Inciting hatred is big business, and Al Sharpton is the Donald Trump of promoting hatred. Sharpton has gotten very wealthy promoting racial hatred and Antisemitism, according to the NY Post is now getting “hush money” from corporations begging him not to call them racist.
Soon after Sony Pictures Co-Chairwoman Amy Pascal’s racially insensitive hacked emails were released, Pascal convened with Sharpton in a meeting that had Pascal and her team “shaking in their boots” in fear of him. When the group emerged, Sharpton had secured himself a prominent seat on a “working group” to combat racial bias in Hollywood, the Post reported.
“Al Sharpton has enriched himself and [National Action Network] NAN for years by threatening companies with bad publicity if they didn’t come to terms with him. Put simply, Sharpton specializes in shakedowns,” said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal & Policy Center, a Virginia-based watchdog group that has produced a book on Sharpton.
And Sharpton, who now boasts a close relationship with Obama and Mayor de Blasio, is in a stronger negotiating position than ever.
“Once Sharpton’s on board, he plays the race card all the way through,” said a source who has worked with the Harlem preacher. “He just keeps asking for more and more money.”
Its not just Corporations, politicians bow to the throne of Sharpton the hater. On October 1, Sharpton held a 60th birthday celebration at Manhattan’s Four Seasons restaurant. All the big shots of New York Democratic Party politics were in attendance, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Rep. Charles Rangel and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (there are unconfirmed reports that Chuck Schumer was there also. “Sharpton raised $1 million for NAN at his 60th birthday bash in October, with donations rolling in from unions and a corporate roster of contributors including AT&T, McDonald’s, Verizon and Walmart.”
Back in 2011 there were reports that Sharpton got his Job at MSNBC for helping push through the Comcast/MSNBC merger. The Daily Caller reported:
It’s gone remarkably unnoticed that Sharpton was the first major black leader to endorse the Comcast merger, which met fierce resistance. Michael Copps, a Democrat who’d served on the FCC since 2001, declared, when he ultimately voted against it, that the merger “erodes diversity, localism and competition” and was “a huge boost for media industry (and digital industry) consolidation” as well as “a stake in the heart of independent content production,” charges that were echoed in a New York Times editorial. But Mignon Clyburn, the daughter of South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn and the only minority member on the FCC, threw her decisive support behind the deal, citing a comprehensive diversity memorandum of agreement (MOU) signed by Sharpton as a mechanism that “will serve to keep the new entity honest in promoting diversity.”
But Sharpton got more than a job:
A Comcast spokesperson told The Daily Beast that Comcast has given $140,000 to Sharpton’s National Action Network since 2009—the same year the merger was first proposed. Though MSNBC president Phil Griffin was honored with a top prize at the April 2011 annual conference of NAN—and he, Chris Mathews, and other NBC notables had a table at NAN’s dinner—NBC would not answer questions about how much it’s given Sharpton.
The post reported one example of Sharpton’s shakedowns has emerged in tax filings and a state inspector general’s report.
In 2008, Plainfield Asset Management, a Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund, made a $500,000 contribution to New York nonprofit Education Reform Now. That money was immediately funneled to the National Action Network.
The donation raised eyebrows. Although the money was ostensibly to support NAN’s efforts to bring “educational equality,” it also came at a time that Plainfield was trying to get a lucrative gambling deal in New York.
Plainfield had a $250 million stake in Capital Play, a group trying to secure a license to run the coming racino at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. Capital Play employed a lobbyist named Charlie King, who also was the acting executive director of NAN.
Sharpton has said that most of the Plainfield contribution went to pay King’s salary.
King’s company, the Movement Group, was paid $243,586 by NAN in 2008, tax records show.
Harold Levy, a former New York City schools chancellor who was a managing director at Plainfield at the time, has denied the contribution was made to curry favor with Sharpton or anyone else. But a year later, as the battle for the racino license heated up, NAN raked in another $100,000 from representatives of the AEG consortium, which was the successor company to Capital Play.
One AEG member e-mailed another in 2009 saying, “Sharpton lobbied [then-Gov. David Paterson] hard over the weekend on our behalf,” according to the state inspector general’s 2010 report on the corrupt racino licensing process.
Sharpton has gotten the auto industry to bow down:
NAN had repeatedly and without success asked GM for donations for six years beginning in August 2000, a GM spokesman told The Post. Then, in 2006, Sharpton threatened a boycott of GM over the planned closing of an African-American-owned dealership in The Bronx. He picketed outside GM’s Fifth Avenue headquarters. GM wrote checks to NAN for $5,000 in 2007 and another $5,000 in 2008.
Sharpton targeted American Honda in 2003 for not hiring enough African-Americans in management positions.
“We support those that support us,” Sharpton wrote to the company. “We cannot be silent while African-Americans spend hard-earned dollars with a company that does not hire, promote or do business with us in a statistically significant manner.”
Two months later, car-company leaders met with Sharpton, and Honda began to sponsor NAN’s events. The protests stopped.
Al Sharpton is no different than the thugs who make local retailers pay protection money. Even worse are the powerful corporations and politicians who bow down to this faux preacher. As someone who has covered this hate monger for almost ten years, I can vouch that it happens all too often, not only by politicians and corporations, but by the mainstream media which refuses to expose Sharpton’s record of hate.
Jazz Shaw has a great (capitalist) take on this story at Hot Air.