Former NAACP Leader Takes On the Race Hustlers

C.L. Bryant denounces Sharpton and Jackson for exploiting the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

In an interview with the Daily Caller, former NAACP leader C.L. Bryant challenged the credibility of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, whom he accused of “exploiting” the Trayvon Martin tragedy to “racially divide this country.” He further accused the duo of being “race hustlers” and said they are “acting as though they are buzzards circling the carcass of this young boy.”

On Monday, Jackson and Sharpton held a protest attended by thousands in Sanford, Florida, the town where Martin was shot. Al Sharpton took the opportunity to work up a racist angle in a case where, at this juncture, such an angle is as tenuous as it gets. "We are here with two million signatures of people petitioning you to execute the immediate arrest of the killer of Trayvon Martin," said Sharpton. If the board does not act swiftly, he added, the town could become "the Birmingham of the 21st century, as a place of racial intolerance and double standards."

No one epitomizes racial intolerance or exploits double standards more than Al Sharpton. It was Sharpton who referred to Orthodox Jews in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY as "diamond merchants" during a eulogy at the funeral of Gavin Cato, a black boy killed when a car in a rabbi's motorcade accidentally struck him. "The world will tell us he was killed by accident," said Sharpton. "Yes, it was a social accident...It's an accident to allow an apartheid ambulance service in the middle of Crown Heights...Talk about how Oppenheimer in South Africa sends diamonds straight to Tel Aviv and deals with the diamond merchants right here in Crown Heights. The issue is not anti-Semitism; the issue is apartheid...All we want to say is what Jesus said: If you offend one of these little ones, you got to pay for it. No compromise, no meetings, no kaffe klatsch, no skinnin' and grinnin'. Pay for your deeds."

Someone did indeed pay. The accident precipitated three nights of black rioting during which Jewish houses were set on fire and vandalized, and rabbinical student Yankel Rosenbaum was stabbed to death by a gang of black youths who surrounded him.

Sharpton wasn't through. In 1995, after a black Pentecostal church asked the Jewish owner of a clothing store to evict a black sub-tenant who owned a record store on the property, Sharpton set up a picket line. "We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business," he said. Roland James Smith, Jr., who had participated in the picketing, took Sharpton's words to heart. He walked into the clothing store on December 9, ordered all the black customers to leave, and set the store on fire. Eight people were killed, including Smith.

In the former incident, Sharpton dismissed an accusation by the Anti-Defamation League of helping to incite anti-Semitism that led to the riots. In the latter incident, he criticized investigators for linking the fire to the picketing. Yet Sharpton is more than willing to use the Trayvon Martin case to indict an entire town -- as well as the rest of the nation by implication.

Jesse Jackson is, of course, also know to be more than willing to take an individual case and turn it into an indictment of America in general. At a Sanford town hall meeting on Sunday, he told the crowd that Martin was a "martyr." “Now we must illuminate the darkness with the light that comes from the martyr," he added. Monday was no different. "The whole world is watching Sanford today," he said. "The whole world is watching Florida today. This is America on trial," he told the crowd, igniting applause and chants of "we want justice."

Jackson's views were also on display last Friday during an interview with the Los Angeles Times. "Blacks are under attack," he said, further noting that "targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business."

C.L. Bryant rips away the facade surrounding such fatuousness. “The greatest danger to the lives of young black men are young black men,” he says. Bryant is correct. A study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that more than nine out of 10 black murder victims were killed by other blacks between the years 2001 and 2005.

Bryant continued. “Why not be angry about the wholesale murder that goes on in the streets of Newark and Chicago?” he asked. “Why isn’t somebody angry about that six-year-old girl who was killed on her steps last weekend in a cross fire when two gang members in Chicago start shooting at each other? Why is there no outrage about that?” Chicago has the highest murder rate in the country. Of the 511 murders committed in Chicago in 2008 (latest statistics available), 74 percent of the victims were black--and 76 percent of the perpetrators were also black. And most of them were young males.

What drives such young black men? According to progressive mythology, endemic white racism coupled and black victimhood are ultimately responsible. And no one promotes that mythology better than Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Bryant believes he knows where the promotion of that mythology is leading. He speculated that Jackson and Sharpton will “turn this evolving tragedy of this young man into fodder to say...if you don’t re-elect Obama then you will have unbridled events or circumstances like this happening in the streets to young men wearing hoodies.”

Bryant knows what he's talking about. Trayvon's parents attended a forum in Washington D.C. on racial profiling, hate crimes and "stand your ground" laws sponsored by Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee. Six Democrats in the New York State senate donned hoodies and likened NYC's highly effective stop-and-frisk policy to a "Jim Crow"-like racist campaign. (In New York City in 2010, blacks comprised 25 percent of the city's population. Yet 67 percent of the murder victims as well as over 60 percent of murder suspects were black.) And in perhaps the most cynically calculated political move of the year, the Obama 2012 Twitter account announced it was selling hoodies on its website. "Let everyone know whose team you're on for 2012 with today's merchandise steal: the college-style hooded sweatshirt," it read.

It remains to be seen if such a strategy -- one which yet again rests on dividing Americans from one another -- can be sustained when the facts, as opposed to the hysteria egged on by Sharpton, Jackson and their media collaborators, become more widely known. Racial arsonists and complicit journalists have labored mightily to establish a narrative largely irrespective of those facts, secure in the knowledge that a 180-degree turn of events, as in the Tawana Brawley hoax or the Duke lacrosse case, will do absolutely nothing to diminish their respective reputations or credibility.

C.L. Bryant represents someone of a dying breed in modern-day America: a man willing to think for himself and express those thoughts freely and openly. For a majority of Americans such courage is hard to come by. For the overwhelming majority of black Americans, still mired in racist mythology promoted by Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, such courage is greeted with contempt. As if on cue, CNN contributor Roland Martin spoke with Soledad O’Brien on Tuesday’s Starting Point, and took a shot at Bryant. "Right, here’s what what I would tell Rev. CL Bryant. How much attention did this story get before black bloggers and folks in social media began to drive the story?" Martin asked. "Would you have a special prosecutor right now had the attention not been placed on it? I would say absolutely not!"

“And I would say, where’s Rev. C.L. Bryant?” Martin added. “Where’s he fighting for justice? It’s as simple as that.”

Ginning up racial animosity is what is simple. Genuine justice, such as the latest story that alleged shooter George Zimmerman's story is "consistent" with the evidence, may prove to be far more complicated.

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