Al Sharpton is the only presidential hopeful who is openly racist and anti-Semitic. Despite, or perhaps because of this, Sharpton is also the only presidential hopeful whose ideas have been endorsed by Harvard Law School. Earlier this month, Sharpton was invited by Harvard Law to deliver a speech to the school’s students and faculty, as well as members of the surrounding community. For those of us who have been keeping tabs on Harvard, the fact that the University should open its doors to the ideas of a vociferous racist and anti-Semitic leftist like Sharpton, while ignoring all other presidential hopefuls, is not surprising.
Over the past few years, Sharpton has enjoyed a close connection to the racial goings on at Harvard. Last spring, he, along with the racial crime boss Jesse Jackson, made national headlines by smearing the good name of the newly elected Harvard President Lawrence Summers— accusing Summers of racism simply because he asked then-Harvard Professor Cornel West to reduce the amount of time he was spending as a “rapper” and to start doing some real work.
This racial assault on President Summers is an example of the incestuous relationship that Sharpton shares with Professor West and other famous black academics of the left. Two years prior to the West-Summers incident, Cornel West helped deliver the top Democrat presidential contenders— Bill Bradley and Al Gore— to Sharpton’s “hood”— that is, Harlem. There, the two white leftists engaged in a war of words at the Apollo Theatre— trying their best to say what they thought Sharpton wanted to hear. At the time, Cornel West was a Bill Bradley adviser. Today, he is a top adviser to Al Sharpton. Doubtless, this has something to do with Sharpton’s recent visit to Harvard— an event that was hosted in part by Professor Charles Ogletree— a man who is not only one of West’s former Harvard colleagues (West now teaches at Princeton) but is also a black leftist and an admirer of Sharpton’s racial demagoguery.
The Sharpton rally was sponsored by Harvard Law’s “Saturday School” program, and was hosted, on Jan. 6th, by a black church, located on a side street near Central Square, in the bowels of Cambridge. Sharpton arrived a half-hour late for his speech and strutted in through the back entrance of the church, cockily making his way around the crowd of 150 people. With his freshly pressed suit and greased-back hair, he held his head high, trying his very best to look presidential. After Sharpton took his seat on stage next to Professor Ogletree, the Rev. Richard W. Richardson took to the microphone and kicked off the evening with a bizarre prayer, in which he praised Sharpton as “a man with such a great vision” who is “maybe the one [God] sent to lead us.” The Reverend made sure to note that Sharpton is the “voice of the voiceless,” and “a messenger that we all need to hear.”
Following this prayer, and a flattering introduction from Professor Ogletree, Sharpton approached the microphone and immediately began a diatribe against the Republican Party, rambling on and on about the “racism” of Trent Lott. Sharpton, who is campaigning for President, made sure to attack the current Democrat leadership. Seemingly unwilling to talk about anything else, Sharpton used the Trent Lott affair to smear Tom Daschle. Referring to Dashcle’s acceptance of Lott’s apology for his racially offensive remarks, Sharpton quipped, “One wealthy white man insults blacks and other people of color…and another wealthy white man accepts his apology.” Meaning, of course, that both major parties are run by white racists. (Of course, you would not hear such demonizing of the Democrat leadership, if Sharpton were not campaigning for President.)
The entire speech, which lasted over an hour, was nothing more than a longwinded, racist rant against white people in general, and Republicans, black and white, in particular. Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice served as two of Sharpton’s favorite targets. Comparing them to house slaves, the loud-mouthed “Reverend” said that George Bush undoubtedly views the black members of his cabinet the same way that “Harry Belafonte” views them. In other words, Bush is a racist who considers Condi Rice nothing more than a “house nigger,” to borrow Belafonte’s term. Only Sharpton could state such an absurdity, and not only get away with it, but receive thunderous applause from his audience.
Between his puerile jabs at white people, Sharpton managed to throw into his speech a number of bankrupt leftist ideas that really got the crowd reeling. He first blamed the Democrats for playing to the “right-wing,” noting that they [Democrats] “don’t ring our bell no more,” and “some of them [Democrats] even voted for the tax-cut.” His solution to this dilemma is to “elect more progressives [i.e. Marxists] to Congress.” Pandering to his mostly black audience, Sharpton announced that “You don’t know about America, George Bush.” Sharpton, on the other hand, does understand America, he insists, because he “grew up on welfare.”
Sharpton’s other political ideas ranged from somehow (Sharpton didn’t say how) changing and improving “a society that makes a profit (again, Sharpton did not explain how) out of locking people up,” to making “friends” with Iraq, despite the fact that Saddam Hussein is a fascist dictator who would love nothing more than to slaughter Americans. Perhaps the most far-fetched idea proposed by Sharpton is a plan to “add fifty billion dollars a year to the federal budget.” This enormous tax increase, he claims, will be used “to invest in working-class people, not multi-billionaires.” Meaning that the tax hike would, among other things, fund a socialized health care system, the lack of which Sharpton alleges is “a moral outrage.” These proposed changes would, the “Reverend” argues, be an improvement over the current Republican policy, which Sharpton describes in these terms: “You [Republicans] cut taxes for the rich while you strangle the poor.”
After briefly touching upon domestic policy, Sharpton got back to doing what he does best: playing the race-card. Feigning sincerity, he proclaimed that “white male land owners” are running the country— men who “used to buy [blacks], now they rent em.” Sharpton then suggested that if he wanted to make bundles of money, he would move to Hollywood and open a “rent a Tom store.” He also noted that white people should “quit lying to white kids about black history,” and that “a few right-wingers control most of the cable networks and newspapers.”
One would have to be mentally depraved and clinically paranoid to actually believe any of these absurd claims. Sharpton, of course, does not believe them. He is a hustler, and racial division is his hustle. He speaks to the fear and to the despair that runs through America’s black community. He preaches that the country is divided along racial and economic lines— that Americans are at the mercy of an economic system that keeps whites rich and blacks poor. A good portion of his speech was addressed to attacking “the rich,” whom he claims are exploiting black Americans. Nobody seemed to notice that Sharpton was wearing a pricey three-piece suit and gold jewelry. Also unnoticed went Sharpton’s shiny, stretched limousine that waited outside the church.
It is disturbing that an outspoken racist like Al Sharpton can receive enough support from the population at large to enter the race for the presidency, but it is absolutely incensing that he is being coddled by America’s most prestigious university. He is— we must not forget— the same man whose racial demagoguery once fueled a race-riot in Brooklyn, where a young Jewish man named Yankel Rosenbaum was murdered by a fanatical mob of Sharpton’s anti-Semitic disciples. Leave it to Harvard to honor an accomplishment like that.