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Al Sharpton, Holy Man, Tries to Keep Glenn Beck from “Hijacking” His “Movement”

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Posted on September 2 2010 11:23 am

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Striking a powerful blow in defense of Martin Luther King’s memory, Reverend Al Sharpton accused Glenn Beck – who held his “Restoring Honor” event in DC last Saturday, on the 47th anniversary of King’s immortal “I Have a Dream” speech – of engaging in “a blatant attempt to hijack” the civil rights movement “that changed America.” As one of the leading stewards of that movement over the past quarter-century, Sharpton is of course eminently qualified to determine who should – and who should not – be permitted to enter the fraternity of those who nobly defend the cause of civil rights.

Indeed, who could forget the unrivaled dignity with which Sharpton himself first took up the mantle of Dr. King’s legacy and became a renowned civil-rights gladiator in his own right? The year was 1987. Sharpton, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to stamping out racism, promoted — for the ultimate good of society, no doubt — the fiction that a black teenager named Tawana Brawley had been repeatedly raped and sodomized by six white kidnappers in upstate New York. A Sharpton aide named Perry McKinnon later revealed that Sharpton had privately acknowledged “early on” that he knew the Brawley allegations were obviously “bull—t,” but that he had chosen to pursue the matter anyway because he was “building a movement” around this “perfect issue” of “whites on blacks” – a key component of which would be to convince “all the deprived people … that all white people are bad.” Moreover, said McKinnon, Sharpton had predicted that the publicity surrounding the case would make him and his fellow defenders of Brawley “the biggest ni–ers in New York.” Was it at that point, pray tell, that the torch of civil rights leadership which Dr. King had once held, was officially passed into Reverend Sharpton’s capable hands?

If not, then perhaps it was in 1991 — when Sharpton really showed his mettle as a civil rights champion in the aftermath of a Brooklyn, New York car accident in which a Hasidic Jew accidentally killed a seven-year-old black child. At the boy’s funeral, Sharpton declared that this death was due not merely to a car accident, but rather to “the social accident of apartheid.” Thereafter he organized a series of massive demonstrations to protest the racial undertones of the killing. He even challenged local Jews—“diamond merchants,” he affectionately called them—to “pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house” to settle the score if they disagreed with his portrayal of the incident. Stirred in part by Sharpton’s soaring, inspirational oratory, hundreds of Crown Heights freedom-fighters took to the streets, pelting Jewish homes with rocks, setting vehicles on fire, and shouting “Jew! Jew!” As the riots continued for three days and nights, Sharpton, with his characteristic level-headedness, put everything in perspective: “We must not reprimand our children for outrage, when it is the outrage that was put in them by an oppressive system.”

In 1995, the great civil rights champion led his National Action Network in a noble boycott against Freddy’s Fashion Mart, a Jewish-owned business in Harlem, New York. The boycott started when Freddy’s owners had the temerity to announce that because they wanted to expand their own business, they would no longer sublet part of their store to a black-owned record shop. The street leader of the boycott, Morris Powell, was the head of Sharpton’s “Buy Black” Committee. He repeatedly referred to the Jewish proprietors of Freddy’s as “crackers” and “greedy Jew bastards.” All of this occurred under the watchful, approving eye of Sharpton, who vowed not to allow “some white interloper” to “expand his business” in Harlem, and who exhorted blacks to join “the struggle brother Powell and I are engaged in.” The subsequent picketing became increasingly violent in tone, until one of the protesters eventually shot four whites inside the store and then set the building on fire—killing seven employees. 
But as everyone knows, of course, any great crusade is bound to be marred by a few unintended casualties.

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