pizzabrat has a thread about alleged self-proclaimed Black leaders in GQ. As usual when the names Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are mentioned, there are denigrating comments about both.
I’m curious to learn specific instances that earn Jackson and Sharpton derision. I also am curious if these perspectives differ according to one’s race and political leaning. Myself, I am African American and left of center. I think both Jackson and Sharpton are skilled orators and have devoted their lives to fighting for civil rights, often championing the causes of the least powerful victims of discrimination, many of whom do not look like model citizens. These people are often partially at fault for their troubles.
I also do not think they are perfect. Jackson had the “Hymietown” comment and the illicit affair; Sharpton had the Tawana Brawley case and the Crown Heights riot. Certainly dark marks on their careers, but not dissimilar to things we know about many politicians (ethnic slurs and extramarital affairs).
I also think being a tireless worker for civil rights means that you are a target for smear campaigns. It happened to King when he was alive; his death IMO elevated him to martyr status. I suspect had he lived, King would have been labeled in a derogatory way, much like Jackson and Sharpton have been.
So, in this thread, I’ll ask you to share your race/ethnicity and political leaning, and your perspective on Jackson and Sharpton. If you feel negatively about either person, it would be helpful to provide a cite for their bad behavior. I grew up admiring Jesse Jackson - like I admired King and Kennedy, and of course as I got older I learned a lot of these men’s shortcomings. I still don’t think it diminishes their accomplishments in public life, though. I can understand why some people have real issues with Sharpton - he handled the Brawley case terribly, and after the facts came out, he was even worse (not apologizing to the people he accused of being complicit in the crime, etc).