Obama Is Al Sharpton
Everybody wants to be on Sharpton’s good side these days. No fewer than five Cabinet officers and a senior White House official went to this year’s convention to kiss his ring. President Obama spoke at last year’s conference and has sought Sharpton’s advice on policy. Sharpton has a show on MSNBC five nights a week, and he doles out airtime to a procession of politicians and journalists (including me).
Wednesday night brought the sweetest moment yet in Sharpton’s long and controversial career: the announcement that Florida authorities would charge Trayvon Martin’s shooter. Sharpton, at the request of the boy’s parents, had done more than anyone else to bring the case national attention.
Just hours before the announcement that George Zimmerman would be charged with second-degree murder, Martin’s parents held a joint news conference with Sharpton — and a few hours before that, Attorney General Eric Holder, also at the convention, praised Sharpton for his “tireless efforts to speak out for the voiceless, to stand up for the powerless.”