Skip to comments.Bledsoe On Sharpton
Posted on 02/16/2004 12:57:51 PM PST by Rebelbase
A travesty took place in Greensboro on Feb. 6, when Sit-In Movement Inc. presented its Alston-Jones International Civil and Human Rights Award to Al Sharpton.
It is joke enough that such an award is named for Skip Alston and Earl Jones, but the presentation of a purported civil and human rights award to Al Sharpton pushes irony to its limits.
While any meaningful contributions to civil and human rights by Al Sharpton are questionable, there is considerable proof that he sought to deprive people of such rights in the Tawana Brawley rape hoax, which attracted national attention in 1987.
Brawley, who was black, was a disturbed 15-year-old who, after going missing for four days, turned up with her body covered with dog feces and racial slurs. She claimed she had been abducted and repeatedly raped by a group of white men, one of them carrying a badge, but refused to cooperate with police and prosecutors. Sharpton quickly became one of her advisers and spokesmen.
During the course of this case, Sharpton, without evidence, accused a local prosecutor of being one of her rapists, claimed the assault had been planned and carried out by a police cult tied to the Irish Republican Army, and attempted to connect Gov. Mario Cuomo to organized crime and the Ku Klux Klan. When New Yorks Jewish attorney general, Robert Abrams, who was supervising the investigation, asked to meet with Brawley, Sharpton responded that that was like asking someone who watched someone killed in the gas chamber to sit down with Mr. Hitler.
After a security guard for Brawleys lawyers testified that the lawyers and Sharpton knew all along that Brawley had made up the story to avoid getting in trouble with her parents, a grand jury declared the case a fraud, and Sharpton later was ordered to pay a libel judgment to the prosecutor he falsely accused.
On top of this is bountiful evidence of Sharptons long association with anti-Semitism.
After a black child was accidentally struck and killed by a car driven by an Orthodox Jew in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn in 1991, a black mob attacked and killed a young rabbinical student in retaliation. Sharpton led a march on the Hasidic sects headquarters where rioting broke out. Cars were set ablaze. Rocks and bottles were thrown, and Jews were attacked and beaten. Jewish leaders accused Sharpton of inciting the riot, but no charges were brought against him.
In the fall of 1995, Sharpton joined a campaign to rid Harlems 125th Street of Jewish merchants. The primary focus of this effort was a store with a Jewish proprietor, Freddys Fashion Mart.
Sharpton rallied people to picket Freddys and remained silent when his co-organizer, Morris Powell, on a radio show with Sharpton, called Jewish merchants crackers, sponges and parasites. Powell pronounced that nobody loves money any more than the Jewish people and went on to proclaim, All of em aint no good.
The demonstrators at Freddys shouted Jew bloodsuckers and Burn the Jew store, while making gestures as if they were striking and tossing matches.
On Dec. 8, a black, suicide terrorist entered Freddys, gunned down four clerks, ordered all blacks to leave except for the black security guard, who regularly had been called a cracker lover and Uncle Tom by the demonstrators. He then emptied a can of paint thinner and struck a match to it, leaving a death toll of eight, including himself.
We can only wonder what the victims at Freddys would think of Sharptons human rights award.
After this mass murder, Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League issued this statement:
Racism and anti-Semitism lie at the root of this tragedy, and they are as dangerous as any toxin known to science. They beget violence, distort and pervert legitimate grievances, and destroy innocent families. Their shrewdest purveyors seek to disguise their animus as something more benign, but Americans of good will, of every race and creed, must pierce that veil and denounce the evil, contain it, and keep it from spreading further. No one can afford to dismiss it as mere rhetoric.
Foxman singled out Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, whose hate-filled preachings against Jews and whites rival any of the vitriol coming from the terrorist organizations of the Middle East. But Foxman also pointed to other black leaders who gave Farrakhan credibility by standing on his platform and contributing to a climate where hate is tolerated.
One of those leaders, of course, was Al Sharpton, who has had a long relationship with Farrakhan, as well as with other blatant anti-Semites. Sharpton has appeared at Farrakhan rallies, proclaiming that the two stand together, has worked with Farrakhan lieutenants and shared the stage with them at his own gatherings where they poured out racist bile and urged violence.
