Al Sharpton’s Seemingly Selfish Agenda Helps Nobody But Himself

al-sharpton-1I’m sorry, but I’ve absolutely had it with Al Sharpton.  I’m sick and tired of every time there’s some kind of incident that could be a racial tragedy, he swoops in to try to get his face on the camera somewhere.

I don’t think he’s really trying to help solve these potential racial injustices.  I think he’s there to feed his own ego and personal agenda.

He’s what I refer to as a “tragedy wh*re.”  Someone who thrives on the public attention that some sort of tragedy brings with it.  You see it often with “famous” lawyers.  Some big national case gets a lot of attention, and there’s Gloria Allred on every news channel you can find.  Because it’s not really about the tragedy itself, but the attention that tragedy might bring them.

Former politicians are just as bad.  Sarah Palin might be the most infamous example of this.  If there’s some kind of tragedy going on in the world, you can damn sure bet she’ll be somewhere blaming it on President Obama.

Well, Al Sharpton fits into this same category.

If there’s publicity to be had from a senseless crime that might involve racism, you can almost damn sure bet Sharpton will be right there trying to pose with the victim’s family on television.  Not because he’s really there to support them, but because it’s a great opportunity to get himself some media attention.

If it’s a crime that gets national attention for its racial overtones, he’s all over it.  But those everyday struggles African-Americans face that don’t make the headlines, well… you really don’t see him around those much, do you?

I’ll always remember back to 2006, during the case involving three Duke Lacrosse players who were accused of raping an African-American woman.  I’ll never forget seeing Al Sharpton on just about every media outlet I came across trying to make the case about racism and how it was obvious that these three men had to be guilty.

Which, of course, turned out to be completely untrue.  The three men were found innocent, the woman’s story turned out to be a lie, but you never saw Sharpton apologize to these three men.  In fact, Whoopi Goldberg called on Sharpton to apologize to the three men, but he refused.  He claimed he never took a side on the case.

Which is interesting, because in this Fox News interview he clearly seems to be indicating that he thought these men were guilty before it ever went to trial.

It was around that point I lost most of my respect for Sharpton.  The fact that he refused to apologize, even when he had been a key figure publicly pushing the narrative against these men, showed what his real motives were.  It wasn’t justice, it was seizing on a racially charged situation for his own desire for attention.

Now, am I saying Sharpton has never done anything good?  Of course not.  I don’t hate Al Sharpton.  I just think it’s time he goes away.  Or at least he needs to focus his attention on the everyday, non-headline making issues facing the African-American community.  Issues like improving education in predominantly African-American schools or the poverty that often plagues many African-American communities.

But those issues don’t get him the publicity he often seems to crave.

Sure, when an African-American man gets killed by police in New York, or this shooting in Ferguson, he’s all over it.  But I never see him standing next to the families for victims like that of Dallas resident Demariea English.  At 20-years-old, he too had his life tragically cut short.   

Or what about this 20-year-old white male police allegedly gunned down in Utah.  Do you think Sharpton will be headed there to console the family?

I doubt it.

And Sharpton seems to not at all care that he’s a polarizing figure.  He doesn’t symbolize a uniting figure in these racially tense situations.  In fact, he typically only helps to divide them.  Is that his fault?  Partially, but not completely.  But you still have to be aware of what type of attention you bring to a situation.  And it seems the reaction many people have when they see Al Sharpton is, “Oh, here we go.”

Because even many liberals I’ve spoken with have grown tired of Sharpton and his obsession with constantly trying to interject himself into any story that might potentially involve racism.

If he wants to help the African-American community, that’s awesome.  Go for it.  I fully believe he can make a difference.  But when you show up at every single story involving race that goes national, that just seems like someone who’s trying to exploit racial tension instead of improve racial relations.

For Sharpton, these tragedies seem to be more about seizing on racial tension while the story is still making the headlines.  Because once all the attention dies down, it’s amazing how you really don’t see him around anymore.

That is, until the next racial tragedy dominates the news.  Then I can bet almost anything he’ll be one of the first faces you see on television.

But my feeling is, if Sharpton wants to help, it’s time he does so behind the scenes.  Dedicate himself to the non-headline getting groundwork of addressing many of the issues that continue to hold African-Americans back in this country.

Because at this point, when Al Sharpton gets involved in these cases involving race, he typically doesn’t do anything but further polarize a situation where people are already divided.

My belief is that true civil rights leaders should seek to unite different races, not exploit the tensions between them.


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Jim Bean

    I don’t get you Allen. Most of the time you exhibit the typical roulette wheel logic of the Left and then, its like . . . .”Click”. . . . you see something exactly as it is.

    • Nathan Frigerio

      Come on, Jim. It’s the same logic. It’s just that the right won’t recognize a centrist. Anyone that isn’t on board with the far right is a “liberal”. I don’t agree with much of the left platform, but I do detest the fear mongering, lying right, they just keep going farther and farther right. Know what that leads to? Ask Hitler, Stalin, pol pot, etc…

      • giankeys luvs shemale porn

        Nathan– read my above rant

      • Jim Bean

        On what issues are people now further to the right than they were, say, 40 years ago?

    • giankeys luvs shemale porn

      jimbo— read my above rant:

  • sweetlucy47

    The only problem I have with your statement is he was invited to be there by the family. Other times yes, I agree with you. But he is there by invite this time. Now, maybe he called them first I don’t know, but being local to the situation and getting news from local not national sources, I do know the family did invite him to come help. Or that is what is being reported here by local news.

  • December27

    Sharpton has “matured” and toned down his rhetoric over time, since he first came into the national spotlight over the Tawana Brawley hoax, but he is still that guy.

  • Gene

    I agree. There is not daylight between Sharpton and me on the issues. I just don’t want him in the front of the parade articulating our argument. Better in the kitchen making the omelet than in the dining room serving it.

  • Steve Zakszewski

    Damn, imagine that, a black man who speaks out against racially-based attacks all over the country. Clearly if not for Rev Al, who’s obviously stirring up the pot, there wouldn’t be any racist attacks. Sharpton should just shut his mouth and learn his place that as a black man, in the face of racial injustice, he should just keep his mouth shut and bring white massa his bourbon and cigar and shuck and jive his way back to the servant’s quarters.

  • fairness_rules

    He loves the spotlight and camera, but I can’t name anything good he has accomplished. He milks anything having to do with what he perceives as racism.

    • Dr John

      Amen fairness_rules…

  • giankeys luvs shemale porn

    im a liberal centrist who is white— I always bemoan creeps such as Hannity and beck and Limbaugh and huck(ster) abee,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I have NEVER liked this buzzard or jesse Jackson- all I just names are in the same cereal box: a cereal named ” vultures”– unsweetened and doesn’t soften with milk– ALWAYS seems to be on the shelves: no one wants to see it or taste it or hear it ” crackle”……………….. UGGGH