It is the old rule: one set of standards for Jews, another set for non-Jews.
Does anyone remember David Duke? A former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and founder of the Association for the Advancement of White People, Duke was a Louisiana Republican politician in the late 1980s. In 1992 he was a candidate in the Republican presidential primaries. A brief stop at his web site is sufficient to recognize an all too familiar KKK-inspired dementia manifested in a multitude of rants against … Israel, and all things Jewish. “The horror of ISIS terror which has unfolded across media outlets over the past few days is the product of years of intrigue, subversion, torture, terrorism and wars, all caused by the Jews-only state of Israel and the Jewish Lobby which controls the US government.”
Whatever brief moments of national attention Duke was to command derived from his efforts to upgrade the clod hopper-Klan’s white sheets and pointy hat image, the “cow pasture image”, as he put it, and to craft a more sophisticated and mainstream messaging of his own modern edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Duke, according to his website is now, Dr. David Duke, Ph.D., that credential bestowed by the Interregional Academy of Personnel Management, singled out by the U.S. State Department in a report to the U.S. Congress as “one of the most persistent anti-Semitic institutions in Eastern Europe. ”
Duke’s ambition to be a mainstream Republican elected to high office was, to put it gently, frustrated by the Republican establishment and Republican voters. The Party wanted nothing to do with him and Party officials attempted to block his participation. He received less than one percent of the votes in the primaries. Of him then National Republican Party chairman, Jim Nicholson remarked: “There is no room in the party of Lincoln for a Klansman like David Duke.” The Democrats by the way and by contrast did provide ample room and a career path for their own former Klansman, Senator Robert Byrd from West Virginia. Duke was if nothing else persistent in running for various offices during the 1990s, but despite his mainstream aspirations and efforts at reimaging he was never successful in mustering a serious following and today inhabits the political fringes where he continues to rail against Israel and world-wide Jewish conspiracies.
Which brings us to the Reverend Al Sharpton, like David Duke, a race-oriented, grievance-mongering “activist” who like Duke was an unsuccessful candidate for President, only as a Democrat in 2004. Sharpton has his own not inconsiderable sordid, race-baiting, anti-Semitic history, most notably his active role in the Crown Heights Riots in 1991that resulted in the murder of Yankel Rosenbaum a Jewish visiting student from Australia. Sharpton’s crude, confrontational working style at that time put him behind a bullhorn, working the angry crowds, an antagonizing, polarizing creature who always managed to slink away and distance himself from the wreckage. Who would then have imagined that this jump-suited, medallion festooned street organizer would become a confidant of President of the United States?
Unlike Duke who was shunned by most Republicans and never escaped the fringe, Sharpton now, as indicated above, occupies a lavish suite in the highest regions of the Democrat Party firmament. Sharpton was fully embraced as a candidate by the Democratic Party during the 2004 primary season and given a pass by his fellow Democrats and the mainstream media on accounting for his long history of self-promoting antics and reckless publicity-seeking stunts that on many occasions stoked racial and ethnic resentments and led to the senseless destruction of people’s property, reputations and even lives. Sharpton has a long and well-established record for slandering and defaming innocent people. For this he has been successfully sued. His self-assumed title as “Reverend” is one more piece of his artful self-invention, a transparent effort to inject his phony persona with the moral and spiritual authority of a ministerial calling.
Sharpton also like Duke has worked over the years on his softening his hectoring, bullying image, including physical cosmetics (Duke shaved the mustache; Sharpton ditched the jump suit for expensive tailored suits and shed eighty or so pounds). But unlike the Republicans who repudiated Duke, the Democrats are amnesiacs with respect to Sharpton’s ugly and scurrilous personal history. In spite of his record of racial incitements and intimidations, slandering, ethnic-religious slurs and financial impropriety, Sharpton has become fully “mainstreamed” with his own radio talk show, frequent guest appearances on news outlets like Fox News and CNN. In 2011 MSNBC made him the host of its Politics Nation, a nightly talk show. He has now ascended to the pinnacle of power and influence as a personal advisor to President Obama. According to 60 Minutes Sharpton is “a trusted White House adviser who has become the president's go-to black leader.”
Most remarkable in all of this is not the troubled and shadowy career of Sharpton himself – a shameless opportunist, hypocrite and demagogue – but the fact that a man of such questionable character is so warmly embraced by the Democrats and by the President himself.
Clearly, the Democrats do not care a bit about Sharpton’s sordid past and his complete absence of moral rectitude. The “trust” of President Obama for Sharpton arises from the racial resentment they appear to share and Sharpton’s sheer chutzpah and remarkable ability as a mobilizer of racial animosity and grievances. The sad fact is that Democrat politicians need a specialist at exploiting tragic events like Al Sharpton, a self-appointed black leader to find festering racism infecting every institution and beneath the surface in every conflict and crisis and then focus the blame on their political opposition.
Racism is for the Democrats what Fascism was for the Socialists in the 1930s and 1940s, part of a demonizing political strategy. The mobilizing rallying cry that came out of the Soviet Union in the 1930s was to combat the evil of Fascism particularly as embodied by Adolf Hitler. Young men from all over the world joined the anti-Fascist, International Brigades organized by the Soviet Union to fight in Spain against the Fascist Franco who was generously supported in arms by Hitler and the Fascist Italians. Four months after Franco’s defeat of the Spanish Republicans in August of 1939, however, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed their infamous non-aggression pact that launched WWII. Stalin and Hitler, the world’s supreme Fascist, became partners in the rape of Poland. Two years later after Hitler’s armies attacked the Soviet Union, Germany once again become the symbol of the evil of Fascism. Fascism for the Left has always been a protean and flexible category of malevolence, suitable for attachment to whoever at a given time displeases or opposes them. George W. Bush throughout his Presidency was routinely denounced as Fascist, a Nazi, an American version of Hitler.
Racism is very much like Fascism, used widely and indiscriminately to smear political opponents. Racism is open ended in application with an ever expanding multiplicity of forms, mutations and varieties: thus, institutional racism, systemic racism, internalized racism, environmental racism, white racism, reverse racism, economic racism, micro-aggressive racism, overt racism, subtle racism. Nicholas Kristof with no apparent awareness of the irony in a recent New York Times column poses as the title the question, “Is Everyone a Little Bit Racist?”
So while the Republicans, who weary of being labeled racists by the Democrats, would like to be done with racism, the Democrats of course want and need to keep it alive and have forever before them a political opposition that bears all of the ugly, atavistic features of the white robbed lynch mobs from earlier times. Al Sharpton is their man to keep it alive, “the President’s go-to black leader, as 60 Minutes puts it. Why else would they associate with someone that most decent people would shun.