In response to President Trump slamming Maryland's Rep. Elijah Cummings for letting Baltimore become a crime-ridden, "rat and rodent infested mess," activist Al Sharpton announced Monday that he'd be visiting the city in solidarity with the Democrat and the Baltimore community. Trump responded by taking aim at Sharpton in a blistering tweet: "Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score. Just doing his thing. Must have intimidated Comcast/NBC. Hates Whites & Cops!"
That tweet in turn prompted Democratics, including some Democratic presidential candidates — among them former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), Sen. Kamala Harris (CA), and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio — to come to Sharpton's defense. And they did more than just defend him; they praised him as "a champion in the fight for civil rights," as Biden put it. Sharpton even got a shot out at the start of the CNN-hosted debates Tuesday, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez celebrating his "leadership."
After the flood of effusive praise from the Democrat leadership, The Washington Post published an op-ed Thursday by Washington Examiner executive editor Seth Mandel seeking to set the record straight on the Democrat-lauded activist.
"Al Sharpton is not a lifelong fighter for justice," Mandel writes. Though Democrats are rushing to elevate him to stick it to Trump, Sharpton has "never reckoned with his past anti-Semitic rhetoric."
"Calling Sharpton a lifelong fighter for 'justice' ignores his history of race-baiting and deadly anti-Semitic incitement," Mandel writes before laying out some of the devastating details from Sharpton's past that he's never been forced to fully address and that Democrats have nearly uniformly whitewashed. An excerpt:
In August 1991, after City College professor Leonard Jeffries ranted that “everyone knows rich Jews helped finance the slave trade” and that “Russian Jewry had a particular control over the movies, and their financial partners, the Mafia, put together a financial system of destruction of black people,” Sharpton rushed to his defense, threatening: “If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.” Days later, a Jewish driver accidentally struck and killed a black 7-year-old named Gavin Cato in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. That set off three days of rioting, in the first hours of which a group of African Americans chanting “Kill the Jew” did just that, beating and stabbing an Orthodox Jew named Yankel Rosenbaum, who died of his injuries.
But Sharpton was only warming up. He led crowds in shouting for “justice” — pay attention here, Sen. Warren — as rioters wantonly beat Jews in the streets to chants of “Heil Hitler.” At Cato’s funeral, Sharpton poured out every last drop of gasoline he had left: “Talk about how Oppenheimer in South Africa sends diamonds straight to Tel Aviv and deals with the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights. The issue is not anti-Semitism; the issue is apartheid. … All we want to say is what Jesus said: If you offend one of these little ones, you got to pay for it. No compromise, no meetings, no kaffeeklatsch, no skinnin’ and grinnin’.”
Mandel also reminds Democrats about Sharpton's ugly 1995 campaign to take down Jewish shop owner Fred Harari in which his fellow National Action Network agitator Morris Powell told a crowd they can't "stand idly by and let a Jewish person come in black Harlem" and supposedly drive out black busineesses. Sharpton agreed, declaring, "We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business on 125th Street."
A few months after the Powell and Sharpton-led protests, "a gunman entered the store and set it ablaze, killing seven and then shooting himself," Mandel notes. But even when the embattled store reopened, Powell still inflamed the ire against Harari, saying, "Freddy’s not dead."
To hammer home his point about Sharpton's unrepentence, Mandel notes that in 2011 Sharpton wrote "a gobsmacking piece of revisionist history" for the New York Daily News in which he accused "extremist" Jews of having manipulated his comments and praised his own role in leading "peaceful" demonstrations. (Read Mandel's op-ed here.)