In a January commentary about Sharptons presidential campaign, the liberal New York Observer called him a charlatan with a history of unpaid taxes, questionable finances and a penchant for encouraging anti-Semitism who thinks he is above the law who plays the race card whenever anyone dares call attention to his greedy narcissism.
Its hard to imagine that the responsible people in Sit-In Movement Inc. if indeed there are any couldnt be aware of all of this. And how could they not know that one of their organizations founders, former city councilmember, now state legislator, Earl Jones, for whom their civil rights award is co-named, also has embraced Louis Farrakhan and even presented him a key to the city of Greensboro?
Did they just not care that they might be forever tainting the sit-in museum with anti-Semitism, racial hatred and charlatanism in presenting this award to Al Sharpton?
Did they offer no thought to the possibility that their actions might be a mockery to the courage and determination of the students who planned and carried out the sit-ins?
Did they give no consideration to the affront this would be to the memory of Ralph Johns, the white clothing-store owner who suggested the sit-ins and encouraged and supported the students?
Or do they just do without question whatever they are told by Skip Alston and Earl Jones to advance their personal agendas?
Imagine for a moment the unmitigated gall that was required for Sharpton to actually accept this award after standing before reporters and recalling that, in his sole encounter with the institutional racism of the South as a child, his sacrifice was being denied a hamburger.
Then consider that there are people alive in the South today who faced the terror of the racist nightriders, the dynamite of the bombers, the razors of the castraters and the nooses of the lynchers, and who go unrecognized for their sacrifices in the interest of civil and human rights and their contributions to saving the soul of this region and this nation.
Could those who control Sit-In Movement Inc. have possibly given any thought to that?
If the Sit-In Movement Inc. and museum are to be taken seriously, they must renounce their recognition of Sharpton and abolish the ridiculous Alston-Jones award not to mention ridding the organization of Alston and Jones themselves. They then should create a new and meaningful award named deservedly for the four students who started the sit-in movement Ezell Blair, David Richmond (both from Greensboro), Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil and present it every year to some unsung person who made a genuine sacrifice to advance civil rights and racial justice.
The sit-in museum is long overdue, and unquestionably should be a boon to Greensboro. But if it is to be used to glorify charlatans and race hucksters, if it is to be governed by people who see nothing wrong with the racist hate-mongering of Louis Farrakhan and those who support him, if it is going to commit itself to keeping people perpetually divided by race for the enrichment and aggrandizement of a few whose connections to civil rights are, to say the least, dubious, then far better be it that its doors never open.
One can only wonder why there has been no outcry about this blatant travesty from Greensboros religious, political and community leaders, no indignation of any sort about a growing moral abscess within the community.
Top editors of the News & Record decided that a background of encouraging anti-Semitism was irrelevant to a recipient of a civil rights award connected to Greensboro. No mention of it was made in the newspapers coverage of the award, even though editors were informed about it beforehand. This is more than just a journalistic dereliction. Its a moral failing reminiscent of that of the newspapers in Birmingham, Alabama, which refused to acknowledge the crimes and indignities committed against blacks with the knowledge of authorities, and ignored the citys early civil rights demonstrations as irrelevant.
Could it be that some Greensboro leaders have cowered so long in silent obeisance to others who constantly scream racism as a bullying tactic, who quickly brand as racist anybody who challenges or disagrees with them, eliminating any chance of reasoned discourse, that leaders of all races no longer are able or willing to discern right from wrong? Or have we just committed ourselves to a future like the racist past in which morality and leadership are contradictory terms?
Jerry Bledsoe, former News & Record columnist, is the author of five bestsellers, three of which have been made into movies.
If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)
Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.
Well, Michael Jackson got "The Musician of The Millenium Award"(or something like that)--
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site
The movement employed an effective technique for disparaging respect for private property, with an attempt to provoke an over-reaction from law enforcement--in other words, something that could be used to instigate further and larger protests. The French Communists, years ago, used to be good at getting students (their own version of useful idiots) to provoke over-reactions by the Parisian police, and use those over-reactions, to get the students to tear up the Parisian streets--throw up barricades, whatever.
The Sit In movement, was a North American version of the same technique.
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site