Sunday, October 7, 2001
"We would have come together if Bozo was the mayor." That was Al Sharpton, giving his take on Mayor Giuliani's leadership abilities.
A September 30 New York Post story continued, “‘We elected you mayor, not Messiah,’ Sharpton said at his Harlem headquarters during a rally attended by [Democratic Mayoral candidate] Ferrer.”
“You didn't bring us together, our pain brought us together and our decency brought us together.”
The philosopher William James spoke of the need for a "moral equivalent of war" to unite people. Maybe James overestimated the binding qualities of war.
Rudy Giuliani is presently enjoying 90 percent favorable poll ratings. Never in his political life has he been quite as popular as he has been leading a bruised and battered city from Ground Zero, the place where he barely escaped with his own life, and saw so many, that he knew so well, perish. Giuliani's political renaissance is dangerous to Al Sharpton's health. Sharpton is so incensed, he is in danger of stroking out. Sharpton is ready to play political kingmaker for the first time, as long as his old nemesis doesn't get in the way.
Sharpton supports Bronx Borough President Fernando “Freddie” Ferrer, who led the pack, with 36 percent (to Public Advocate Mark Green's 32 percent), in the first round of the Democratic Mayoral Primary on September 25.
Remember Sharpton's trespassing stunt at Vieques, Puerto Rico, last spring, which cost him 90 days in the pokey? (He's trying to make a fortune off the jail spell, with a frivolous law suit.) That was all business. Sharpton pulled the stunt with Roberto “Bobby” Ramirez, the Castro-loving head of the Bronx Democratic Party. “Civil Disobedience and the Art of Political Horse Trading.” Rev. Al is a master at multi-tasking.
Although Giuliani is forbidden by New York's 1993 Term Limits Law from serving a third term, Sharpton and Ferrer are sweating bullets, afraid that Giuliani will find some pretext for staying on as mayor beyond January 1.
It wasn't supposed to be like this. New York was supposed to be lying in ruins by now, not as a result of foreign terrorists, but rather from rioters that Al Sharpton had spent years whipping into a murderous frenzy. According to the myth invented by Sharpton and spread by alleged journalists and other political flunkies, black New Yorkers' hatred of Rudy Giuliani is due to his racism, his habitual disrespect for black folks, in particular for the black males he has ordered his racist police force to target.
The true source of black New Yorkers' hatred of Giuliani is skin-deep. The man's sole crime is his color.
Eight years ago, immediately following Giuliani's stunning victory over black socialist Mayor David Dinkins, Al Sharpton declared that he would make it impossible for Giuliani to govern the city. (In retrospect, those words sound like terroristic threats.) Even then, Sharpton got a free ride from the media, which never rebuked him for his threats, which reporters and editors promptly "forgot." Giuliani had never held elective office, and had not made any statements that could have elicited such outrageous threats.
A few weeks later, black leaders invited the new mayor to their annual dinner. Then, on the eve of the dinner, they suddenly disinvited him. Can you imagine the national uproar that would have ensued, had white community leaders done that sort of Jim Crow number on Giuliani's black predecessor, David Dinkins?
And one year later, New York's black elite did it again! With no intention of hosting the Mayor, they again invited Giuliani to their dinner, and again rescinded their invite!
For over five years, Giuliani held his tongue. Finally, in a March, 1999 interview with black Daily News editorial board member, Jonathan Capehart, Giuliani mentioned the snubs in passing.
Q: Why do you think so many African-Americans mistrust you?
A: I think the publicity has been relentless. The game has been, from their point of view, very effective. But it's a game.
It's the constant barrage of criticism from some of the so-called leaders of the community. The games of inviting me to ceremonies and then uninviting me, as if I'm the devil. It's the fact that I don't subscribe to the bells and whistles that some politicians will subscribe to just to pander to a community. . . .
Q: Why do you think so many people of color in this city think that you are a racist?
