Race baiting is big business, and business is good.
Just ask Al Sharpton, who has made a fortune promoting division and racial hatred. Now, according to some media reports, it appears he may be getting paid to protect the image of certain companies.
Days after Sony Pictures Co-Chairwoman Amy Pascal’s hacked emails were released, exposing racially insensitive comments she made about President Obama, Pascal convened with Sharpton in a meeting that had Pascal and her team “shaking in their boots” in fear of him, according to the New York Post.
When the group emerged, Sharpton had secured himself a prominent seat on a “working group” to combat racial bias in Hollywood, the Post reported.
“Once Sharpton’s on board, he plays the race card all the way through,” a source who has worked with Sharpton told the Post. “He just keeps asking for more and more money.”
The Post story also raised questions about Sharpton’s influence on a proposed New York gambling deal.
A Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund outfit called Plainfield Asset Management made a $500,000 donation in 2008 to Education Reform Now, a New York nonprofit vying for a racino license, according to the Post, which said the gift was later funneled to Sharpton’s National Action Network.
A year later, the Post reported, Sharpton’s group pulled in another $100,000 from AEG, a consortium that took over the casino bid.
Harold Levy, who was a managing director at Plainfield when the donation was made, has denied the contribution was used to get Sharpton’s help, but leaked emails tell a different story, according to the Post.
“Sharpton lobbied [Gov. David Paterson] hard over the weekend on our behalf,” an AEG member said in a 2009 email, according to a state inspector general’s report quoted by the Post.
Sharpton has denied the allegations that he lobbied on AEG’s behalf.
The Post also reported that Sharpton nabbed a $25,000-a-year adviser job at Pepsi after threatening a boycott of the company in 1998, and that he threatened American Honda in 2003 for not hiring enough black workers.
“We support those that support us,” Sharpton wrote to Honda, according to the Post. “We cannot be silent while African-Americans spend hard-earned dollars with a company that does not hire, promote or do business with us in a statistically significant manner.”
Within two months, the Post said, Honda began sponsoring National Action Network events and the protests stopped.
According to the Post, Sharpton’s group also went on a six-year campaign to procure donations from General Motors, then threatened to boycott the company in 2006 when it announced the closing of a black-owned dealership in the Bronx.
Over the next two years, GM donated $5,000 to the National Action Network, the Post reported.
Read the full Post story here for more examples of what the newspaper suggests are questionable tactics Sharpton has employed over the years, and consider this: Maybe it’s time that Sharpton changes his slogan. “No payoff, no peace” may be more fitting than his usual “No justice, no peace.”
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