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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
It’s always about Al
Civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton holds up his phone as he plays what he calls a threatening voicemail message received on Saturday night following the fatal shooting of two NYPD police officers.Photo: Reuters
Post Editorial Board
Anyone surprised Al Sharpton’s immediate reaction to the execution of two cops was how this will affect Al Sharpton?
As news broke of the shooting of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, Sharpton issued a condemnation. But he also worried it might derail “the pursuit of justice” in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases. And he played a phone recording of death threats against him filled with racial slurs.
The Rev effectively draws a moral parallel between the deaths of Garner and Brown — both of whom died, regretfully, while resisting arrest — and Officers Liu and Ramos, who were shot point blank while defending New Yorkers from criminals.
Throughout Sharpton’s career, from the Freddy’s Fashion Mart killings to the ambush of these officers, his causes have been attended by violence. Often he condemns such acts. But Sharpton remains stuck in a narrative where New York is 1960s Alabama and our cops are all Bull Connors.
Yet Mayor de Blasio has treated him as though he were the second coming of Martin Luther King, Jr. President Obama has him down to the White House where he is treated as a civil-rights leader.
And when a Sony exec makes some racially insensitive remarks in an e-mail, it’s the Rev. Al she ends up apologizing to.
For all the talk about innocent men getting shot, the two men who never even had the chance to put their hands up were Officers Liu and Ramos.
From Mayor de Blasio on down, city leaders say the murders horrify them, and some, like the mayor, have even asked for a break in the protests.
We’ll learn whether they mean any of it by whether they call Al Sharpton out — or continue to indulge his pretense that he’s a healer rather than an inciter.