Friday, January 17, 2003

In Defense of Al Sharpton

Nathan Newman provides a lukewarm defense of Al Sharpton. I think he's right. One doesn't have to love the guy, but he isn't nearly as bad as his critics - Left or Right - portray him. He's made some monstrous mistakes, but I also agree that he has to some extent been held to a higher standard as Nathan says. There are good reasons he has supporters in New York and his detractors often ignore those. I don't think the guy is going to have any success pushing what I would consider a reasonable political agenda nationally, I think he'll probably do nothing but harm to the Democratic campaign, and I wish he wasn't the media's "favorite Negro" - well second favorite after Alan Keyes - but much of what he's demonized for, or at least the degree of it, is a bit unfair.

I don't like the guy, and he definitely isn't on "my team." He uses the media for publicity and they in turn use him to show America how scary those African-American Democrats are. He also regularly poisons the well of NYC politics. But, for just about everything he gets knocked for I could find an analagous worse action by Al D'Amato, but Sharpton's always gotten much worse press.