A: Because that word is thrown around as a political device . . . and the impression is given that anybody who disagrees with certain people is a racist on the issues they want to control. . . .
There's no point in my trying to educate people that I'm not a racist any more than I'm not a criminal. If people can't figure either one of those two things out, then there isn't much I can do to help them. That's their problem.
Giuliani's crime was in having beaten the city's first black mayor. Period. That Mayor David Dinkins (1990-93) had permitted racist mobs and drug gangs to pogrom, pillage, and murder at will, and had illegally ordered the police to violate a court order directing them to protect Korean fruit stand owners in Flatbush, Brooklyn, who were besieged by the henchmen of racist black gangster, Robert “Sonny” Carson, did not hurt his standing at all with black New Yorkers. Giuliani referred to that time in his 1999 Daily News interview.
I learned a lot about prejudice when I was investigating the Mafia, because there were a lot of people of what would be considered my subgroup, Italian-Americans, who were very angry at me. Not that I was investigating the Mafia, but that I would use the word Mafia. I was not supposed to say that word because it would give all Italians a bad name.
And my view, which I started developing in the early '80s . . . was that I have much more in common with people who are not Italian who are not in the Mafia than I do with the ones who are Italian who are in the Mafia. . . .
The mere fact that you are white or black does not make you a good person. The mere fact that you are white or black does not make you a bad person.
So I try to keep that in mind because this is a city that . . . will force you into the Balkanization that we lived through in the early '90s.
People don't realize that the city was more racially divided in 1990, '91, '92, '93 [the Dinkins years] than it is today.
I think the reason . . . is because I have focused on people as people and not had the sense that their first claim on me is because of the group they belong to. They have a very, very strong claim on me as human beings.
Early in Giuliani's first term (1994-97), a New York Times reporter gleefully wrote that black residents said “the Mayor” when referring to Dinkins, while disparagingly referring to Giuliani as “Rudy.” The resourceful Giuliani turned that slight into a positive, telling voters to re-elect “Rudy,” which they did, when he trounced socialist Manhattan Borough President Ruth Messinger, in 1997. (Sharpton changed the slight to “Gooo-liani.” Or is it, “Jew-liani”?)
And during Giuliani's first term, Al Sharpton helped a violent, racist, black thug named Morris Powell, who was trying to drive a Jewish merchant named Fred Harari out of Harlem. The cover story has always been that Harari was evicting a longtime, black shopkeeper in the same building. But Harari wasn't the landlord; he couldn't evict anyone. The landlord was a black church that used the Jew Harari as its agent, to keep its own hands clean.
Sharpton spoke to Powell's “boycotters,” who had been openly threatening to murder Harari, of “white interlopers.” Days later, on December 8, 1995, a member of Powell's group, Roland Smith Jr., aka Abubunde Mulocko, committed the Harlem Massacre. That morning, Smith ran into the store, shouted, “It's on!,” killed seven store employees, and set the store on fire, before killing himself. But Mulocko managed to kill only non-white gentiles! He couldn't even commit a proper lynching!
Sharpton lied, denying that he had made the notorious slur that helped cause the bloodshed, but he was caught on tape.
Even so, the black press, led by racist, anti-Semitic Wilbert “Bill” Tatum's Amsterdam News, did not even fake sorrow for Harari or his dead employees. Rather, the author of the “AmNews” article on the murders was outraged that the Jews had escaped through a basement crawl space into an adjacent building!
(Perhaps I shouldn't be so hard on Tatum, considering that Daily News editors permitted “reporter” Gene Mustain to revive the racist myths one year after Smith's arson and murders. In a racist hit piece, Mustain suggested, without any supporting evidence, that Harari was a crooked employer who paid his workers less than the minimum wage, and should not be permitted to re-open any business in Harlem. Mustain also revived the lie, according to which Harari, as landlord, had sought to push out a black businessman. Meanwhile, Mustain was silent about the role in the murders of Al Sharpton, whom he portrayed as a hero.)
