Kissing up to the Rev. Al

Politicians say all sorts of things to ingratiate themselves with one interest group or another.  Most of the time we shrug and forget about it.  Pandering is part of the job description, we correctly figure.  But when the panderer is also the attorney general of the United States, we should pay attention.  Especially when he’s kissing up to Al Sharpton.

The other day Eric Holder spoke at the opening of Sharpton’s National Action Network annual convention in Washington.  And Mr. Holder used the occasion to heap praise on the Rev. Sharpton.  Holder thanked him “for your partnership, your friendship, and your tireless efforts to speak out for the voiceless, to stand up for the powerless, and to shine a light on the problems we must solve, and the promises we must fulfill.”

This kind of nonsense gives cynicism a bad name.  Whatever good Sharpton may do from time to time, he has done more than almost anyone else to stir up racial tensions in this country.  Let’s review just a few of the Rev. Sharpton’s lowlights.

As my friend Harry Stein writes in his new book No Matter What … They’ll Call This Book Racist, “As far back as 1987, Sharpton was covering himself with disgrace as one of the chief perpetrators of the notorious Tawana Brawley hoax, wherein a 15-year old upstate New York girl falsely claimed to have been abducted and raped by six white men.  Acting as one of her three advisors, Sharpton inflamed passions by naming an assistant district attorney as one of the supposed attackers, and claiming authorities were protecting him and the others because they were white.”

It was all a lie, as we have long known, but to this day, Sharpton has never apologized, adamantly refusing whenever the subject has come up.  In fact, when Tim Russert on Meet the Press asked Sharpton, “No apology for Tawana Brawley?” Shartpon replied:  “No apology for standing up for civil rights.”

Four years later a 7-year old black child was accidentally killed when he was run over by a car driven by an Orthodox Jewish man in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.  Enter Al Sharpton, who staged a rally at which he called Jews “diamond merchants” and told the crowd, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.”

Four days of riots followed.  Jews were beaten in the streets and one was stabbed to death by rioters shouting, “Kill the Jew.”

Four years after that, in 1995, Shaprton helped lead a boycott against Freddy’s Fashion Mart, a Jewish-owned discount clothing store in Harlem, denouncing its owner as “a white interloper.”  Demonstrators, many from Shartpon’s National Action Network, protested outside the store for months. Customers going into the store were spat upon and called names like “traitor” and “Uncle Tom,” One man reportedly shouted, “Burn down the Jew store.” Then, one day, one of the protestors did just that.  He burst into Freddy’s and announced:  “It’s on now.  All blacks out.”  He then shot four employees, poured paint thinner on several bins of clothing and set the store on fire.  Seven innocent people, and the gunman, died in the blaze.   Sharpton denied he egged anybody on, telling reporters, “I am a preacher, not a prophet. I could not know in advance what this was going to come to.”

Despite all this, as Harry Stein points out, Sharpton “is not only treated with seriousness and respect, by the mainstream media, but is routinely accorded the status of ‘civil rights leader.’  He is always among the first called upon for his views on all racial matter and is even allowed without challenge to pass judgment on the racial bona fides of others.”

It’s one thing for a left-wing television network desperate for ratings to ignore history and give a race baiter like Al Sharpton a job.  It’s quite another for the nation’s chief law enforcement officer to sing Sharpton’s praises in order to rev up the base and help President Obama get re-elected.  Pandering is never pretty.  Sometimes it’s downright ugly.

I Thought Affirmative Action Was a Good Thing

If affirmative action was such a great idea, then why is the left branding anyone a racist who might suggest that President Obama benefitted from the policy?

Donald Trump has brought the President’s academic record into the spotlight by asking how he gained admittance to Columbia University and Harvard Law School after having less than a stellar academic record at Occidental.

Because of that simple query, he’s now been branded by the left as a racist because he has the audacity to question the President’s academic credentials.

Ed Schultz over at MSNBC called Mr. Trump a racist because “he’s questioning the academic prowess of one of the smartest Presidents we’ve ever had.”

When Mr. Trump called on the President to release his college records, Bob Schieffer, host of Face the Nation, said, “That’s just code for saying he got into law school because he’s black.

Then there’s the Rev. Al Sharpton who’s upset with Mr. Trump’s statements because it suggests that President Obama got into two Ivy League schools because of affirmative action.

Well, I found all these statements very enlightening because each one firmly believes Mr. Trump is saying that President Obama had to have been admitted to Columbia and Harvard, not based on his grades, but because of affirmative action.

Assuming that’s true, what makes Mr. Trump a racist?  I thought the left loved affirmative action.  What’s the problem with President Obama benefitting from the policy?

Rev. Sharpton supports it.  So, why the outcry that the President benefitted from something Al Sharpton always supported and thinks is good for the country?

The African American Forum Policy advocates for affirmative action as does the ACLU, and the NAACP is opposed to any constitutional amendment that would do away with affirmative action programs.  President Obama’s own Justice Department just recently filed an amicus brief in support of the University of Texas, Austin, which includes a component that considers race and ethnicity in its admissions decisions.

So what’s making the left so outraged?  If President Obama gained admittance to Columbia University or Harvard Law School through affirmative action, why should that be a negative?

It sounds as if the left now views a person who gets into a university because of his skin color differently from someone who gets in because of merit.  It seems a bit hypocritical for the left to be calling foul play when the African American Policy Forum, for instance, believes that “race-conscious affirmative action remains necessary to address race-based obstacles that block the path to success of countless people of color of all classes.”  So why’s the left making such a fuss?

It’s interesting to see some on the left backing up from their decades-long support of affirmative action.  Maybe it’s because they’re starting to wise up to the fact that affirmative action isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  I’m in Justice Clarence Thomas’s camp who believes that affirmative action has created a “cult of victimization” and implies blacks require “special treatment in order to succeed.”

It sounds as if affirmative action is coming back to bite the collective left on the butt.  Maybe they’re finally realizing that affirmative action makes victims of people and those that benefit from it are actually stigmatized by the policy.

It’s really no surprise I don’t get the left in this country.  But if you do, God bless you.