This is amazing. I’m pretty sure Al Sharpton has won the award for outrageous gall for all eternity. How could anyone top this?
And yes, he blew up my head.
Al actually said this during his MSNBC show about the Jussie Smollett hoax:
“I, among many others when hearing of the report, said that the reports were horrific and that we should come with all that we can come with in law enforcement to find out what happened and the guilty should suffer the maximum. I still maintain that. And if it is that Smollett and these gentlemen did in some way perpetuate something that is not true, they ought to face accountability to the maximum.”
Accountability to the maximum for a divisive hate crime hoax? Hmmmm…I’m sure I have a memory of a prominent African American race-baiter who converted a race crime hoax of his own into national celebrity, political power, influence with the first black President, and long-term job as host of a news punditry program. Who could that be? It’s right on the tip of my tongue, but now I see that my tongue is stuck on the ceiling.
In 1987, teenager Tawana Brawley claimed she was raped by a group of white men who wrote racial slurs on her body, smeared her with feces and wrapped her in a plastic bag. Local activist Al Sharpton became her champion and her mouthpiece, exacerbating racial tensions in New York City and nation. Later, Sharpton’s former aide Perry McKinnon said that Sharpton was unconcerned with whether Brawley was telling the truth, and was exploiting the case to “tak[e] over the town,” as he had heard Sharpton say. Shapton also said, accoprding to McKinnon, that the case could make him and Brawley’s other advisers “the biggest niggers in New York.”
Almost veryone initially believed the horrible story, blacks most of all. Bill Cosby offered a $25,000 reward for information on the case. Promoter Don King pledged $100,000 toward Brawley’s education. In December 1987, a thousand people marched through the streets of in support of Brawley.
Brawley named several prominent white men, including a former assistant district attorney as her attackers. Then an investigation and grand jury report indicated that her story was a hoax, concocted to avoid punishment from her stepfather for staying out all night. She never testified under oath, and never admitted her lies. The Brawley family fled New York state, after Reawley’s mother became a fugitive for refusing to appear before the grand jury. Sharpton never explicitly admitted that the episode was a hoax, and never apologized. In 1998, Stephen Pagones, the former prosecutor accused by Brawley, sued Sharpton for $395 million. The jury found Sharpton liable for making seven defamatory statements about Pagones, and damages were assessed at $345,000. Sharpton refused to pay the award for years, and it was eventually paid by donations from his supporters. Brawley was also sued, and only started paying defamation damages six years ago after her employer was ordered to garnish her wages.
Sharpton used his publicity from the Brawley hoax to elevate his status from an obscure Jesse Jackson acolyte to the most visible race rabble-rouser in New York. He still defends his position regarding Brawley, saying as late as 2007,
“I disagreed with the grand jury on Brawley. I believed there was enough evidence to go to trial. Grand jury said there wasn’t. Okay, fine. Do I have a right to disagree with the grand jury? Many Americans believe O.J. Simpson was guilty. A jury said he wasn’t. So I have as much right to question a jury as they do. Does it make somebody a racist? No! They just disagreed with the jury. So did I”
There are millions and millions of people in the United States who can credibly say that a hate-crime hoaxer should face maximum accountability. Al Sharpton, however, is one of the very few Americans who is ethically estopped from saying such a thing, about Jussie Smollett, about anyone, ever. The only question for me is whether Sharpton condemning Smollett is worse that Hillary Clinton saying during the 2016 campaign that all women who claim to have been sexually abused should be believed. That one exploded my head too.
Heck, let’s have a poll: