutchess County’s assistant district attorney, of being one of Brawley's attackers. He also accused district attorney William Grady of trying to cover up Pagones’ involvement in the crime, and he demanded Governor Cuomo immediately arrest the two “suspects.” Sharpton refused to provide evidence, saying only that they would reveal the facts when the time was right. But there were no facts.

Three months later a Sharpton aide named Perry McKinnon stepped forward to blow a hole in Sharpton's story. McKinnon announced that “Sharpton acknowledged to me early on that ‘The [Brawley] story do sound like bull---t, but it don’t matter. We’re building a movement. This is the perfect issue. Because you’ve got whites on blacks. That’s an easy way to stir up all the deprived people, who would want to believe and who would believe—and all [you’ve] got to do is convince them—that all white people are bad. Then you’ve got a movement.” Explaining that Sharpton was methodically “building an atmosphere” for a race war, McKinnon continued: “Sharpton told me it don’t matter whether any whites did it or not. Something happened to her...even if Tawana done it to herself.” To prove his truthfulness, McKinnon submitted to a lie detector test administered on camera and passed all questions.

To Sharpton it did not matter that he made up the story about Pagones, or that he ruined the former assistant district attorney's life, only that "bearing false witness" helped to make Al Sharpton a star.

The Brawley case was not the only time that Sharpton used false claims as a tool of his bigotry. Twice he used lies to stir up Anti-Semitic pogroms which resulted in deaths of innocents, one was in Crown Heights and the other in Harlem:

The Crown Heights pogrom occurred after a car accident involving the motorcade for the Lubavitcher Rebbe killed a young boy Gavin Cato. A riot was sparked after a private Hasidic ambulance came to the scene and, on the orders of a police officer, removed the Hasidic driver from the scene. Gavin Cato and his cousin Angela were picked up soon after by a city ambulance.

A few years later, Sharpton decided that Harlem should be segregated and that a Jewish-owned store named Freddie's Fashion Mart should close even though it had been there for decades. At one of the many rallies meant to scare the Jewish owner away, Sharpton charged that “there is a systemic and methodical strategy to eliminate our people from doing business off 125th Street. I want to make it clear . . . that we will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.” Sharpton’s colleague, Morris Powell, said of the Jewish owner — Sharpton’s “white interloper” — “We’re going to see that this cracker suffers. Reverend Sharpton is on it.” Three months later, one of the protesters, Roland Smith, stormed Freddy’s with a pistol, screaming, “It’s on now: All blacks out!” In addition to shooting, he burned the place down. Eight people died. Sharpton first lied about being present. When confronted with a video tape showing his presence, he said: "What's wrong with denouncing white interlopers?"

Obama wanted to hide any relationship with the pogrom leader until after the primary season and Sharpton complied:
Early in the 2008 presidential campaign, Mr. Obama's aides viewed any partnership with Mr. Sharpton as potentially damaging. Mr. Obama personally took steps to head off a likely visit by Mr. Sharpton to Iowa before that state's caucuses, according to the book "The Audacity to Win," by David Plouffe, Mr. Obama's campaign manager.

Mr. Sharpton said that Mr. Obama called him personally about the trip to heavily white Iowa but did not directly dissuade him from going. He said he decided on his own not to visit the state: "I didn't want him to lose because of me."
...Later events would confirm that Mr. Obama was right to be cautious about race. He was forced to denounce racially charged and anti-American comments by his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., who, unlike Mr. Sharpton, refused to heed the campaign's desire that he disappear from view.
But Sharpton is out of the Obama closet:
Now, Mr. Sharpton's visits to the White House are announced to the public. Last month, he addressed reporters in the White House driveway after an Oval Office meeting with other black leaders to press the president on jobs. At a White House Christmas party for liberal activists, Mr. Obama went out of his way in welcoming remarks to point out that "Reverend Al" was in attendance, say two participants.
Guests to Mr. Sharpton's radio program have included Jared Bernstein, chief economic adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Mr. Sharpton's advocacy group, the National Action Network, will feature Mr. Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at its annual conference next month, according to Mr. Sharpton's office. Mr. Biden spoke last year.

White House officials declined to discuss the specifics of their interactions with Mr. Sharpton. In an email, White House spokesman Corey Ealons described Mr. Sharpton as "one of many leaders we continue to speak with on the issues of the day."
I am not aware of many other Presidents who would publicly associate with a murderer and professional bigot like Reverend Al. Like his hiring of the likes of Jones and Sunstein, his partnership with Al Sharpton not only desecrates the high office of president of the United States, but makes one wonder what Barack Obama's real goals are.

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