This picture of Al Sharpton talking to Attorney General Eric Holder was taken yesterday at the White House where Barack Obama announced his nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. The White House has been giving Sharpton a surprisingly high profile lately. Al has practically moved in.
Barack Obama was supposed to be our first “post-racial” president. After all, he won the Democratic primaries and the general election with white votes. Obama’s supporters argued that Obama was just the leader to move the country beyond race. Sharpton’s mentor Jesse Jackson became so flustered at this possibility that he wished to cut off Obama’s privates.
Obama’s “post-racial” presidency is nonsense as long as he hobnobs with a racial bully like Sharpton, not to mention his nomination of Sotomayor, whose primary qualification for Obama may be her ethnicity. The headline in today’s Wall Street Journal is “Hispanic Picked for Top Court.”
From the blog of liberal professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University:
Looking objectively at the body of opinions by Judge Sotomayor, one is not overwhelmed by their depth. There is nothing in this body of work that would scream out for the elevation of the author to the Court. Personally, I would have loved to see an opinion by her in Ricci, which presented sweeping questions of constitutional law and values. Instead, she rejected the case with her panel in a cursory fashion without substantive analysis.
The Ricci case is the New Haven fire fighters case on which Sotomayor ruled in favor of racial quotas.
Ironically, Sharpton may be more self-conscious about the contradictions of Obama’s “post-racial” presidency than Obama himself. Consider Sharpton’s call yesterday to rise above “tribal cheerleading:”
For those of us who are not Latino, we should not be weighed down by the distraction of demographics or ethnicity. Instead we must rise to the challenge that President Obama has issued to put merit, judgment, and service above tribal cheerleading.
But most of all, Al was just happy to be in the same room with all those nice people:
As one who has labored for Black, Brown and White coalitions that fight to protect the equal rights of all under our laws and Constitution, I am happy to have been present for this historic announcement of the first Latino to the Supreme Court, and know she will serve all of us with integrity and distinction.
Sharpton must be as amazed as we are at the lack of media scrutiny of his newfound prominence. For the real Sharpton story, which includes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence, see our new report titled Mainstreaming Demagoguery: Al Sharpton’s Rise to Respectability.
photo: AP/Wide World