Al Sharpton on Don Imus
by Bill Levinson
In condemning radio show host Don Imus’ use of the term “nappy headed hos” to describe African-American basketball players, Al Sharpton said, “What is any possible reason you could feel that this type of statement should be forgiven and overlooked?” Sharpton also said that Imus’ show should be terminated from CBS and MSNBC. These are indeed questions that should be asked about Sharpton himself, and the Al Sharpton Show. Al Sharpton has as much right to talk about racial and ethnic tolerance as former Klan leader David Duke.
We will say up front that Don Imus used very poor judgment in his commentary, since ethnic jokes about anybody (Jews, Blacks, Irish people, Poles, Italians, and so on) are usually in bad taste and can go over very poorly with any audience, even if the teller means no real harm. “Means no real harm” will become important shortly, noting how Al Sharpton’s own conduct has caused serious harm to people and communities throughout his career. We wonder, however, why Al Sharpton has a problem only with Don Imus’ description of Black women as “hos.” When a Black rap artist says “ho ho ho,” he is not referring to Santa Claus. When Black rappers are allowed to refer to African-American women in degrading terms without any backlash from so-called Black leaders like Sharpton and Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson, it comes as little suprise that people like Imus think they can take similar liberties. When people don’t respect their own neighborhood, they should not be surprised when visitors toss litter on the sidewalk or fail to clean up after their dogs. This does not make the visitors’ conduct right or acceptable, but it should nonetheless not be surprising.
Perhaps someone should take Don Imus to task for what he said, but Sharpton is probably the last individual–we won’t call him a “man”–on earth to do it. We still have a letter to the editor we published in the Poughkeepsie Journal on July 19, 1988, when Al Sharpton, Alton Maddox, and C. Vernon Mason were hurling reckless and false accusations of rape in the Tawana Brawley scandal. Louis Farrakhan also was involved, hence the reference to “gutter religions” as he calls Judaism.
“We are the Demagogogues”
Do you know who we are? Fear is our sales pitch and hate is our stock in trade. We are here to save you from the heretic, the Jew, the Catholic, the gypsy, the witch, the infidel, the Communist, the Negro, the secular humanist, or the racist. Follow us, give us money, publicity, and votes, and we’ll save you fom the bogeyman. And if the bogeyman doesn’t exist, we’ll invent him.
…We’re here to hurl reckless accusations and to slander innocent people. We’re here to talk about “crackers,” “gutter religions,” and “Uncle Toms.” …We’ll threaten the public safety if we have to; “Someone may show up with a grenade.”
…Yesterday we are Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizards. Today we are Sharpton, Maddox, Mason, and Farrakhan.
With regard to “reckless accusations” and “slandering innocent people,” Sharpton and some of his associates were found civilly liable to a Dutchess County attorney whom they had falsely implicated in the Tawana Brawley non-rape. One of Sharpton’s followers did in fact threaten that “someone might show up with a grenade.” While low-class and totally uncalled-for, Don Imus’ remark did not result in death or injury to any Scarlet Knights basketball players. Al Sharpton’s inflammatory rhetoric has, in comparison, arguably been involved in getting people killed.
Democrats Embrace ‘Impresario of Hatred’
BY FRED SIEGEL
The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 29, 2000
But at Freddy’s [a Jewish-owned store in Harlem], Mr. Sharpton was even more malevolent. He turned a landlord-tenant dispute between the Jewish owner of Freddy’s and a black subtenant into a theater of hatred. Picketers from Mr. Sharpton’s National Action Network, sometimes joined by “the Rev.” himself, marched daily outside the store, screaming about “bloodsucking Jews” and “Jew bastards” and threatening to burn the building down.
After weeks of increasingly violent rhetoric, one of the protesters, Roland Smith, took Mr. Sharpton’s words about ousting the “white interloper” to heart. He ran into the store shouting, “It’s on!” He shot and wounded three whites and a Pakistani, whom he apparently mistook for a Jew. Then he set the fire, which killed five Hispanics, one Guyanese and one African-American–a security guard whom protesters had taunted as a “cracker lover.” Smith then fatally shot himself.
Eight people died, and so evidently did the conscience of liberal Democrats. It was Al Sharpton who had the honor of asking the first question at last week’s debate, held within hailing distance of the Freddy’s massacre.
Like you said, Sharpton, “What is any possible reason you could feel that this type of statement should be forgiven and overlooked?â€ While Sharpton’s conduct in this incident and also the Crown Heights riot did not rise to the legal definition of “incitement to riot,” there is no doubt that his behavior encouraged hatred for Jews and so-called “cracker lovers” (to Black supremacists what a “Negro lover” is to the Ku Klux Klan). Rich Lowry says of the Crown Heights riot, in which a Jew named Yankel Rosenbaum was killed,
The dumbing down of presidential candidates is complete.
â€œIf the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.”
Those were the immortal words of the Rev. Al Sharpton during the Crown Heights crisis in New York City in 1991.
…Sharpton’s contribution to civic peace was statements like the above, together with such classic anti-Jewish smears as: “Talk about how Oppenheimer in South Africa sends diamonds straight to Tel Aviv and deals with the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights.”
Well, Sharpton (we won’t call you “Reverend,” “Mister,” or any other title of respect), we don’t have a yarmulke but we will “get it on” with you in front of any number of cameras and microphones any time, and expose you to the American public for the racist, anti-Semite, and two-bit lying demagogue you are. We have and will go even further by using you to damage any political candidate (e.g. John Kerry, Ned Lamont) who appears in public with you. We guarantee that, if Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama ever appears with you at any public function, we will use the above history to cost them the votes of every decent human being in this country. We believe firmly that, were you to wake up one morning to discover that you had become a Caucasian, you would be cutting holes in your pillowcase by noon and burning a cross by nightfall. Meanwhile,
The Rev. Jesse Jackson and about 50 people marched Monday outside Chicago’s NBC tower to protest Imus’ comments. He said MSNBC should abandon Imus and MSNBC should hire more black pundits.
We are not and have never been interested in hearing what Jesse “Hymietown” Jackson has to say. We meanwhile recommend that Al Sharpton and former Klan leader David Duke combine their radio shows, so the absolute dregs of American society will have one-stop shopping for racism, bigotry, hatred, and demagoguery of the lowest order. We are confident that Duke and Sharpton can share their favorite descriptions of Jews, while agreeing to disagree about their respective terms for Black people and Caucasians.