Al Sharpton, desperate for a popular cause, chases bandwagon that has already departed
Apparently, Al Sharpton has made his call on the popularity of the protest by the NFL millionaires and is looking elsewhere for something to cry “Racism!” over. But if he is hoping to rouse crowds of angry militants into fury, he may have chosen poorly in deciding to claim that marijuana laws have been racist. In an op-ed in The Guardian, he argues:
I am proceeding undaunted towards our country’s next transformative victory – a fight I planned to pick under a Democratic administration, but one we should pursue just as vigorously in the reactionary Trump era: decriminalization of marijuana. It is a civil rights cause that we should not postpone, but accelerate during these dark and difficult times.
For Democrats and progressives, the arguments have always been clear: generations of Americans, overwhelmingly people of color, have been imprisoned and starved of access to higher education, housing, and economic opportunities, and stripped of their inalienable right to vote thanks to non-violent acts. Billions of dollars in funding have been diverted from healthcare, jobs, and schools and have entrenched a prison-industrial complex built on a foundation of racism.
There are lots of laws that impact “people of color” more than colorless people (as if Caucasians are transparent). Shall we throw out murder laws because blacks commit that crime more often? The old and pernicious “disparate impact” doctrine never grows old in the minds of people who are always looking for victims and their victimizers.
Potheads are not known for marching, chanting, rioting, screaming, and murdering – the kind of activities Sharpton has fomented in his disgraceful career as a race agitator. He sparked an actual pogrom, an antisemitic riot in Crown Heights, Brooklyn in 1991, and following his denunciation of “white interlopers” (A Jewish-owned store) in Harlem, Freddie’s Fashion Mart was firebombed with 7 deaths.
Sharpton in Crown Heights, 1971
It's hard to imagine a pothead riot gaining momentum if police come equippied with a few cases of Doritos in place of tear gas.
The blood on Sharpton’s hands matters not to MSNBC, which continues to broadcast a program that he hosts, albeit early Sunday mornings when few rioters or pothead are awake.
But arguments like this are pointless: marijuana legalization is being legalized at a blinding pace. Currently, 29 states (and DC) have legalized marijuana, either for medical or recreational use.
What’s next for Shaprton? Giving women the vote?