Recently, Reverend Al Sharpton, a leading Black American politician and a television host, expanded to ten the available formats and editions of his book, “Rise Up” including Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback, and CD.
This activism in publishing a book was part of Sharpton’s decades-old political, racial and media activism. Sharpton (born in 1954) has been involved in almost every major racial event during the last 30 years. He founded the National Action Network; was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination; established his own radio talk show, “Keepin' It Real”; and hosts a weekly program, “PoliticsNation,” on the MSNBC television network.
After last year's killing of Black George Floyd by a White policeman in Minnesota, and the increasing influence of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, Sharpton’s activism reached a higher level as he expanded the formats and editions of his book, “Rise Up," and announced he is writing another book, titled “Righteous Troublemakers," apparently including himself.
In “Rise Up,” Sharpton heaped his criticism on former president Donald Trump, calling him a “racist,” but recalled their long cordial relations when both were leading New York politicians by the beginning of the 2000’s. Trump, not to be out-done, in the aftermath of Floyd’s killing said that Sharpton “hates Whites,” thus reflecting a widely-held opinion that Sharpton, particularly after the killing of Floyd, is embarking on dividing Americans according to their skin color.
But Sharpton’s preoccupation with skin color was old.
In 1994, he told students at a dominantly Black university: "White folks were in the caves while we were building Pharaohs (Black) empires … We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and the Greeks … When some crackers (Whites) tell you, 'My parents’ blood goes back to the Mayflower (European immigrants’ ship)’, you better hold your pocket. That isn’t nothing to be proud of; that means their forefathers were crooks."
He also attacked Black leaders who joined the Republican Party, and attacked Black conservative Clarence Thomas, member of the US Supreme Court, using terms like "cocktail-sip Negroes" and "yellow niggers.”
Recently, his preoccupation with skin color was shown when he criticized his close ally President Joe Biden for deporting thousands of Haitians (Blacks) to Haiti, after they entered the US illegally through the Mexican border. When he recently travelled to the border to express his support for the Haitians, he was not received well by those who accuse him of injecting his skin color preoccupation into US immigration policies.
Conservative White TV host Laura Ingraham accused him of the "BLM-ification of the border,” in reference to extremism inside the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
She added: "For more than two decades, a small group of us warned Republicans about doing any immigration deal with a Democrat Party that doesn’t believe in border enforcement … (But) we were called xenophobic and anti-immigrants … But we were right.”
Referring to Sharpton’s controversial visit to the border in support of the Haitians, she asked: “Does that mean any Black or Brown-skinned person should be sent to the front of the line for legal immigration processes too?”
But Sharpton, in his book, his TV show, his radio show, and his attendance of Blacks' gatherings and protests, continued his “Rise Up.”
Book: “Rise Up: Confronting A Country at Crossroads”
Author: Al Sharpton
Publisher: Hanover Square, New York
Print Pages: 214