Monday, May 21, 2007

Al Sharpton, agent provacateur?

Today the news is ga-gah over Willard "Mitt" Romney's rise in the Iowa poll at the expense of national front-runners Rudy "America's Mayor" Giuliani and Hanoi John McCain.

So but the sensible say, America will never vote for a Mormon, even if he is the scion of wealth and privilege with the looks of a movie star. Looking like a movie star, or at the very least a television mellodrama president counts for a lot these days. But still, say the pundits, America's loonie fundamentalist Catholics and born-again Protestants will never vote for a Mormon.

Enter the Reverend Al Sharpton.

Back on May 7, in New York, journalist Christopher Hitchens debated Sharpton at forum hosted by the New York Public Library. Hitchens is hawking his latest book God Is Not Great:How Religion Poisons Everything. And it was a pretty straight forward discussion between a leftist journalist, trying to regain his credibility after soiling himself over support for Bush's invasion of Iraq, and a half-assed theologian. That was until the Reverend Sharpton opened his mouth and uttered the memorable line:“As for the one Mormon running for office, those that really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don’t worry about that, that’s a temporary – that’s a temporary situation.”

Then the shit hit the fan.

Now to put the statement in context Sharpton was discussing the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Council, in his opinion decidedly church-based, faith-based and god-based. Then followed, seemingly out of nowhere, the jab at Romney.

Of course the equal and opposite reaction followed shortly.

Take for example this blog entry from the comely Erin Di Paolo
I take exception to Sharpton's comments and I am not a Mormon.
I am a Christian whose beliefs do not disagree, on many levels, with Mormons. But I would never accuse Romney of not believing in God.

Who does Sharpton think he is and why does he feel he should be able to get away with such comments when he holds everyone else to a strict code of moral behavior? Every time I turn around, he is on television or in the newspaper, lambasting everyone who makes a comment that he determines to be racist. Now here he is, questioning a presidential candidate's belief in God, yet he feels justified in doing so.

It sickens me, which brings me to my last point: why is Sharpton not receiving as much negative press in this situation as he does positive coverage when he is attacking others for intolerance?
Also Sprach the hot white suburban lady from Denver.

Which brings me back to the title fro this little rant of why I am beginning to suspect the Rev. Al Sharpton is an agent provacateur.

Sharpton from gained fame from his involvement in the Tawana Brawley case, which has been subsequently labeled a hoax. Since that time Sharpton has involved himself in any and all incidents which may have the merest whiff of racial undertones which will garner maximum television facetime. Sharpton, besides his roles as part-time minister of the gospel and fulltime demagogue, was also for a time an FBI informant.

In short, the man should have no credibility, yet to this day he remains a favorite of the MSM.

And this is why I am coming around to Charles Barkely's view of Sharpton. You see, the reactionary right has a contarian streak as wide as the yellow streak down its collective back. So even if in the recent past fundamentalism Protestant and Catholic leaders denounced Mormonism as a cult or worse, once the Rev. Al opens his yap all previous anti-Mormon statements are conveniently forgotten. Much to the benefit of Willard Romney. And, I might add, the Rev. Al Sharpton.

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