In today’s Philadelphia Inquirer crossword puzzle, 34 down was “Sharpton and Jolson,” the correct answer being “Als,” and I thought, what an insult to the actor and singer once called “the world’s greatest entertainer,” to be mentioned in the same breath with the famed race baiter.
Things are going well for the man known as Rev. Al. The July 17 death of African-American Staten Islander Eric Garner, 43, who lost his life while resisting arrest by police officers picking him up for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes, was tragic. For Rev. Al Inc., it’s been good for the grievance business.
Sharpton, who was sensibly banned from City Hall under the administration of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and was welcomed back into the fold by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who never let him run the show — last week appeared at a City Hall “roundtable’’ discussion on police-community relations, perched beside de Blasio and Police Commissioner William Bratton. He outrageously warned the mayor that if minorities are targeted by police for arrest, “I’ll be your worst enemy.”
He asserted that if the mayor’s biracial 16-year-old son, Dante, were not de Blasio’s kid, “He’d be a candidate for a chokehold.”
But Sharpton sees participating in local engagements as nuisances.
“Going to City Hall is not the thrill of my life,” groused Sharpton, who boasted, “I met with the president of the United States last week!”
A group of city cops held a news conference Tuesday in which they denounced Sharpton for whipping up racial unrest before all the facts are known about the cause of Garner’s death. Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch blasted the city Medical Examiner’s Office’s “political” declaration that Garner’s death was a homicide resulting from a chokehold — a maneuver banned by the NYPD that was allegedly used by Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo — combined with Garner’s obesity, asthma, sleep apnea, diabetes and heart disease.
“If they weren’t taking me seriously, they wouldn’t be holding press conferences, going crazy,” Sharpton told me.
Sharpton doesn’t like the “broken-windows theory,” which holds that if nuisances such as broken windows are not tolerated in communities, more serious acts of vandalism and crime won’t occur down the road. This theory has guided policing for more than 20 years, especially benefitting poorer neighborhoods with high minority populations.
“Are you telling me that people spit on the street more in Bed-Stuy than in Greenwich Village?” railed Sharpton, who these days beds down on Manhattan’s gentrified Upper West Side.
“I suppose if you look at that community six times more, that’s what you’ll find.”
Yes, he’s arguing that cops who go after low-level offenders are racists. Scary.
Does any law-abiding citizen really want to see New York return to the year 1990, when murders in the five boroughs surged to an all-time high of 2,245? The city ended last year with 333 murders, or 215 fewer lifeless bodies than in 1963, when New York’s murder rate was first tallied.
Sharpton rose to fame in 1987 as a cheerleader for the rape hoax perpetrated by upstate African-American girl Tawana Brawley.
The sadly amusing part? That article was published on August 8th, and the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, occurred the next day. The Rev Sharpton, as one would expect, quickly flew to Missouri, to whip up more racial hysteria.
Robert Stacey Stacy McCain’s Official Position is that he doesn’t know what happened and we don’t know what happened in Ferguson beyond a few, established facts, and that most of what we are hearing is biased and uninformed speculation. The similarities with the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case are startling: in Mr Zimmerman’s case, the race-baiters jumped in, before all of the facts were known — and a few are still unknown — and tried Mr Zimmerman in the media. When the case actually went to trial, the judgement of local prosecutors not to charge Mr Zimmerman was vindicated, and Mr Zimmerman was acquitted.
Will that be the case in Ferguson? Only the LORD knows, and He hasn’t told us yet. All of the facts may never be known — they certainly aren’t all known now, not that that has stopped the Rev Sharpton — and an informed judgement cannot be taken without information.
But we do know enough to say that the Rev Sharpton is a despicable human being. As usual, he jumps into any racial situation with both of his stinky feet, because that is what he does, and that is how he makes his money. If he should be so unfortunate as to get run over by a bus, your Editor will shed exactly zero tears.