Keeping your eyes on Reverend Al Sharpton, A Great Leader   2 comments


Some events create such a profound social awareness that even those sometimes given to lies, distortions and professional versions of deception must step up and address facts.

Al Sharpton is such a figure, Shakespearean to be exact. I have long had ambivalent feeling about him because he was willing to be part of one of the greatest examples of historical exploitation ever publicly committed. This was when the Tawana Brawley farce went public, based on a 15-year-old black girl’s claim that she been sexually abused by a gang of white men, at least one of whom she said was a cop.

It did not happen, as a grand jury called by New York’s attorney general found. As Robert Abrams, then the attorney general said, the worst thing about the hustle was that it could bring unnecessary doubts to cases, or charges, in which young black women had actually been abused.

This type of thing has happened throughout our racial struggles. All manner of loons, opportunists and hustlers have manipulated black and white people through their charisma, their jagged eloquence and their willingness to say — or threaten — almost anything to gain power and money.

Sharpton has often been among those loons, accused of opportunism, selling out black journalists to get his own MSNBC show and of being a police informant. I have thrown many of my own tomatoes at him.

But there is one thing that has always been true about Sharpton. He has never wavered from the Martin Luther King vision of nonviolence, which has always separated him from the saber-rattlers claiming that they were willing to “die for the people,” “off the pig cops” and overthrow the country if necessary.

When Sharpton was almost killed during a New York march, he sent out word to his followers that they should not respond with violence. When the large numbers protesting Sean Bell’s slaying by police went to Bell’s funeral, Sharpton asked that they not commit violence.

Recently, in Florida, in the wake of the Trayvon Martin killing, the reverend told a crowd of thousands that if any wanted to do violent or irrational things, they needed to step away from those gathered.

They were in the wrong place, he said, because justice was what they were gathered for, not stupidity that would shift attention away from the terrible act that they doubted had happened the way it was explained. Deep was the disbelief in George Zimmerman’s story that he shot Trayvon to death only to defend his own life.

Yes, he has often been derided by many, including myself. But when compared to other so-called “leaders,” Sharpton is heroic in the most difficult way — especially since, these days, news is more driven by sensationalism than anything else.

That is why Sharpton received little attention when he forgave the young man who tried to kill him. Mum was almost the word when Sharpton spoke with the young man’s family, surprisingly patching up a chasm that seemed impossible to patch because he had received a stab wound near his heart.

Sharpton knows, somehow, that one can only redeem oneself for previous bad or irresponsible actions by doing what is most needed right now.

He is far from a holy man and quite far from an angel, but is as far from the lowest moments of his public life as he can get. In fact, many others would do well to replicate that in their own personas.

We can never overdose on rationality. Keep your eyes on the Rev. Al Sharpton. He has become one of the public prizes in our era, so dominated by the special effects of lies spoken only for attention, money and power.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/al-sharpton-a-true-leader-article-1.1057545#ixzz1rZqJ4WTJ

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Posted April 9, 2012 by pennylibertygbow in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Keeping your eyes on Reverend Al Sharpton, A Great Leader

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