And in March and April 1999, the daily arrests in front of NYPD headquarters in lower Manhattan that Al Sharpton organized, with the help of Democratic Party leaders in Albany and Washington (as New York Post columnist Bob McManus noted at the time), had as little to do with the death of Amadou Diallo, or the “racial profiling” of black boys and men, as Yassir Arafat's decision to begin his guerilla war against Israel last year had to do with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's visit to the holiest shrine in world Judaism. Like Arafat, Sharpton had been working all along to topple a legitimate regime, and unleash chaos and bloodshed.
Last year, in a classic Daily News column, ad man Jerry Della Femina wrote of a post-Rudy New York City.
“... the next thing I know, I'm standing on the pitcher's mound in Yankee Stadium. It's April, 2001, and there's a ceremony going on. The President of the United States is Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. and he's standing on the pitcher's mound with me. Smiling nearby is Sen. Clinton, whose campaign rallying cry, 'I'll make New York hum after I divorce the bum,' had been judged one of the most incredibly effective political slogans in recent history.
“Mark Green was there along with Norman Siegel, and of course Al Sharpton had the microphone and was shouting at the enthusiastic crowd.
“‘Giuliani is history. The city is ours.’ The audience went wild. ‘Squeegee guys in section 6,’ Sharpton screeched, ‘let's hear the Squeegee chant!’”
“‘GIVE US A DOLLAR OR TWO OR WE MESS UP YOUR WINDSHIELD AND YOU!’”
“Then Sharpton pointed to the new mayor — Mark ‘It ain't easy being’ Green — and thanked him for naming Norman Siegel (former head of the New York Civil Liberties Union) his deputy mayor and for his own appointment as police commissioner.
“Sharpton then promised to end police brutality by disarming the entire force. ‘Now I am asking all the criminals in this crowd to voluntarily turn in their guns in a show of good faith,’ Sharpton said.”
“The crowd roared at the joke.”
“Sharpton then thanked the 5,000 inmates from the city's hospitals for the criminally insane for agreeing to serve as cops. ‘This will make up, in part, for your being held against your will all these years, Siegel roared. ‘This is the answer to those who say you have to be crazy to be a cop in New York these days.’”
“‘The presence of five panhandlers on every street corner in Manhattan is again giving New Yorkers the chance to show they have a heart,’ said Sharpton. ‘Under the last, fascist administration, this city belonged to those who worked for a living. We're changing all that.’”
“‘The crime rate is being artificially inflated by mugging reports from the middle class who flaunt their wealth and expect the underprivileged to sit idly by and be oppressed in the richest city in the world.’”
“At this point, I heard someone screaming. As I turned over, I realized it was me [in bed] and I was in a sweat.”
Already in 1993, Jerry Della Femina's nightmare was Al Sharpton's dream.
As evil as Sharpton is, he is not generally given to hatred. But when he targets a white man for destruction, and that white man beats him, Sharpton hates him with a fury. Consider former Dutchess County, New York, prosecutor Steven Pagones, whom Sharpton had sought to use to further the Tawana Brawley Hoax that Sharpton, Brawley, and attorneys Alton Maddox and C. Vernon Mason, engineered. In the most vicious race hoax since the Scottsboro Boys, Brawley claimed she had been raped by “white cops,” but in fact had not been raped by anyone. Sharpton casually added Pagones’ name to the list of “rapists.” But Pagones triumphed over all three men in his 1998 defamation suit. And so, Sharpton hates Steven Pagones.
And Al Sharpton sought to destroy Rudy Giuliani. Sharpton not only failed, but after eight years of enduring the slings and arrows of Sharpton and all Sharpton's many political and media proxies, eight years in which he refused EVER to meet with Sharpton, Rudy Giuliani is standing taller than ever, towering over Al Sharpton like a colossus over a pygmy.
And for that, Sharpton hates him.
The Germans have a saying, “Viele Feinde, viel Ehr.’” Many enemies, much honor.
Originally published in Toogood Reports.