Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Where's Sharpton?

Usually as omnipresent as Waldo, the Reverend Al Sharpton has become something of a recluse when it comes to controversy surrounding pressing racial issues-as we have commented on before. Now, according to Liz, he was absent when Black leaders from Central Brooklyn went toe to toe with Mike Bloomberg on some of those very same issues: "Mayor Bloomberg had a sit-down this afternoon at Gracie Mansion with the black elected leaders of Central Brooklyn – the first meeting of its kind in the wake of the 2009 election, in which former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson came far closer than expected to ousting the (now three-term) billionaire."

What was on the plate? A litany of complaints: "There were three main topics of discussion: Public education and the recent “test score debacle” (as my source put it), the “lack of diversity as it relates to the mayor’s administration” and the FDNY, and MWBE contracts. (Said the source: “The MWBE numbers under Rudoph Giuliani were better than they are under Michael Bloomberg.”)"

Paging Reverend Al, paging Reverend Al. With apologies to Tom Lehrer: "Ah, once he was a fiery racialist spirit; but now when he speaks he must clear it. Second fiddle's a hard part you know, when Mike Bloomberg won't even give you a bow."

The harsh reality is that Al Sharpton-like some cop he would have excoriated in the good old days-is totally on the pad. Why he even missed the Cuomo leadership pow wow in Harlem. In Harlem! Here's why: "The Rev. Al Sharpton was one of the expected major black leaders at the meeting with Andrew Cuomo and Bill Thompson, Carl McCall and others this morning, but he didn't come.I asked his spokeswoman, Rachel Noerdlinger, who told me that Sharpton was taking part in the Education Nation summit and that given his involvement in education issues, it posed a conflict."

Case closed. Al couldn't come, the Mayor wouldn't let him take the day off.

For a fuller understanding of the Bloomberg-Sharpton relationship we refer you to Karl Marx's essay: "The Power of Money."

"That which is for me through the medium of money – that for which I can pay (i.e., which money can buy) – that am I myself, the possessor of the money. The extent of the power of money is the extent of my power. Money’s properties are my – the possessor’s – properties and essential powers. Thus, what I am and am capable of is by no means determined by my individuality. I am ugly, but I can buy for myself the most beautiful of women. Therefore I am not ugly, for the effect of ugliness – its deterrent power – is nullified by money. I, according to my individual characteristics, am lame, but money furnishes me with twenty-four feet. Therefore I am not lame. I am bad, dishonest, unscrupulous, stupid; but money is honoured, and hence its possessor. Money is the supreme good, therefore its possessor is good. Money, besides, saves me the trouble of being dishonest: I am therefore presumed honest. I am brainless, but money is the real brain of all things and how then should its possessor be brainless? Besides, he can buy clever people for himself, and is he who has power over the clever not more clever than the clever? Do not I, who thanks to money am capable of all that the human heart longs for, possess all human capacities? Does not my money, therefore, transform all my incapacities into their contrary?"