Obama Takes a Hit from Sharpton

Good gracious… The hits just keep coming for Barack Obama…

Enter Al Sharpton who has accused Obama “of trying to “grandstand in front of white people,”” because Obama “made a call for nonviolence in the aftermath of the Sean Bell verdict.”

During what a source described as a “heated” phone call yesterday, Sharpton told Obama he was disappointed with the Illinois senator’s words on Friday, when Obama said “resorting to violence to express displeasure” was “completely unacceptable and counterproductive.”

“[Obama] issues this statement and not a single rock had been thrown,” said a source. “How does the candidate of change ask people to accept a verdict that is unjust?”

The source said Sharpton had hoped Obama would “side with the Bell family” and not use it as an “opportunity to grandstand in front of white people.”

The NY Post reports that an Obama spokesman “described the conversation as a chance to “hear [Sharpton’s] views and to get his perspective.””

Andy Sullivan notes:

I think that is part of Jeremiah Wright’s view of Obama as well: he will never forgive him for winning so many white votes, and breaking the pattern and ideology of victimhood and marginalization that forged Wright’s identity. This dynamic is very powerful in minority circles.

It’s anyone’s guess who will come out swinging next. Meanwhile… under a lot of pressure Barack Obama is pledging to “Return to Message, Avoid Negative Campaigning.” Good luck with that.

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8 Responses to Obama Takes a Hit from Sharpton

  1. Janis says:

    I have sympathy with Sharpton here. Obama’s black identity is based on his conscious desire to claim one (when it doesn’t scare white liberals), and it hasn’t been achieved with any hard work on behalf of his people. Sharpton has gone to the mat for his community multiple times.

  2. Pardon my language, but my opinion is that Sharpton has proved himself on many occasions over the years to be an unmitigated prick.

    (Though I do agree with him that the Bell verdict was a clear injustice. Fifty rounds fired is an out of control police department even if the poor bastard had deserved to die. Remember when the Philly P.D. was placed under control of their Federal Court? Heads need to roll at the top in NYC.)

  3. Janis says:

    Darrell, if you have more info or can point me to more info about Sharpton, I’m definitely willing to learn. I’m serious — I do want to have a more informed opinion about these things.

    Regards 50 rounds … this is going to sound cold, but the last 49 rounds aren’t the problem. The first one is the problem. Police, especially in a relatively violent patrol area where they can confront armed criminals, are taught to empty their magazines if they fire at all. They are taught not to fire if they can at all avoid it, but when they do — empty it. And cops usually carry ten-round magazines. That’s ten rounds apiece.

    And when ONE police officer fires one round, the way it works — and this is understandable — is that the other ones rush in to help. they do this because they have no choice in a violent area; muhc like soldiers, they have to assume that their comrades know what they’re doing, and if the guy thought himself in enough danger to fire one round, then it’s necessary for his colleagues to join in.

    The problem is the first round. That is the trigger, the pebble that starts the avalanche. Cops either do not fire their duty weapons, or they empty them completely. (And again, in dicey areas, that’s an adaptive behavior.)

    what needs to be done is examine the cops, their training, and the judgment that caused that first round to be fired. Was it really that dangerous, or were they reacting over the top because it was a black guy? What is the area itself like? What is the professional history of the guys? What sort of counseling do they get if they are involved in a violent altercation? Most people don’t realize that cops for the most part never fire their duty weapon, and if they do for any reason at all, they are immediately taken off duty and given counseling. Had one of those guys previously been involved in a violent altercation and was he moved to active duty too quickly? Should he have been taken off of patrol duty?

    Those are the sorts of questions that have to be asked — not whether twenty or fifty rounds were fired. Again, when it comes to police patrolling in dicey areas, one round == 50. It’s the first round that’s the problem, and that’s what has to be studied, in excruciating detail.

  4. Janis

    I wrote a post about this when it first happened and the fact that this isn’t the first incident like this in NY.

  5. RE: Sharpton needing to fade from public life, google “Tawana Brawley”.

    RE: Killer cops. Let me just say that you might not be familiar with the situation in the late sixties, early seventies when folks in some communities started fighting back by assassinating the most abusive cops. We called too many of them “pig” at the time, but there were also far too many who deserved that title and worse. (Google Frank Rizzo). When the people fought back, the police became more professional in a hurry.

    It’s like the soldiers in Iraq who shoot up a family in their mini van because of panicing over the possibility that they may have to accept some personal risk while in a war zone.

    No sane society has “rules of engagement” that say that the welfare of those who accept jobs being paid to carry guns is more important than that of the rest of us who pay their paychecks. And we don’t either. I’ve studied this case, I’ve studied these things, and there should have been a conviction. That there was not is a clear injustice.

  6. Janis says:

    Darrell, I already know about Tawana Brawley, and I grew up in Philadelphia, so I know plenty about Frank Rizzo.

    Sharpton has done a good deal since the Brawley case, which was a long time ago and the first time he really came to national attention. Since then, he has done a good amount of work for the community and been willing to put his nuts in the crosshairs for them. The Brawley case was decades ago. When I asked you for information about Sharpton, I thought you’d come up with something more current than what everyone already knew about him.

    And although I’m not AT ALL unfamiliar with police brutality, I still stand by what I said — the first shot fired is the problem. When it comes to urban cops, 1 = 50. That first shot is the one that needs to be turned over and looked at from every conceivable angle, because if N cops hear that one of their number has fired one single shot, I can guarantee you that the number of rounds unloaded will be ten times N.

    I’m not defending it, I’m simply saying that if you want to look at the situation, you need to be ready to come down on the right part of the problem. Something plainly went BADLY WRONG — but it was a multistep thing, and if you spend all your time analyzing and coming down on the wrong part of it, you won’t solve the problem, because you won’t be solving it far enough upstream.

    The problem is not keeping cops from emptying their magazines. The problem is making sure that first shot doesn’t get fired unless there is DAMNED GOOD REASON. Solve the problem as far upstream as possible.

  7. cali says:

    It seems Rev. Wright may have cleared a path for others who are annoyed, frustrated, disapointed with Obama’s arrogance to speak out. The “hands off’ sign has been taken down. Obama can now be criticized as a typical politician.

  8. Janis says:

    cali, that’s very true — that’s a great way of looking at it. It’s like the party that people hang out at for too long with everyone thinking about leaving, and then one person gets up and goes to get their coat, and suddenly everyone’s out the door. 🙂 Same psychology.

    I think this is actually a needed part of the process; there needs to be a reason for people to drop him, and Wright provides them with that. Just like the superdels won’t go with either one until the next series of primaries is over; everyone wants to be able to point to something external to themselves as the reason why they’re making their decisions.