Al Sharpton is really important to politicians, and he likes it that way. Despite having spent much of his early career being viewed as a tracksuit-wearing, race-baiting rabble rouser, he is being courted by the 3 top Democratic candidates for his endorsement because of his tireless efforts to replace Jesse Jackson as the “voice” of African- Americans on social justice issues. Despite being currently under investigation for fundraising irregularities related to his 2005 Presidential campaign (which he says is a result of picketing the DOJ along with tens of thousands of other people and every other prominent African-American in the country), Al says “I think this has been a banner year, to say the least,” because of the renewed attention to civil rights brought on by the Sean Bell case, the Imus remarks, the Jena 6 march and the DOJ protest. I dunno, Al, I might’ve considered it a banner year if none of that shit happened, being as it was shitty and all for the people it actually happened to, but then you wouldn’t have been on the teevee as much and candidates wouldn’t be groveling for the imprimatur of your endorsement. So I guess it depends a lot on your definition of “a banner year.” [Washington Post]
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