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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

“Ain’t too many of us grew up in Hawaii and went to Harvard,” Sharpton says.

In the last entry I was taken to task regarding my ongoing critique of progressive Black leadership and more specifically, Rev. Sharpton. The above quote made by Sharpton says it all. Can someone explain to me how many ounces does the imaginary Africoid jug hold in order for authentic Blackness to be determined? I'm going to lay off the Sharpton criticisms for a bit because so many Black folk are emotionally invested in our leadership that legitimate questions and analysis are just not welcome. Here is a brief excerpt from a recent New York Magazine article relating to Sharpton's influence during this presidential race:

And on the surface, that’s partly what this primary season comes down to for Sharpton: a race to see which candidate can kiss his ring the most, the fastest, and with the most sincere pucker. With a black candidate and the spouse of “the first black president” in the race, the jockeying to secure the black vote in the primaries has never been more intense. All of which puts Sharpton in demand. “In the end,” he says, “they may all hate my guts. But it’s the reality of the landscape … how much they need me and how bad. I’m sure right now they know they need me.” Though many have said that Sharpton’s brand of identity politics is obsolete, citing Obama (not to mention the ongoing investigation of the reverend’s finances) as evidence, Sharpton isn’t worried. “Ten years ago, they said Colin Powell was going to make Jesse obsolete. And ten years before. They’ve always had a Barack Obama. There will always be a more inside, acceptable black they will say makes us obsolete. I worry about that as much as James Brown worried about Sammy Davis making him obsolete.”

Around this time last year, it was a good bet that Sharpton would endorse Hillary Clinton. Within Hillary’s vast campaign, insiders thought Sharpton would be recruited as a priceless tabloid mercenary who could launch broadsides against Obama on that one taboo issue where he is vulnerable: his blackness. (“Ain’t too many of us grew up in Hawaii and went to Harvard,” Sharpton says.) Last January, Sharpton had a closed-door meeting with Bill Clinton at the former president’s Harlem offices. Afterward, Clinton’s staff came away with the impression that they had already secured Sharpton’s endorsement. When Sharpton’s people found out about this, they rushed to back away. No, they told Clinton’s staff, Sharpton had not promised Bill his endorsement of Hillary. Sharpton’s explanation? “Politicians hear what they want to hear. They think a cordial meeting is the same as ‘I want to support you.'”

For those who have a problem with my jibes at Sharpton and some of the disingenuous leaders that have come out recently to play the Blacker than thou game-keep drinking the Kool-Aid. I rest my case. For more of the New York article, click on the link below:

Three-Candidate Monte

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