On November 28, 1987, 15-year-old Tawana Brawley, supposedly missing for four days, turned up lying in a garbage bag in the street. She was smeared with feces and covered with slurs written in what appeared to be charcoal. She was supposedly nearly unconscious. She mumbled incoherently.
Brawley accused unidentified white men, including a cop, of raping her. When Sharpton stepped into the case, he spent months smearing white police and expanded the outlandish allegations to include the prosecutor, whom he called a racist rapist.
No one with any sense believed Brawley’s story, despite the relatively convincing act she put on. A grand jury judged her story to be a lie. The prosecutor sued Sharpton for defamation and won a $365,000 judgment.
But Sharpton’s reputation grew.
Crown Heights Riots
In August 1991, an Hasidic Jew, driving in a motorcade in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, N.Y., accidentally struck a seven-year-old Guyanese boy, Gavin Cato, with his car. The boy eventually died, and within three hours, blacks who had gone on a full-blown anti-Jewish rampage randomly grabbed an Australian rabbinical student, Yankel Rosenbaum, and stabbed him to death.
At Cato’s funeral, Sharpton jumped into the well of anti-Semitic ideology, calling Jews “diamond merchants” and telling them to “pin their yarmulkes back and come on over to my house” to settle the Crown Heights matter. A sign at the funeral said, “Hitler did not do the job.”
As Discover the Networks put it, “Stirred in part by such rhetoric, hundreds of Crown Heights blacks took violently to the streets for three days and nights of rioting. Sharpton reacted to the chaos by stating, 'We must not reprimand our children for outrage, when it is the outrage that was put in them by an oppressive system.' "
Inspiring anti-Jewish riots isn’t Sharpton’s only unspeakable crime. As conservative columnist Michelle Malkin recalls, Sharpton led the outfit he runs, the National Action Network, into a full-blown attack against a Jewish merchant. “When the United House of Prayer, a large black landlord in Harlem, raises the rent on Freddy’s Fashion Mart, Freddy’s white Jewish owner is forced to raise the rent on his subtenant, a black-owned music store.”
A landlord-tenant dispute ensues; Sharpton uses it to incite racial hatred. “We will not stand by,” he warns malignantly, “and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.” Sharpton’s National Action Network sets up picket lines; customers going into Freddy’s are spat on and cursed as “traitors” and “Uncle Toms.” Some protesters shout, “Burn down the Jew store!” and simulate striking a match. “We’re going to see that this cracker suffers,” says Sharpton’s colleague Morris Powell. On Dec. 8, one of the protesters bursts into Freddy’s, shoots four employees point-blank, then sets the store on fire. Seven employees die in the inferno.
Beyond Sharpton’s outright anti-white, anti-Jewish bigotry, he is also a shakedown artist, DTN reports.
Sharpton often threatens to organize black boycotts of corporations on grounds that they supposedly discriminate against African Americans. Those companies, in turn, commonly try to pacify Sharpton with cash; sometimes they hire him as a consultant. For example:
- In June 1998 Sharpton threatened to call for a consumer boycott of Pepsi, alleging that blacks were underrepresented in the company's advertising. Less than a year later, Pepsi hired Sharpton as a $25,000-per-year adviser until 2007.
- In November 2003, Sharpton threatened to lead a boycott of DaimlerChrysler over the allegedly pervasive “institutional racism” in the company’s car loan practices. Within six months, Chrysler began supporting Sharpton's NAN conferences.
- Also in 2003, Sharpton complained that American Honda had too few blacks in management positions. Company executives met with Sharpton, and within two months they began to sponsor NAN events.
- According to one General Motors spokesman, NAN repeatedly asked his company for contributions every year from 2000 through 2006, and GM each time declined to pay anything. Then, in December 2006 Sharpton threatened to call a boycott to protest the carmaker’s closing of an African American-owned GM dealership in the Bronx. In 2007 and 2008, General Motors made monetary donations to NAN.
In 2009, the Federal Elections Commission fined Sharpton $285,000 for the shady activities of his 2004 campaign for President.
Sharpton At MSNBC
As for Sharpton joining the leftist line-up at MSNBC, professional black journalists aren’t all that enthused because Sharpton is not a journalist. When the news about Sharpton going to MSNBC surface, Black Christian News.com reported, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists expressed strong skepticism: “This would still be just another non-journalist media ‘celebrity’ receiving a TV show based upon their name recognition, not their years of experience, training, ability and talent.”
NABJ is quite concerned about the lack of black talent hosting programs during the week on the major networks. Hiring the comical and dangerous celebrity Sharpton will not ameliorate NABJ’s concerns.
Along with ignoring Sharpton’s storied past of hatred and shakedowns, the Times ignored the concerns of the serious black journalists.
Photo: Al Sharpton