Monday, October 17, 2005

In defense of Al

Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Louis Farrakhan piss me off regularly, but I'm glad we have folks like them on the landscape. Steve Gillard speaks in their defense better than anyone I've heard in a long time.

[. . .]

When people ask Rev. Jackson for help, he comes. Whether it's North Carolina or New Orleans. He doesn't have to poisition himself or deal with the Democratic leadership.

Where are these hundreds of black leaders? When do they show up? When black children are shot by the police, you don't see Barack Obama with the family, do you? For all the attacks on Sharpton, when people have real crises, he's there. These so-called leaders are not. They seem to be afraid of their own shadows.

You do not gain respect with speeches. You have to confront the system and many of these so-called leaders are more than willing to live in Sharpton's shadow and hand him power. There are many younger leaders here in New York, but Sharpton, who was once one of the young leaders, did what they would not, go in the street and risk their lives. Sharpton was stabbed in Bensonhurst. Even Diddy is more willing to extend himself tham some of our political leaders.

[. . .]

Damn straight. Those guys are there. They're willing to yell and scream and dodge bullets if they have to. Where are the rest of them? Where are the white Dems when shit happens? Fuck asking where any of the Repubs are. We owe these guys because without them, without their ability to get media exposure, the problems of race and the poor would never be publicized.

No comments: