Hypocrisy of Rev. Al Sharpton (Part 1) by contributor Carl West, TruthBTold News Service
This article has been brewing inside of me for quite a while, and after last week listening to Rev Sharpton blast hip hop again giving his hypocritical views on the exchanged between comic and T.V. legend Bill Cosby and entertainment and fashion guru Russell Simmons, I spent the weekend preparing my thoughts.
Everyone has moments of hypocrisy - me, you and everyone walking the planet has said one thing and done another. And that's ok, because we are flawed and no one is without sin. But don't act like you are flawless, and attempt to divide and draw traffic to your voice as the leading voice for a man without sin. First let me express my support for Rev. Sharpton and his contribution to uplifting and fighting for change and progress within the Black community. But his continued denouncing of hip hop is extremely sickening to someone who knows certain facts.
One fact is Rev Al's most heated and highest rated shows are the ones when he bashes hip hop and the art form. His callers are normally split on the topic, but the calls definitely come in. I'm in agreement when it comes to certain repetitive lyrics calling women unnecessary words and showcasing certain images. But I'm also in support of free speech in music just like there is free speech in film and T.V. Jay Z has a verse in a popular song that says 'Scarface the movie has harmed me more than Scarface the rapper'. And he concludes in his song comparing pop diva debutants like Brittney Spears and Lindsey Lohan showing their kittens is just as degrading as Black women shaking their butts.'
The main hypocrisy placed on Rev Al from me is his recent appearance at the BET Awards - of course with front row seats. I saw him jiggying and doing the cabbage patch to the same artist performing that he had recently denounced. But then he says on air that all he listens to is gospel music. The other hypocrisy is he doesn't denounce his friends and supporters. He recently awarded BET's CEO Debra Lee with a media award, and when with all due respect, Lee oversees the programming along with BET's program director. So how you gonna denounce the rappers for their lyrics, without denouncing the people who play the videos. That's like given Tom Joyner, Steve Harvey or Doug Banks awards for their wonderful syndicated shows, but not bashing them for playing the music of artists that scream out foul language on their air waves - It's backwards. Because if these outlets didn't play the music or videos, then people wouldn't hear the songs in question.
I also want to comment on Bill Cosby's bashing of Blacks and his ill-advised rejection of Russell Simmons. I respect and love Mr. Cosby's body of work, but when you decide to attack someone for being lazy, uneducated and irresponsible, you first or second must attack the people, who are his friends and colleagues at the networks that allow images to appear on-air and television. I agree that parents should be more responsible, and better prepare their children to excel in a very competitive world. But you can never win the battle when you beat people down, who's already down. There is no glory in that. And if Mr. Cosby understands people like he should, you don't inspire people by dogging them, you inspire by giving positive reinforcements.
Finally on Mr. Cosby, Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine and the Playboy Clubs host his annual Jazz Festival in New Orleans, and Bill Cosby recently presented Hef with a Life Time Achievement Award. The clean living and father of all T.V. gives a man who made his fortune off legalized pornography, influencing a generation of women to paint their hair blonde and re-construct their physical appearances with boob surgery, lip implants and butt inflation, an award for a lifetime of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Go figure. Peace and one love.