Al Sharpton: A lot of this opposition to Bloomberg’s anti-gun campaign is probably fueled by anti-Semitism
“Let’s get down to it, Mike Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, there’s a level of antisemitism in this thing directed towards Bloomberg,” Barnicle argued on Morning Joe, “It’s out there.” “No doubt about it,” Sharpton responded.
“If he was not a big-city Jewish man and was from another ethnic group, in some parts, I think it would be different,” Sharpton continued.
Of course, this ignores Al Sharpton's past history of anti-Semitic activity in New York, back in the good old days that a few of us still remember:
Recall, further, Sharpton’s rhetoric during the deadly 1991 anti-Semitic riots in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights section, which erupted after a seven-year-old black child named Gavin Cato had been accidentally killed by a car driven by a Hasidic Jew. At Cato’s funeral, Sharpton criticized the Jewish community and thereafter organized a series of massive, angry demonstrations which ultimately devolved into destructive bedlam. Sharpton and his supporters, of course, said that the good Reverend could not be held responsible for any of this; after all, they explained, Sharpton hadn’t made any explicit calls for violence.Does it really take one to know one?
But Efraim Lipkind, a former Hasidic resident of Crown Heights who had witnessed the riots of 1991, stated the following in a July 1994 sworn deposition: “Then we had a famous man, Al Sharpton, who came down, and he said Tuesday night, kill the Jews, two times. I heard him, and he started to lead a charge across the street to Utica.”
Sharpton emphatically denied having said or done this. Perhaps he didn’t. Perhaps Mr. Lipkind was incorrect. We do know with certainty, however, that Sharpton characterized Gavin Cato’s death as being not merely the result of a car accident, but rather “the social accident of apartheid.” And we do know that Sharpton challenged local Jews—to whom he derisively referred as “diamond merchants”—to “pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house” to settle the score. And we do know that, stirred in part by such rhetoric and false accusations, hundreds of Crown Heights blacks took violently to the streets for three days and nights of rioting, pelting Jewish homes with rocks, setting vehicles on fire, and shouting “Jew! Jew!” And we do know that Sharpton’s pathetic response to the rioting was: “We must not reprimand our children for outrage, when it is the outrage that was put in them by an oppressive system.” And we do know that Sharpton, while in Israel searching for the driver who had run over Gavin Cato, likened the Jewish state to “hell.” But none of this, we are presumably to believe, rises to the “chimp” cartoon’s level of insensitivity.