Who's worse, Al Sharpton or Don Imus? And whose big mouth has actually gotten people killed. And whom does the MSM protect?
I can’t help but wonder how much better our world would be if we held Democratic Party power brokers to the same high standards that we set for radio shock jocks. This past week, the modern incarnation of the civil rights movement added another head to the wall of its trophy room without tangibly improving one person’s life.
I come here neither to praise nor bury Don Imus. Don Imus is a professional oaf who, after decades of oafishness, finally attracted the attention of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who certainly needed to distract attention from their roles in the Duke lacrosse team’s non-rape case.
My lifetime exposure to Don Imus could be counted in minutes. I once tuned in to satisfy my curiosity and found what sounded like a pack of 7 year-olds giggling as they experimented with words that their parents had forbidden them to use. In this respect, there is no difference between Don Imus’s humor and that of Chris Rock’s or Dave Chappelle’s. Some years later, I tuned in again to an MSNBC simulcast. I found the act no more entertaining when it could be seen as well as heard. Nevertheless, enough New Yorkers enjoyed his juvenile humor to make Don Imus a very wealthy man for whom I will shed no tears.
But I know of no occasion when Dom Imus hurt anything more than people’s feelings. Al Sharpton, on the other hand, has inflamed events that ended in death and the destruction of lives. And yet, he suffers no approbrium for his words.
In 1991, a 7 year-old black child, Gavin Cato, was struck and killed by a car driven by a Jew in the Crown Heights neighborhood of New York. Sharpton used the child’s funeral to denounce the “diamond merchants” and ridiculed as politics the conclusion that the boy’s death was accidental. Riots ensued and a rabbinical student, Yankel Rosenbaum, was stabbed to death as the crowd chanted, “kill the Jews.”
Even though Rosenbaum managed to point out Limerick Nelson before dying, and even though the murder weapon with Rosenbaum’s blood was found in Nelson’s pocket, Nelson was acquitted, making the event a perfect New York City equivalent of a southern lynching.
Three years later, Sharpton incited violent protests against Freddy’s Fashion Mart, a Jewish-owned business that replaced a black-owned business that had been evicted by the building’s black landlord for non-payment of rent. That a black landlord did the evicting didn’t matter. That a Jew replaced the former tenant fueled Sharpton’s ire. Eventually one of the protesters entered Freddy’s, and shot 4 people before firebombing the place. Eight people died in all.
And yet, Al Sharpton survives unscathed. In fact, he ran for president as a Democrat in 2004 and was treated with extraordinary deference by the other candidates. And next year, as occurs in each election cycle, every Democrat who wishes to campaign in New York City will be required to genuflect publicly before Al Shapton’s throne and kiss his ring, at the very least.
The Imus affair permitted Jesse Jackson to file another notch in his gun. But he has his own history. In 1984, he referred to New York City as “Hymietown.” That slur did not even cost Jackson his prime time speech at that summer’s Democratic National Convention. In addition, Jackson has corrupted the civil rights movement into a self-enriching organized crime-like protection racket. For a sum of money, and in return for placing his friends on their boards of directors, businesses may purchase an interval of peace from his boycotts. That’s quite a departure from what we supposedly celebrate on Martin Luther King Day. And yet, Jesse Jackson is still treated with deference when he demands that Don Imus be fired for sophomoric intemperance.
Yes, it is a strange world we live in. CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric’s autobiographical essay turns out to be plagiarized. That tells us the value of sincerity and credibility in the CBS News division. The mainstream media universally condemns the Duke lacrosse team as spoiled white brats who consider raping black women a privilege of their class. And when they learn that they were wrong, they decide that it’s Don Imus who is the blot on their profession. Did Imus’s words destroy any lives?
And Rosie O’Donnell still has a job with ABC News.