Unelected Street Preacher Al Sharpton Rebukes Rep. Charlie Rangel for Race Baiting

Sharpton and Rangel

by Yvette Carnell

Al Sharpton’s claim to fame has always been his ability to employ race as a weapon against white business owners and politicians, just to name a few. In a piece exclusively in the print issue of Counterpunch, I outlined Sharpton’s strategy for silencing black critics:

The strategy Sharpton used to fend off black critics was far different than the one he’d employed against mainstream white critics. Whenever Sharpton was challenged from within the black community, he routinely dismissed the criticism as coming from establishment black leaders who were threatened by his encroachment on what was once their territory. In 2000, when Sharpton was beating the drums for the Burger King boycott over disagreements the fast food conglomerate was having with black franchise owner La-Van Hawkins, Sharpton grew livid after he learned that Rev. Jesse Jackson had also met with the executives at the fast food chain. Sharpton described the ‘secret’ meeting between Jackson and Burger King CEO Colin Storm as a traitorous act intended to undermine him. The Village Voice quoted Sharpton as having said that Jackson’s actions “can only be interpreted as an attempt to divide the black community.” The irony here is that, regardless of what you think of Rev. Jackson or his politics, he marched alongside Dr. King and was with the civil rights icon when he was gunned down. Jackson has an authentic relationship to black movement politics in this country. But here was Sharpton, the self-anointed street preacher, attempting to take Jackson to task for undermining him.

Given that history, it’s no surprise that Sharpton had the unmitigated gall to scold Rep. Charlie Rangel for injecting race into his congressional election. Pot, meet kettle. As the New York Times pointed out, the political play by Sharpton resulted in negative headlines for Rangel, who is in the trenches of a political battle that may be his last.

Rangel is up against Adriano D. Espaillat, a state senator who almost took Rangel’s seat last time around, and Rev. Michael A. Walrond Jr, a Harlem preacher.

As the New York Times notes, this latest stunt by Sharpton is an attempt by the unelected street preacher to expand his power base in New York:

A loss by Mr. Rangel, who was elected in 1970, would put a bold punctuation mark on the end of an era in New York, and for the generation of African-American political leaders who came to power in the 1960s and ’70s. Mr. Rangel and Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan, are the only two original members of the Black Caucus still in Congress. The other members of Harlem’s Gang of Four were the late Basil A. Paterson, Percy E. Sutton and former Mayor David N. Dinkins.

 

Al Sharpton had a few words about why he thinks Rangel is in trouble.

“Part of the problem is that they didn’t groom their replacements,” he said in an interview last week, according to the Times. “When you don’t groom your replacements, and you operate like you’re going to live forever, then people in the next generation, that you did not invest in, start taking steps themselves. That’s where I think a Michael Walrond and an Adriano Espaillat come from.”

True enough. One question, though: Who is Al Sharpton’s replacement and when does s/he start?

Sharpton also said that the Congressional Black Caucus can’t come to him for assistance because he doesn’t owe them anything.

“Whatever I have or don’t have, you did not help me build it,” he said, referring to CBC members who’ve sided with Rangel. “So what you can’t do is come to me and say I owe you. I built my reputation, influence, whatever you want to call it, because I fought civil rights issues and people responded. None of them put me in position. It’s just that simple.”

During the interview, Sharpton admitted that this is also partly sour grapes on his part, since Rangel did not endorse Sharpton’s doomed to fail presidential bid, explaining, “…you really can’t argue that with me, of why I owe an endorsement I never got. You just can’t make that argument.”

 

 

10 comments
hiroader2
hiroader2

Personally brought up the prodigy, protégé issue when Clinton was dubbed the 1st black president..., Isn't it suspect these same names & faces have been the same since Reagan? I'd even add members of the CBC to the Sharpton, Rangel to the African American representatives list... I've raised the point of representation after seeing a group picture of the CBC followed by an article of rappers Chief Keef or Rick Ross and wondered what possibly do these suit-n-tie CBC coloreds have in common with the pants-saggin gangsta culture accept how "they reel-deal to get money, sharing to same social website... The point is when issues like gentrification, voter gerrymandering, stop-n-frisk, stand-your-ground, ( klan like) no-knock-warrants , judicial disparities , etc, Neither group has publicly represented... There's a social divide, an cultural separation where there shouldn't be any.., Again, the black political representation has NO grassroot agenda AND the grassroots have no political agenda or representation....

BlackheywoodHeywood
BlackheywoodHeywood

I don't support the Charlatan, manipulator, ass kisser and get over artist. Al Sharpton is for Al Sharpton, he helps poor desperate Blacks for  fee. To join his NAN one must pay  membership. Unemployment in Central Harlem for Black men is still double digits. There are one or two Black own businesses near the NAN  Headquarters in Harlem. Finally when he had his conference where the President came he Rented space at the Hilton and Obama didn't do a drive by in Harlem to see all the unemployed Black men who voted for him and he has failed.  If Al Sharpton is some King maker or player I don't know  where, the President is using him and the day Obama leaves office Al Sharpton will be irrelevant again

Watchful
Watchful

Seems Sharpton trolls have been turned loose on this thread. Of course, keepin' him relevant by posting an article about him every other week or so can cause that to happen I guess.

TariqWilliams
TariqWilliams

Jesse Jackson, is the so called "Black" community appeaser for pay for the vast majority segment of American society. He isn't even good enough to shine Rev,. Sharpton's shoes, he is not even in the same category as Al Sharpton who is an activist for the so called Black community while Jackson gets paid to calm the so called "Black" community down whenever a white person slips up and exposes himself/herself as a scumbag racist. Sharpton works for the people in our community and Jackson works for the vast majority segment and against our community.

DavidJones5
DavidJones5

Yvette, sometimes you're worse than Boyce when it comes to writing ignorant Willie Lynch articles for profit. 

DrueFerguson
DrueFerguson

This same game is being played by someone in every race on the planet....sharpton is no a crook then Jackson,  Rangel, Smiley or West. They don't hang with no poor people!

ROBERT@atx
ROBERT@atx

THE title of this article say's it all [UN ELECTED STREET PREACHER] and that's all we need to know!

zaidemeit
zaidemeit

Sigh. Another example of BPD (Black People Dysfunction).

Yvette Carnell
Yvette Carnell moderator

@DavidJones5 Somehow, David, you have this idea stuck in your head that I'm supposed to not only agree with everything every other African-American says, but support a charlatan. If that's what it means to be black, you can keep it.


Also, this "articles for profit" nonsense is getting real old real quick. Al Sharpton articles aren't ringing cash registers, and even if they were, why is that your focus? Either I'm wrong or I'm right. Why can't you debate the issue without the personal attacks on my integrity? No one logs onto POLITICO and says, "see, look at you, trying to make money again!" .... and yet, here you are.