Today we are asking Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich to repudiate Al Sharpton. Gingrich appeared around the country in late 2009 as part of something called the Education Equality Project. At that time, we asked Gingrich to sever ties with Sharpton, only to be ignored.
Now that Gingrich has gone from private citizen to candidate, he must be made accountable for his associations. As Dr. Carl Horowitz of our staff has documented in our 2009 Special Report titled Mainstreaming Demagoguery: Al Sharpton’s Rise to Respectability, Sharpton has promoted fake hate crimes against blacks, and has inspired racial antagonism against whites and Jews.
We have criticized President Obama, former GOP Chairman Michael Steele and other politicians who have consorted with Sharpton. Gingrich must now admit that he made a mistake, and publicly repudiate Sharpton and all he stands for.
In October 2009, I analyzed the Gingrich/Sharpton alliance this way:
Gingrich shares with Sharpton an affinity for the TV camera. Their relationship cannot be based on Sharpton’s sincerity for the cause of educational reform, because he doesn’t have any. As Horowitz meticulously details, each issue Sharpton has embraced, or incident on which he has seized, has resulted in some benefit for Sharpton, in terms of publicity, money, or both.
Sharpton’s gains have been at the expense of societal harmony and/or at the eventual expense of individual people he either has put up to making false accusations or falsely accused. Are we supposed to believe that such a destructive personality has now turned to the selfless advocacy on behalf of schoolchildren?
Because Barack Obama, Michael Bloomberg and a host of other politicians shamelessly consort with Sharpton, it doesn’t make it all right for Gingrich to do so. In fact, it is worse. Sharpton has achieved respectability because of a racial double standard that liberals honor and enforce, carried to its extreme. Gingrich knows it is wrong.
The image of Gingrich as Sharpton’s poodle, tagging along on his latest publicity stunt would be funny if the venue were not public schools. It is tragic that Sharpton is accorded the courtesy of a visiting dignitary in the presence of elementary school children. What message does it transmit to them? It is that America is a racist country, notwithstanding the election of black president, and therefore truth telling, fair play, and fundamental human decency and can be thrown out the window. Why is Gingrich a party to this charade, the only result of which can be poisoned race relations for many years to come?
NLPC has played a key role in exposing Sharpton’s corruption. Sharpton and his groups have been fined $285,000 and had to pay a separate settlement of $5,500, as a result of Complaints we filed with the Federal Election Commission. Additionally, Sharpton’s presidential campaign had to return $100,000 in federal matching funds, and was denied $80,000 more for which it qualified, based on our Complaints.