I wish he wouldn't hold back and just tell us how he really feels.
JASON WHITLOCK - The Kansas City Star
When I criticized his and Jesse Jackson’s irresponsible and divisive methods of seeking social justice Friday morning, Al Sharpton dismissed the attack by questioning my credibility to lodge a complaint.
“There are always guys that are not in the ring who want to call the fight,” Sharpton said. “You know that going in the ring; you’re going to have critics … You can’t satisfy people who are not in the ring.”
It’s a clever response. It ignores the obvious.
Jesse and Al don’t want anyone else in the ring. They’ve turned the fight for racial equality into a money and fame pit, a place to wrestle for camera time, “consulting” jobs and handshake deals that would make NCAA investigators blush in astonishment.
If people with a modicum of integrity were allowed in the ring and, more importantly, allowed to choose the opponents and the length of the battle, the money would run dry and Jesse and Al would be forced to look for real work.
Fighting bums is easy. Just look at what Jesse and Al James did to Don Imus, a washed-up, recovering drug addict. They knocked out Imus in a couple of rounds.
But at what cost, and what was the real purpose?
The young women on the Rutgers basketball team are now targets, the recipients of death threats and harassment, according to East Coast media reports.
I have no problem with young people engaging in battle and suffering severe consequences for a righteous cause. We need more of that. The people who really provided the energy for the civil rights movement were in college.
But getting in harm’s way over the ignorant utterances of a shock jock? Getting in harm’s way so a coach could have her moment to tell the world about the troubles she’s known? Getting in harm’s way so Al and Jesse James can flex their muscle by beating up another tomato can?
No way. It was irresponsible, self-indulgent and typical of the kind of domestic terrorism Sharpton and Jackson have come to specialize in.
Again, I am not defending Don Imus. I shed no tears over his comeuppance.
I simply question the motives of the people who pushed the hardest and shouted the loudest for Imus’ demise. Those people are now covering themselves with the fig leaf that they have a genuine interest in stopping the anti-black, women-objectifying language in rap music.
According to Sharpton, he’s been working on this issue for a number of years.
He’s clever. Fortunately, we’re not stupid. We just watched Jesse and Al sink their teeth in Imus’ rear end and not remove them until MSNBC and CBS put knives in Imus.
That tenacity and enthusiasm have been completely missing from their fight to clean up hip hop. Whether we like him or not, Minister Louis Farrakhan is the only leader with a consistent position on that issue. What we get from Jesse and Al are half-hearted public relations ploys, fights that end well before any blood is drawn. It’s a game, a game Jesse and Al have mastered.
You can create the appearance of putting up a fight, and that ensures no one else will enter the ring.
As an example, talk with black race-car drivers about their feelings about NASCAR’s dealings with Jesse Jackson. I have. Their belief is, if you sponsor the right and enough Rainbow Coalition events, you can avoid Jesse ever bringing his circus and negative spotlight to your organization.
You follow me?
The ring Jesse and Al are boxing in is just as corrupt as the one where Mike Tyson sparred.
In a one-year time span, under the guise of fighting for our equality, Jesse and Al contributed to putting Duke lacrosse players and Rutgers basketball players in harm’s way.
For what? Was Don Imus hiding weapons of mass destruction? Were the lacrosse players an international threat to escorts? Or maybe the truth just doesn’t matter to Jesse and Al when it comes to furthering their agenda.
Whatever integrity Jesse and Al say our president lacks, you have to wonder if they don’t have the exact same deficiency.
If there’s a fight to push Jesse and Al out of the ring, you can sign me up. They’re an embarrassment. They disgrace the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., a great man whose efforts caused division so that we could one day come together.
Jesse and Al cause division for profit, and demand from others the very things they’re unwilling to do — judge people on the content of their character and follow the truth wherever it leads, regardless of color.
Truth is on the side of the righteous. Jesse and Al operate as though they don’t believe in our righteousness. They are far more dangerous than Don Imus.