Friday, October 23, 2009

An Unlikely Defense of Sharpton

A letter to the editor of the Washington Examiner newspaper that places me in the unusual position of defending the Rev. Al Sharpton, a man who I have loathed since the Tawana Brawley affair:

Re: Al Sharpton is today's Orval Faubus, October 19th.

The perfervid Star Parker writes, "[Al] Sharpton blocked Limbaugh like Gov. Orval Faubus tried to block black children from entering Central High in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957." This is a ridiculous argument. First, to equate an activist's campaign against a radio talk show host's effort to purchase a professional sports franchise with an Arkansas governor's defiance of federal law in preventing children from attending school is, on its face, a risible absurdity. Second, attempting to buy a footabll team is a privilege while seeking an education is a right. Third, whatever influence Sharpton had in bringing pressure to bear on the NFL and the investment group, he lacked the actual power to prevent Limbaugh from acquiring an interest in the team. Faubus, on the hand, as the highest ranking state official, wielded enormous power in depriving a group of its constitutional rights. And finally, Limbaugh was unceremoniously dumped not because of his conservative politics - the truth is, that club of billionaire owners is every bit as conservative as Limbaugh - but because he is a polarizing figure whose presence would bring unwanted attention to the league and, most importantly, interfere with the flow of commerce. Ironically, Limbaugh was insuffiently conservative for the club. On the original point, Al Sharpton might be a lot of things but Orville Faubus he isn't.

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About Me

Alexandria, VA, United States
'To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle." - George Orwell