The Corner

Al Sharpton in ‘Partnership’ with Eric Holder?

Is Al Sharpton really in “partnership” with the attorney general of the United States?

There were several reasons why it was unwise for the attorney general of the United States to praise Al Sharpton at a convention of Sharpton’s organization, “for your partnership, your friendship, and your tireless efforts to speak out for the voiceless, to stand up for the powerless, and to shine a light on the problems we must solve, and the promises we must fulfill,” in the midst of the Trayvon Martin case (“I know that many of you are greatly — and rightly — concerned about the recent shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a young man whose future has been lost to the ages”), even as Sharpton has been quite actively inflaming an already tense situation. But more important, Al Sharpton — aside from his roles in the Crown Heights and Freddy’s Fashion Mart cases, and his derogatory comments about homosexuals, Jews, and Mormons — in the Tawana Brawley matter defamed a state prosecutor, with false allegations, who, I recall, sued Sharpton successfully for libel. In other words, why is the attorney general of the United States offering such lavish praise to someone who did so much to harm a fellow prosecutor in a manner that a court of law found defamatory?

Unfortunately, when Holder does things like this, his own past racial comments return to the fore (“cowards,” “my people,” his allegations of racism against congressional overseers in the Fast and Furious inquiry, his accusations of racial profiling against the Arizona immigration law which he confessed that he had not yet read, etc.), along with his decision not to prosecute what was seen as a powerful case of voter intimidation against the New Black Panther Party (which with apparently impunity has issued a dead-or-alive bounty on George Zimmerman, and hosted a radio show in which calls for a race war were broadcast).

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