Opinion

Remember when Al Sharpton was a bigot?

If we were to go back through the Rev. Al Sharpton’s not-so-distant past, we would discover he’s not as tolerant as what he would like us to believe. In fact, he’s an outright bigot.

sharpton-point
Photo credit WeaselZippers.

On Monday, Sharpton appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and said bigotry, in the form of anti-Semitism, was the root cause of all the pushback New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun control campaign was getting.

Resistance to Bloomberg’s efforts, MSNBC contributor Mike Barnicle agreed, was largely because the mayor was Jewish, not out of anyone’s desire to protect their rights.

“Let’s get down to it, Mike Bloomberg, mayor of New York City,” Barnicle said. “I mean, there’s a level of anti-Semitism in this thing, directed toward Bloomberg.”

“There’s no doubt about it,” Sharpton readily agreed, adding later, “But if he were not a big-city Jewish man, in some parts I think it would be different.”

Sharpton’s rush to Bloomberg’s defense and his support for the mayor’s faith may appear noble on the surface. But you don’t have to scratch too deeply to find the anti-Semite in Sharpton.

An unrelated Nov. 22, 2011, Washington Examiner article noted:

In July 1991, a controversy erupted when Leonard Jeffries, a professor at New York’s City College gave a speech blasting “rich Jews” for financing the slave trade and for controlling Hollywood so they could “put together a system of destruction for Black people.”

Sharpton rushed to defend Jeffries, and in the middle of the swirling controversy, declared, “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.”

A day after Sharpton made that comment, in August 1991, a Jewish driver accidently ran over a 7-year old black boy named Gavin Cato in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and an anti-Semitic riot broke out in which Jewish rabbinical scholar Yankel Rosenbaum was stabbed to death. Instead of calling for calm, Sharpton incited the rioters, leading marches in the streets that included chants of “No Justice, No Peace!” and “Kill the Jews!”

Blaming race for dissent over personal opinions is both dishonest and cowardly. It also does nothing to further debate or the exchange of ideas. In fact, it puts an end to conversation — and does so in a very ugly way.

Sharpton would do well to remember that simple maxim — but I’m not pinning my hopes on it ever happening.

H/T WeaselZippers

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