When Al Sharpton decided to interject himself into the Baltimore kerfuffle, President Donald Trump could not resist the temptation to take to the most lethal Twitter account in the world and make a comment:
“I have known Al for 25 years. Went to fights with him & Don King, always got along well. He ‘loved Trump!’ He would ask me for favors often. Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score. Just doing his thing. Must have intimidated Comcast/NBC. Hates Whites & Cops!”
Following the principle that everything Trump says must be contradicted, the Democratic presidential candidates started to speak in outrage and anger. Kamala Harris, unsurprisingly, was the first out of the gate:
“@TheRevAl has spent his life fighting for what’s right and working to improve our nation, even in the face of hate. It’s shameful, yet unsurprising that Trump would continue to attack those who have done so much for our country.”
Elizabeth Warren was not too far behind in defending the poor, persecuted man:
“[email protected] has dedicated his life to the fight for justice for all. No amount of racist tweets from the man in the White House will erase that—and we must not let them divide us. I stand with my friend Al Sharpton in calling out these ongoing attacks on people of color.”
Finally, among the top tier of Democratic presidential candidates, Joe Biden weighed in.
“@TheRevAl is a champion in the fight for civil rights. The fact that President Trump continues to use the power of the presidency to unleash racist attacks on the people he serves is despicable. This hate has no place in our country. It’s beneath the dignity of the office.”
The Washington Examiner has a great account of who Al Sharpton is, though not why presumably serious adults should ever want to be associated with him.
Sharpton first became prominent on the national stage in 1987 when he rallied to the cause of an African American teenager named Tawana Brawly who claimed that she had been kidnapped and raped by a gang of white racists led by then-assistant district attorney named Steven Pagones. The incident turned out to be a hoax and Pagones successfully sued Sharpton for defamation. However, he lost his job and his marriage under the stress of the controversy.
In 1991, Sharpton interjected himself into a fresh controversy when a professor of African American studies named Leonard Jeffries accused Jews of financing the slave trade. Amid the controversy, a Jewish man accidentally ran over and killed an African American boy in the New York neighborhood of Crown Heights. Rioting ensued, whipped up by Sharpton using anti-Semitic language to lead marches and inflame the controversy. Rioters murdered a young, rabbinical student named Yankel Rosenbaum. The driver, who was cleared of all wrongdoing, was obliged to flee to Israel for his safety.
In 1995, Sharpton involved himself in a landlord-tenant dispute in Harlem. The dispute involved an African American church that raised the rent on a Jewish owned business called Freddy’s Fashion Mart. The Jewish businessman in turned raised the rent on a subtenant, a black-owned record store. Sharpton led daily demonstrations in front of Freddy’s, using anti-Semitic invective. At one point one of the demonstrators charged into the store with a firearm, killing seven people and then himself, in the process burning the store to the ground.
Since then Sharpton has reinvented himself as a more respectable civil rights activist and political commentator, getting a gig on MSNBC, running for president in 2004, and only occasionally getting involved in racial controversies such as the George Zimmerman shooting.
However, Sharpton remains an anti-Semite, an anti-white racist and what sociologist Orlando Patterson referred to as a “racial arsonist.” Sharpton, so far, has been unapologetic, even though his actions have led to several deaths.
Hot Air believes that Trump is attempting to make Sharpton one of the faces of the Democratic Party by calling him out on Twitter. The article questions whether this gambit will be effective. Sharpton’s years as a radical firebrand are decades in the past. He has exchanged inciting riots to become a talking head on TV, which lends some legitimacy.
On the other hand, as Hot Air points out, Trump must not see much harm from pointing out that the man the Democrats are falling over themselves to embrace once incited bloody riots, screaming charming slogans such as, “Bloodsucking Jews!”