Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are so over
Quiet as it’s kept, the era of the “militant” black leader is over. Despite the fearmongering on Drudge and elsewhere, there are no black leaders calling for insurrection.
WHAT A SPELL of cultural miseries. Oprah Winfrey commended “Pierre de Chardin” to the graduates of Spelman College and exhorted them to “let excellence be your brand.” Yale University elected to have its commencement addressed by Barbara Walters. Al Sharpton appeared in the pages of The New York Times Book Review, which warmly noted that its reviewer has lost a lot of weight and eats fish twice a week and many vegetables. And Daniel Bell was made responsible for the Iraq war.
It was 1988 presidential primary time in New York, and I was on the press bus going from Manhattan to Boro Park in Brooklyn where Al Gore was scheduled to meet Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam, the Bobover Rebbe, the Grand Rabbi of Bobov, Poland. Of course, there are no Jews in Bobov—and hardly any in Poland. But, despite the fact that the Lubavitcher and Satmar Hassidim are the most well-known sects (and the latter notorious, too), the Bobover are the largest Jewish faction in New York.
For years, Ron Paul published a series of newsletters that dispensed political news and investment advice, but also routinely indulged in bigotry. Here's a selection of some especially inflammatory passages, with links to scanned images of the original documents in which they appeared. Race “A Special Issue on Racial Terrorism” analyzes the Los Angeles riots of 1992: “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began. ... What if the checks had never arrived?
In the fall of 2005, Joel Hunter, the senior pastor of a 12,000-member megachurch in central Florida, signed on to the Evangelical Climate Initiative—a landmark public statement acknowledging that human actions were causing the Earth to warm. The central message—“creation care,” as it became known—was that the biblical commandment to protect God’s creation was relevant to modern-day environmental issues. Soon, Hunter had distributed 20,000 creation care pamphlets to pastors around the country, and his parishioners were sifting through garbage to see how much trash his church produced.
There was a time, not long ago, when the dominant arbiters of public opinion relegated Al Sharpton to the outskirts of serious, respectable discussion. Sure, he was a fixture on the Ebony magazine list of the 100 “top” black Americans. Sure, journalists called him when they needed a provocative quip. Sure, Democratic Party politicians courted him. But “the Rev” was unmistakably relegated to the black ghetto of celebrity activism. No one thought to ask his opinion regarding issues other than those perceived as directly pertinent to aggrieved blacks.
Last December, nearly 400 Hispanic conservatives and their allies crowded into conference rooms at the Washington Hilton, attending sessions on immigration and national security, the “melting pot” versus the “salad bowl” view of America, and developments in Latino blogging. A gala crowned the affair; the Miami Symphony Orchestra serenaded guests while they dined at linen-covered tables. Officially, the forum and gala were hosted by a year-old web magazine called The Americano.
Early last week, Alvin Greene paid a visit to the studios of WBT Radio in Charlotte. Ostensibly, he was there to drum up support for his campaign to unseat South Carolina Senator Jim Demint. But, as is always the case with Greene, politics quickly gave way to farce. For two hours, he offered up his daffy policy proposals (like selling action figures of himself to end the recession) and fumblingly dodged embarrassing questions about his involuntary discharge from the military and his recent indictment for allegedly showing pornography to a University of South Carolina coed.
When President Obama speaks to the National Urban League on Thursday about education reform, he’ll be on the defensive. On Monday, the league and six other civil rights groups—including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Rainbow Push Coalition—released a document outlining what they see as the most pressing priorities for U.S. public schools. In it, the groups issue strident criticisms of some of Obama’s key reform efforts. Their chief complaint? That Obama’s could further disadvantage minority students.
I hear vuvuzelas everywhere. On the streets, in the shopping malls, and of course in the stadiums, but I even hear them now when they aren't there. Last night, as I was trying to fall asleep in the little house where I'm staying in Melville, I was certain I heard a crowd of them, honking relentlessly somewhere far off. Then I realized the heater in my room happens to drone at a B flat, the same tone made by most vuvuzelas. Would you ever confuse a crowd of Mexican soccer fans shouting "Puto," or a group of Brits singing "Rule Brittania," with a home electrical appliance? No.