Al Sharpton is not the Black Community’s Spokesman


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.

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10 Responses

  1. No he is not in no way any kind of spokesman for the “black Folks ” in todays culture. This man and his ideas are so dates even us black folks say “god dammit did he just say that”

  2. I so agree with you, itis truely about time someone spoke their mind regarding Sharpton.

    He has yet to apologize for any of his harsh statements, and did he get kicked off the air or fired or end up in court?? NO…..thank you for writing what I have felt

  3. Well said.

  4. Race is a dated, illegitimate term. There is one race. There are many ethnicities, nationalities, etc. But only one race.

    Do white people have a prominent spokesperson? Yes. George Bush. Does he speak for all of them? No.

  5. Hi Storbakken,

    There is a human race, correct. The term is also defined as:

    1. group of tribes or peoples forming an ethnic stock: the Slavic race.

    2. any people united by common history, language, cultural traits, etc.: the Dutch race.

    So it this case, the word “race” is fine. Whenever a racial issue happens in society, do we ask George Bush’s opinion on it on CNN? No. I understand what you are getting at, but it doesn’t directly have to do with the issue I was addressing.

  6. According to those definitions, Americans, Midwesterners and Boy Scouts are also races. Interesting.

    In NYC, where I live, a young man named Sean Bell was recently shot over 50 times the night before his wedding. He committed no crime. Nonetheless he was murdered by the police. And while I often disagree with Sharpton’s views (trust me, I have my qualms with Rev. Sharpton) he was a rallying point for social justice.

    It is important not to shut out certain voices, especially those voices who have been systematically marginalized and oppressed.

  7. It’s interesting that you’ve chosen to moderate (i.e. censor) my comment. Any reason in particular?

  8. Hi storbakken,
    I do believe Al has done some commendable things in his life. I also agree, we should not shut out certain voices. But should we over-analyze one voice? That’s what the news does with Al.

  9. Hi again,
    I have my settings set so I have to approve everyone before their post is put up. This way I get to read what everyone puts. No one has been censored for this site.

  10. Amen, Justin! Thank you for your insights and words. When Al apologizes for his “rush to judgment”, I will listen to his opionions. Now, I have no respect or stomach for what he thinks about ANYTHING. The Duke boys were his target. He cared nothing about the truth. And what about Jesse Jackson? He is synonomous with Mr. Al Sharpton.

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