April 11, 2007, - 10:22 am
By Debbie Schlussel
So, while I was out for the last two days of Passover, the country’s race merchants and media seized on Don Imus’ racist comments of last week.
As usual, just like Kramer a/k/a Michael Richards, the even less sympathetic Imus made the grovelling White Man’s Mea Culpa World Tour. Yes, what Imus said was racist, but he has a history of that and of saying anti-Semitic things far worse (some of which are detailed in today’s WSJ piece by John Leo and in a USA Today editorial). There was no grovelling tour for those comments. The over-reaction to these comments is absurd. As is his extreme, shameless, phony grovelling to racists, who’ve said as bad, if not far worse.
Once again, the kings of race merchantry–Weird Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson–are the self-anointed arbiters of decency in their “Do as I say, NOT as I do” industry. That’s why I’m reposting my column from November of last year, when Michael Richards was in the same boat. Substitute Don Imus’ name for Michael Richards’ and the same applies. It has a bullet-point list of Jesse’s and Al’s own comments and actions, which make them the kings of hypocrisy if they are truly kings of anything.
I changed my mind on one thing, though. Neither of these guys’ careers should be over for their racist comments. They should be over for lack of talent and, more importantly, the inability to see that their uber-grovelling is doing more to harm America and empower the hypocritical titans of the race industry than anything they said before-hand. I’ll have a new column on this later today, but in the meantime, review the Jackson/Sharpton history and substitute Imus for Richards here:
They Have a Scheme: Kramer (Imus) Meets Jesse & Weird Al of Race Merchants, Inc.
By Debbie Schlussel
So three racists walk into a bar. Unfortunately, there’s no punchline.
What Michael Richards said about Blacks at an L.A. comedy club was racist. His career should be over.
But so should the careers of two other racists, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Instead, they’re thriving.
While Richards made a gazillion phony apologies for uttering what he really thinks at age 57 (and blamed it on the War in Iraq–huh?), Jackson and Sharpton have never apologized even once for constantly telling us what they really think, over decades.
It’s a little strange–no, make that, absurd–to see one racist groveling and apologizing to two other racists, especially when the latter two have made it a career. Even more ludicrous is the media’s blindness to the thick irony of it all.
Take Jackson. Perhaps everyone forgot his comments that Jews are “Hymies” and New York is “Hymietown,” for which he never apologized to America’s or even New York’s Jews. But check out these other Jackson utterances you probably don’t even know about because they didn’t get the “Kramer” treatment:
* He said he spit into White customers’ food when he worked as a waiter because, “[It] gave me a psychological gratification.”
* “You can’t trust the Jews. I never have trusted those people.”
* He claimed Nixon’s policies were harsh on the poor because, of Nixon’s top aides, “four out of five of them are German Jews.” Someone forgot to tell him that Erlichman and Haldeman were not “Hymies.”
* In working up a Black church about the Jews, he claimed Jews conspired to keep the Black man down (shown on PBS’ McNeil-Lehrer Report).
* Jews are “not willing to share power.”
* He told an Ohio County Commissioner, “You Jews are much too sensitive.”
* He said the Democratic Party was “perverted by a reaction . . . to the Jewish element within the party,” and that the relationship between Jews and Democrats was “a kind of glorified form of bribery. Financial bankrolling and moral bankruptcy.”
* He claimed labor unions were insensitive to Blacks because “Jews dominate the leadership at the top.”
* “I’m sick and tired of hearing about the Holocaust.”
* “I have seen very few Jewish reporters who are objective about Arab affairs.” Unfortunately, Jackson is right about this. Most Jewish reporters bend over backwards to portray the Arabist position positively and the Israeli position negatively.
* When discussing his media critics, he said they were few in number (unfortunately, true) and “all Jewish.” (Not true).
Then, there’s Sharpton. At least Richards’ racist rant never resulted in murder. Al Sharpton’s words led to at least two killing sprees:
* At a 1991 funeral of a Black child accidentally killed by an out-of-control car driven by a Jew, Sharpton delivered this eulogy:
Talk about how Oppenheimer in South Africa sends diamonds straight to Tel Aviv and deals with the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights.
Oppenheimer is the Jewish family that is a big player in the diamond industry, and Crown Heights is a Chassidic Jewish community, some of whose residents are in the diamond industry. It was clear he was denouncing the Jews. Sharpton spoke of how these “diamond merchants” had “the blood of innocent babies” on their hands and exhorted the crowd to commit violence in the Crown Heights, Brooklyn Jewish community:
If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.
Shouting, “No Justice, No Peace” with the funeral crowd, he incited riots in Crown Heights where a mob shouting, “Kill the Jews!” surrounded Jewish rabbinical student Yankel Rosenbaum and stabbed him to death.
* In 1995, Sharpton incited the shooting and arson murder of seven employees of Freddy’s Fashion Mart. When the Black landlord raised the rent on Freddy’s White (and Jewish) owner, he was forced to raise the rent on his Black subtenant. Sharpton organized a protest, at which he announced:
We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.
Sharpton stood by and nodded in agreement as speakers and the crowd shouted: “Burn down the Jew store!” “We’re going to see that this cracker suffers.”
A protester shot four employees and set fire to Freddy’s. It burnt to the ground and seven employees–all of them minorities–died.
Jackson and Sharpton. These are the new gods of race merchantry to which all others must apologize?
Next, the kettle will be apologizing to the pot. And the pot will say it’s not enough.
For the record, Michael Richards–contrary to reports in the media and by his own misinformed publicist–is not Jewish. He is a lapsed Catholic of Italian descent (and neither of his parents are Jewish).
He made a similar rant against Jews, back in April, calling them “Christ-killers.” But, unlike the two Black targets of Richards’ latest tirade, Carol Oschin and J. P. Fillet, two Jews who were in the audience–and were the targets of those comments, did not hire a lawyer. They are not seeking money or any kind of redress.
Maybe they know that prostituting your dignity to seek money from a bigot only takes away your dignity even more. And maybe they know that desperate, insincere apologies won’t change a thing. Richards’ rants–just as Jackson’s and Sharpton’s and Mel Gibson’s, too–are what he really thinks.
We should leave it at that. And all of their careers should be over forever.
Tags: Al Sharpton, America, blindness, Carol Oschin, Crown Heights, Debbie Schlussel So, Democratic Party, Don Imus, food, Freddy, Iraq, J. P. Fillet, Jesse Jackson, John Leo, L.A. comedy club, lawyer, media critics, Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, New York, Nixon, Ohio County Commissioner, out-of-control car, Passover, Race Merchants Inc., South Africa, Tel Aviv, USA Today, waiter, Weird Al Sharpton, Yankel Rosenbaum