You’re watching television and then out of no where, one of the (white) commentators says a particularly derogatory comment about an African American individual. What happens next? News station executives run to their cell phones to call good old Al Sharpton.
News flash: Al Sharpton isn’t the spokesman for an entire race. And frankly, who cares what Al Sharpton has to say on the matter?
I’m not saying that the media shouldn’t ask for his opinion, but why is it given so much weight? He is one man. Why does Al Sharpton’s view on a particular prejudice issue matter more than any other individual. I think I have an idea why. Al is not afraid to say something a little more “edgy”. Knowing this, news stations get him on their shows because they know it will increase ratings. I would argue that people aren’t as interested in what Al Sharpton has to say, but rather how he is going to say it. The media knows this, and they take advantage of it.
It is also upsetting that when evidence reveals Al was completely wrong, he doesn’t acknowledge the facts (and news stations don’t pursue his fault very much). Case in point: the Duke Lacrosse allogations. Al made some pretty horrific statements about the young men, and the crime, that was supposedly committed. Well, in the wake of their complete innocence, Al Sharpton refused to redact his hurtful words that affected the lives and families of the Lacrosse players.
No other race has a prominent “spokesman” like the African American community. Personally, I would not put up with it - I am suprised at the number of people who do.
(picture from wikipedia.com)