The New York Post published a story Sunday alleging that corporations routinely pay Al Sharpton to remain silent and not cry “racism” against them.
“Want to influence a casino bid? Polish your corporate image? Not be labeled a racist? Then you need to pay Al Sharpton,” the story begins.
According to the report, the money goes to Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) and in return, the companies get “the reverend’s supposed sway in the black community or, more often, his silence.”
The Post has linked a meeting between Sharpton and Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal to be one such example of buying Sharpton’s support. Based on the recently hacked Sony e-mails, Pascal and her team were said to be “shaking in their boots” in fear that her unintentionally revealed, racially charged comments against President Obama may have angered the civil rights leader. The Post said Pascal and Sharpton forged a “working group” with the sole intent of uncovering racial bias in Hollywood.
Sharpton informed The Post that no money was exchanged nor was their any talk of money during the meeting. It is noted that this is exactly the “typical Sharpton shakedown” critics say he employs — “Pay him cash or power, and you buy his support or silence.”
A quote by the chairman of a Virginia-based watchdog group is included in the report:
Al Sharpton has enriched himself and NAN for years by threatening companies with bad publicity if they didn’t come to terms with him. Put simply, Sharpton specializes in shakedowns.
Another source, one noted to have worked directly with Sharpton, said once he is on board, “he plays the race card all the way through.” “He just keeps asking for more and more money,” the source added.
Other examples of corporations contributing to Sharpton’s National Action Network include McDonald’s, Verizon, Walmart, Macy’s, Pfizer, and AT&T. Also amongst the list of contributors are some major automobile manufacturers.
One specific instance involved General Motors, which for six years didn’t answer NAN’s requests for donations. A spokesman told The Post that in 2006, Sharpton threatened a boycott of GM and began picketing outside their headquarters when the company decided to close down an African-American-owned dealership. Then in 2007 and 2008, after NAN received checks for $5,000 in both years, the picketers were sent elsewhere.
In another instance, this time in 2003, Honda’s American branch was targeted by Sharpton because it wasn’t hiring enough blacks for management positions. Sharpton wrote to them:
We support those that support us. We cannot be silent while African-Americans spend hard-earned dollars with a company that does not hire, promote or do business with us in a statistically significant manner.
But once Honda met with Sharpton and began sponsoring NAN events, the pressure was relieved.
In one final instance, The Post recalled Sharpton being hired on as an adviser to Pepsi after he threatened them with a consumer boycott in 1998 because their ads didn’t feature black people. His silence was bought for the low, low price of $25,000 per year through 2007, when he left the position.
Al’s Bait Shop — open for business.