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Betty Arenson: Jackson, Sharpton add unnecessary fuel to fire

SCV Voices

Posted: June 26, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 26, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, boasted, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste”. While that mantle remains artfully practiced by this administration, it has been effectively tooled for decades by seasoned masters Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Pick any racially themed major news event and you’ll find Jackson and/or Sharpton front and center, seeking any advantageous circumstances that trigger their Pavlovian instincts. They grandstand with feigned outcries of America needing a dialogue about race. Agreed! Here’s a start:

New York, November 1987: Tawana Brawley, 15, alleged she was abducted, brutalized and left with vile epithets written in charcoal on her torso. She said her assailants were three white men including one police officer. The incident became famous when Al Sharpton and attorney Alton H. Maddox Jr. commandeered her representation.

A grand jury investigation revealed the hoax. The alleged police officer was actually an assistant district attorney, who sued for defamation and won a total judgment of $532,000. Sharpton never owned up and his share was paid years later collectively by three wealthy men. Maddox was indefinitely suspended from practice.

March 2006, Durham, N.C.: Crystal Gail Mangum, 27, student, stripper and mother, alleged rape at a Duke University lacrosse team party where she was hired to perform. Sharpton and Jackson quickly supported what again proved to be a vicious lie. Three students’ lives and their families were indelibly stained; the lacrosse coach lost his job; Duke’s reputation was smeared; racial tensions grew and a prosecutor was disbarred and declared bankruptcy. The reverends were nonapologetic.

February 2012 Sanford, Fla.: Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman. This convoluted mayhem is a tragedy beyond a young man being dead. For weeks, Martin was reported as a candy-carrying 13-year-old but he was 17, 200 pounds and 6 feet, 1 inch tall. Zimmerman was reported as white, but he is Hispanic with black family members and a black best friend. Sharpton and Jackson are fuel to the spreading blaze. The major media is complicit with NBC’s “editing” of the 911 tape implying racism. Jackson and Sharpton are fully engaged.

The true details of Trayvon Martin’s case have yet to be properly put in order and we have to wait and see its outcome. It is a travesty that high-profile people fed a frenzy before justice’s process could take place.

There are countless crimes involving victims of all races occurring and reported every day like repeated reports of innocent children being shot in their front yards or sleeping in their beds, yet there is no rage or support from Jackson and Sharpton. Remember, two of the horrendous alleged crimes did not even happen. Considering the time, effort and cost of the investigations, police power, court time, etc., why aren’t these false reports prosecuted?

Have not Jackson and Sharpton transparently demonstrated they selectively “care” about crime when the event can be engineered for their media face time? Do they show that their cause is enhanced when the “victim” is black and the alleged violator is some other race? Think about it: They despicably avoid other incidents like the recent USC student murders, because it does not serve their purposes. Their actions show these two perniciously amplify circumstances because racism is their currency.

All victims, irrespective of color, had someone who loved them, cries for them and who now has a hole in their heart with lives forever changed. As long as the reverends decide who gets the attention, they tell everyone else that the other victims do not count; they assess utilitarianism. All victims should be outraged that they have been rendered unimportant.

It must be noted that the details in these crimes are so offensive that most media cannot or will not print the words. Think about that. These are words asserted by the alleged victims and their supporters that go into police reports and district attorney files to be used in court yet the media are too uncomfortable to print them. These are the words used to investigate, arrest, indict, convict, try and ruin the lives of the falsely accused, yet the words will not be put in print because they would be seen as inflammatory.

Again, the reverends’ selection processes discount and diminish all victims. With this, they evince that all victims are not equal or worthy of their face-time or phony calls for justice ... their justice.

Dialogue on racism? Resolution of racism would leave Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton unemployed.

Betty Arenson is a Valencia resident.


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