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Monday, December 17, 2007

The Rev Press & Curl (aka Minister Wash & Set) Investigations-Sharpton vs the Feds

I'll make this brief as our readers know that I have no great love for Reverend Al Sharpton or his preternatural hold over the media as the de facto President of Black America. But the unfortunate reality is in the wake of Major League baseball's steroid scandal (channeling Maxwell Smart's-"missed it by that much" quote) Sharpton will probably dodge a bullet because the larger scandal gets the play. It's reckoning time folks. If you're not sure of this premise, think the 911 attacks versus Chondra Levy/Gary Condit as one story taking precedence over another-an extreme scenario but true. It's time for Black leadership to be put under the microscope (along with the ongoing investigation against the mega Churches) if they fail to uphold certain loyalties and commitments pertaining to people of color. I have also stated that in some regards, a deracialization process must be enacted when it comes to our problems because they are not Black problems or hindrances-just problems. Are these obstacles disproportionately affecting Black folk? Yes, but are they endemic to Black and Brown people? No. Here's more on the Sharpton fallout, courtesy of the AP:

Al Sharpton Under Investigation
NEW YORK (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton on Thursday angrily denounced reports of an investigation into his 2004 presidential bid and suggested that federal authorities were retaliating against him for his civil rights advocacy.

"I have probably been under every investigation known to man and I can't remember a time that I've not been under investigation," Sharpton said at the Harlem headquarters of his civil rights organization.

He continued: "The issues raised are issues that we've learned over and over again, particularly when we are approaching an election season."

Newspapers reported Thursday that federal authorities subpoenaed financial records and employees in an apparent probe of his presidential bid, nonprofit civil rights group and for-profit businesses.

Sharpton said he thought the timing of the investigation was suspicious, coming just weeks after he led a march on the Justice Department to demand federal intervention in the Jena Six case in Louisiana and better enforcement of hate crimes.

As many as 10 Sharpton associates were subpoenaed Wednesday to testify before a federal grand jury in Brooklyn on Dec. 26, his lawyer told the Daily News.

They were told to provide investigators with financial records from the campaign and roughly six Sharpton-related businesses, as well as personal financial documents of Sharpton and his wife, the newspaper said.

The FBI and Internal Revenue Service are seeking the records, which go back to 2001, according to the Daily News.

An FBI agent who answered the phone at the agency's New York headquarters declined to comment, and an agency spokesman did not immediately return a telephone message. An IRS spokesman did not immediately return phone calls.

The charges against the six black students accused of attacking a white student in Jena, La., led to the September demonstration by Sharpton and other activists who alleged local authorities were prosecuting blacks more harshly than whites.

Let's hear from the choir? What do you think about these investigations? Is it time to re-evaluate the slick-haired (and don't forget the gators and accompanying Caddilac) preacher archetype? What say you?

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