We’ve written repeatedly about the disgraceful role played by Al Sharpton as a power broker and arbiter of racial affairs in the Democratic Party, most recently in “Sharpton’s shape.” In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, Heather Mac Donald illuminated the phenomenon in The Democratic embrace of Al Sharpton” (behind the Journal’s subscription paywall, but accessible via Google here). It is a valuable contribution to the discussion. Indeed, it is valuable in part because it deems the subject important to discuss. Sharpton is a menace to decency.
Here is the opening of Mac Donald’s column:
The Rev. Al Sharpton once epitomized New York’s bad old days of the 1980s, when the then-corpulent, gold-medallion-bedecked tub thumper inflamed racial hatred and courted violence. Today, against all expectations and at least 100 pounds lighter, he has been rehabilitated into the Democratic Party’s civil-rights leader of choice. Has Mr. Sharpton changed or simply outlasted his critics?
President Obama ’s embrace of Mr. Sharpton has been particularly intense this year. On Monday he called Mr. Sharpton’s radio show to discuss the Nov. 4 elections. In April the president appeared at a political rally organized by Mr. Sharpton’s National Action Network. Mr. Obama’s closest adviser, Valerie Jarrett, conferred with Mr. Sharpton in August about the police killing of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., as Mr. Sharpton led protests against the Ferguson police.
The Democratic establishment is just as obsequious. It turned out in force earlier this month to celebrate Mr. Sharpton’s 60th birthday party at New York’s tony Four Seasons restaurant. Hillary Clinton phoned in with best wishes. Barack and Michelle Obama sent a congratulatory letter. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gushed: “He’s the nation’s Rev. Sharpton—and the nation is better for it.” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and Reps. Charles Rangel and Jerry Nadler rushed to pay their respects.
Worrying as it might be for America to see Mr. Sharpton catapulted into the national limelight, that is nothing compared with the alarm felt by many New Yorkers now witnessing his emergence as a political power in their city….
Please check it out.