Thursday, February 28, 2008
Senator Barack Obama (Ill): “Reverend Sharpton is a voice for the voiceless, and a voice for the dispossessed. What National Action Network has done is so important to change America, and it must be changed from the bottom up.”
Why did Obama embrace Rev Sharpton? Does this mean Rev Al is now supporting Obama? Where does Sharpton get his money? Is it by shakedowns? Enquiring minds want to know if some of this alleged shakedown money will be used to support Obama. Some background on Rev Sharpton:
Wall Street Journal (http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=3784561315774230886&postID=7652043883823031343):
[excerpt] The press has been appropriately vigilant in examining Mr. Bush's willingness to pander to Southern white identity politics. It would have taken no great effort for the reporters covering the Apollo debate to have walked across 125th Street from the theater to visit Freddy's Fashion Mart, where in 1995 eight people died in a murderous rampage inspired by Mr. Sharpton.
Mr. Sharpton is best-known for the Tawana Brawley hoax, in which he insisted that a 15-year-old black girl had been abducted and raped by a band of white men practicing Irish Republican Army rituals. In fact she had made up the story to protect herself from her violent stepfather.
But at Freddy's, Mr. Sharpton was even more malevolent. He turned a landlord-tenant dispute between the Jewish owner of Freddy's and a black subtenant into a theater of hatred. Picketers from Mr. Sharpton's National Action Network, sometimes joined by "the Rev." himself, marched daily outside the store, screaming about "bloodsucking Jews" and "Jew bastards" and threatening to burn the building down.
After weeks of increasingly violent rhetoric, one of the protesters, Roland Smith, took Mr. Sharpton's words about ousting the "white interloper" to heart. He ran into the store shouting, "It's on!" He shot and wounded three whites and a Pakistani, whom he apparently mistook for a Jew. Then he set the fire, which killed five Hispanics, one Guyanese and one African-American--a security guard whom protesters had taunted as a "cracker lover." Smith then fatally shot himself.
Eight people died, and so evidently did the conscience of liberal Democrats. It was Al Sharpton who had the honor of asking the first question at last week's debate, held within hailing distance of the Freddy's massacre.
Messrs. Gore and Bradley both have excoriated Mr. Bush for being "morally blind" to white racism. At the Apollo, they asked white Americans to look deep in their hearts for racial insensitivity. Yet both Mr. Gore and Mr. Bradley are willfully blind to Mr. Sharpton's form of racism. Last August Mr. Bradley spoke before Sharpton's National Action Network. "This is where justice lies," Mr. Bradley said of the organization that had incited the murders at Freddy's. Then he repeated Mr. Sharpton's slogan: "No justice, no peace."
Meanwhile, just outside the headquarters, Khalid Muhammad, a man so extreme he had been expelled from Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, was threatening to kill New York City Councilman Bill Perkins, who is black. Mr. Perkins's crime? He failed to support the Million Youth March, Mr. Muhammad's annual Harlem hate fest. Mr. Sharpton was the only leading black politician to attend the march.
In the wake of last week's verdict in the accidental shooting of Amadou Diallo, Mr. Sharpton has moved into his statesman act. This will be the fifth or sixth time Mr. Sharpton, almost always dubbed a "civil rights leader" by the mainstream press, has repackaged himself to a credulous media. [end excerpt]
From the Philadelphia Enquirer (http://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/12529201.html):
[excerpt] Videotape shows Sharpton cutting a deal
By John Shiffman
With a hidden FBI camera rolling inside a New York hotel suite in 2003, an unsuspecting Rev. Al Sharpton, Democratic candidate for president, spoke candidly.
Sharpton offered to help Philadelphia fund-raiser Ronald A. White win a multimillion-dollar business deal, if White helped him raise $50,000 for politics.
White offered $25,000. "If you bring my guys up on this hedge fund, and I have the right conversation," White said, "I'll give you what you need."
"Cool," Sharpton said.
The Inquirer obtained an account of the May 9, 2003, conversation, which was recorded as part of the Philadelphia City Hall corruption case. The tape helped spark a separate inquiry into Sharpton's 2004 campaign and his civil-rights organization, the National Action Network. The FBI-IRS probe resurfaced publicly Wednesday, when Sharpton aides received subpoenas.
In an interview yesterday, Sharpton said there is "absolutely nothing illegal" about tying business deals to fund-raising because he is not a public official.
"The tapes vindicate me," Sharpton said. "They show that I did not talk about bribing a public official or paying money under the table."
The video was recorded by an FBI camera hidden in a lamp inside Suite 34A at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan. Sharpton and White were introduced by La-Van Hawkins, a Detroit businessman.
At the time, FBI agents were investigating White and Hawkins, suspecting that they were involved in pay-to-play in Philadelphia - raising campaign funds for Mayor Street and others in order to win municipal contracts for favored donors. Later FBI agents in the case infamously placed a bug in Street's office, but it was discovered before it recorded anything.
FBI agents tapping White's phones in 2003 recorded more than 20 conversations between White and Sharpton, most of them related to fund-raising for the presidential campaign and an effort to secure a $40 million pension-fund deal in New York.
About a year later, White, Hawkins and a dozen others, including former City Treasurer Corey Kemp, were indicted in Philadelphia on federal pay-to-play corruption charges. [end excerpt]
National Review (http://www.nationalreview.com/20Mar00/nordlinger032000.html):
[excerpt] There was more, of course-always more. In the spring of 1989, the Central Park “wilding” occurred. That was the monstrous rape and beating of a young white woman, known to most of the world as “the jogger.” The hatred heaped on her by Sharpton and his claque is almost impossible to fathom, and wrenching to review. ...Outside the courthouse, they [Sharpton and his entourage] chanted, “The boyfriend did it! The boyfriend did it!” They denounced the victim as “Whore!” They screamed her name, over and over (because most publications refused to print it, though several black-owned ones did). Sharpton brought Tawana Brawley to the trial one day, to show her, he said, the difference between white justice and black justice. He arranged for her to meet the jogger’s attackers, whom she greeted with comradely warmth. In another of his publicity stunts, he appealed for a psychiatrist to examine the victim. “It doesn’t even have to be a black psychiatrist,” he said, generously. He added: “We’re not endorsing the damage to the girl — if there was this damage.” ...But the torching, so to speak, continued. In 1995-four years into the putative New Sharpton-there was another, fatal case in which Sharpton had a guilty hand: Freddy’s Fashion Mart. In Harlem, a white store owner — no, worse: a Jewish one — was accused of driving a black store owner out of business. At one of the many rallies meant to scare the Jewish owner away Sharpton charged that “there is a systemic and methodical strategy to eliminate our people from doing business off 125th Street. I want to make it clear . . . that we will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.” Sharpton’s colleague, Morris Powell, said of the Jewish owner — Sharpton’s “white interloper” — “We’re going to see that this cracker suffers. Reverend Sharpton is on it.” [end excerpt]