The Rev. Al Sharpton has come a long way since the dark era in which he pursued the Tawana Brawley rape accusation hoax.
Beginning soon after the death of Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson, Mo. police officer and in the days that followed, Sharpton pleaded for calm, urging those who were outraged over the killing not to engage in violence or looting, appropriately noting that these actions were counterproductive and denigrated Brown’s memory. At Brown’s funeral, Sharpton noted that the police are respected, but that the bad apples in law enforcement should be dealt with appropriately. He also used the opportunity to condemn the ruinous black-on-black violence that infests the nation, calling for outrage over “our disrespect for each other.”
In the past, I would not have expected to ever say that I agree with everything Al Sharpton has said and done, but in the matter of Michael Brown’s death, I must commend him. He has demonstrated leadership, maturity, character, and decency, striking just the right notes. I believe that the greatest civil rights leader of all time, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., would be proud.
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper Saint Clair