This week, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg met with American civil rights activist and Baptist minister Al Sharpton for lunch in New York. They met to discuss “winning over the African-American community” and how to talk about Buttigieg’s sexuality with others.
Buttigieg is not the only Democratic candidate who has chosen to align himself closely to Sharpton. Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Yang, Julián Castro, John Delaney, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Chuck Schumer, and Eric Swalwell all appeared at the National Action Network (NAN) 2019 Convention. NAN is a non-profit organization founded by Sharpton.
Al Sharpton is one of the political personalities to whom any Democratic hopeful must bend the knee. Given that much of Sharpton’s past behavior seems to be at odds with the Democrat’s claim of moral superiority, a growing number of conservatives are asking why Sharpton holds such a significant influence over the American Left.
Sharpton’s first major controversy involved the infamous 1987 Tawana Brawley rape case. Despite “overwhelming evidence” leading the grand jury to determine that Brawley had fabricated her story, Sharpton accused Dutchess County prosecutor, Steven Pagones, of racism and being one of the perpetrators in the alleged abduction and rape. Even though he was successfully sued for defamation, Sharpton refused to pay his share of the damages.
He also faced heavy criticism for his role in the Crown Heights race riots of 1991. During the funeral of Gavin Cato, a seven-year-old boy who was accidentally killed by one of the cars in the motorcade of the leader of an Orthodox Jewish Hasidic movement, Sharpton said: “It’s an accident to allow an apartheid ambulance service in the middle of Crown Heights.” During the Crown Heights riots, Yankel Rosenbaum, a 29-year-old Jewish student, was surrounded, beaten and stabbed. He later died in the hospital. Many criticized Sharpton for his role in inflaming tensions, citing remarks such as “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house”.
Sharpton’s finances have also come under severe scrutiny. In 2017, he sold the rights to his life story to the National Action Network (his own non-profit) for $531,000, adding to the $244,661 he took as compensation from NAN that year. According to The New York Times, as of November of 2014, Sharpton and his for-profit businesses owe $4.5 million in federal and state taxes.
He has also made multiple racially-charged statements. During a speech in 1994 at Kean College, Sharpton stated: “Do some cracker come and tell you, ‘Well my mother and father blood go back to the Mayflower,’ you better hold your pocket. That ain’t nothing to be proud of, that means their forefathers was crooks.” When speaking of Mitt Romney in 2007, Sharpton said: “As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways, so don’t worry about that; that’s a temporary situation.”
Given these examples, many conservatives are understandably confused as to why Sharpton still seems to exercise power and influence over the Democratic Party. After all, how would the Left react if a conservative had behaved in this way?
However, when we understand who the Democrats have become, it becomes perfectly clear. They are the party of the baseless accusations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the Jussie Smollett hate-crime hoax, and the spread and legitimization of anti-Semitism.
Of course they would stand in line to bend the knee. Al Sharpton showed them the way.