It’s time for Democrats, black and white, to distance themselves from this race-baiter:
Al Sharpton’s bid for the Democratic presidential nomination has so far attracted little support from voters, but plenty of financial backing from a loosely knit coalition of wealthy African American media barons and impresarios.
Sharpton, the fiery and colorful New York preacher, has been the candidate of choice for business executives such as billionaire cable TV mogul Robert L. Johnson of Washington, Cathy Hughes of Radio One Inc. in Maryland, and hip-hop entrepreneurs Russell Simmons and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. Each has given Sharpton the maximum permitted, $2,000.*snip*
Sharpton’s high-profile backers say they do not realistically expect him to win the Democratic nomination. But they do believe he is raising issues of concern to black Americans that they feel others in the Democratic field have ignored. Several Sharpton supporters say Moseley Braun has not had as high a profile on civil rights issues as Sharpton, who in the past became a lightning rod for criticism for wading into racial controversies in his home state, New York.
“I think what we wanted to do is signal to the Democratic Party that we wanted someone who will be an active voice about issues of concern to African American business people,” Johnson said. “We don’t want to be courted when you need us and then be forgotten when you get to the White House. The people giving money are saying we no longer will be taken for granted and neglected when you’re in office.”
Sharpton, who was unavailable for comment, has made a similar point in the past. Writing of his candidacy last year in his book, “Al on America,” he said, “Even if I lose, I have the option to negotiate points with the Democratic Party.”
(sigh) This man does nothing but push back race relations that decent people like MLK, Jr. fought so hard for. Black conservatives have spoken out against the Sharptons of this country for years but no one takes them seriously outside of other conservatives. I think what would be especially significant is for a black Democrat to come out against Al Sharpton. Then maybe – finally – AT LAST! People would start seeing him for what he is: a divider, NOT a uniter.