Is the Rev. Al Sharpton the single most powerful man in the country? Is he the most dangerous? Or is he a combination of both?
There’s no doubt in my mind that Sharpton’s assault on all things Imus forced the major marketers to pull their advertising support of Imus (or run the risk of a Sharpton-inspired product boycott). The networks, in turn, fired Imus in order to placate the advertisers. And Imus is gone and we’re left contemplating a new type of trickle-down theory: the loudmouthed activist with an agenda scares the advertisers who, in turn, scare the networks who pull the plug on the politically incorrect source of the controversy.
So, Sharpton has won. And the double standard reigns supreme. It’s ok for Sharpton to pile on the Duke lacrosse players and never be held accountable for his reckless statements. But, Imus, apology or no apology, is gone.
The losers here are the kids. What signal are we sending them? Are we saying it’s ok to say what you want as long as it’s politically correct? Are we saying you needn’t worry about accountability if you’re attacking the mainstream, power sources (i.e. White society)?
The other loser is the already battered image and reputation of American society. What must America watchers be thinking of this latest charade?
I’m all for fairness, justice and equality. But, not when it’s a one way street. So, Rev. Sharpton, when will you start holding Hip-Hop artists to the same standards you’ve held Don Imus?