Politic365

 
 


Culture

3:49pm March 28, 2013

Al Sharpton: Blacks Must Focus on Big Issues, Not Kardashian, Rihanna and Trivia

sharpton

“We are majoring in minor things in our community,” said Rev. Al Sharpton flatly.

scotus5

Supreme Court

On his daily radio talk show Keepin It Real with Al Sharpton, the omnipresent preacher kept it real. Really real. Shaprton dedicated three hours of his 22 hours of weekly broadcast time to a subject that has crossed many minds in the Black community. That is: that Blacks spend too much time focused on entertainment and other trivia than on important issues affecting their lives. Those issues include money, personal finance and voting.

“Anytime you have more people that know more about Kim Kardashon and Kanye West than their own kids there is something wrong with that,” Sharpton said. “I know many people who can give me more [info] about the latest on what they’re doing — about Kanye — than who their daughter is dating. That is sick,” he concluded.

“We’re more concerned with some movie or some artist or some ballgame and trivia… meanwhile we are facing some serious threats,” Sharpton said.

Sharpton is President of the National Action Network and will host their annual convention next week in New York City. 

Interestingly, an entertainer, James Brown, played a key role in Sharpton’s life. But unlike what is seen and heard in entertainment currently, the Godfather of Soul often carried a heavy political message in his work. That sensibility is now missing in the music Brown invented — rap and hip-hop — 25 years after social conscious artists such as Public Enemy hit their stride.

sharp1

Rev. Al Sharpton

But perhaps worse than that, Sharpton wondered out loud if the community now uses entertainment as an escape.

“James Brown had a song called “Escapism”, Sharpton noted. “Are we in escapism? And is it better to talk about Rosa Parks and Dr. King and back in the day,” instead of what we have to do now? he challenged the audience.

Sharpton’s observations may not be new, but they come at a particularly crucial time for Black Americans. Though the first African American president was elected four years ago in a major historic achievement, the legal and fiscal challenges are mounting and the issues require a level of attention that not even presidential power can fix.

The Big Rollback?  The Supreme Court is currently considering two cases that may likely be the end of affirmative action. Simultaneously, the Roberts Court is considering a case, Shelby County v. Holder, that could mean the end of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Three days ago, Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell continued a trend over 30 other states have already worked on: Enacting restrictive new voter ID laws that make it more difficult for people to vote. A rollback of legislative gains won during the civil rights era would appear to be well underway.

sayitloud

“Say it loud…”

Additionally, the largest wealth gap in 20 years between blacks and whites as a result of the foreclosure crisis is damaging the community. The Black unemployment rate, which in 2011 featured the highest Black unemployment rate in 28 years — 16.7 percent — has been a persistent problem as has the Black male dropout crisis.

But in a culture driven by celebrity, entertainment gossip, bling and distraction, there is an open question as to whether the type of political mobilization required to meet the challenges of those issues is possible. The entertainment and media industry thrive and profit from ads that celebrity culture drives.

“Do you think that African Americans have a realistic understanding of where we are in terms of today’s present conditions or challeges or are we in denial?” Sharpton asked his audience.

Many of Sharpton’s callers during the three hour show agreed. “I agree with you absolutely. We’re more focusing on the cars the house and clothes and our kids are running wild,” said Mark in Cleveland.

“We’re the only ones that fight one time and think it’s over — no, you fight and you keep fighting until you maintain that,” Sharpton concluded.



About the Author

Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is a writer and political analyst. She created the blog Crewof42, a blog that covers African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke appears regularly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin and on WHUR, WURD, and WVON. Ms. Burke has enjoyed employment at USAToday.com and ABC News. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. E-mail anytime: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @Crewof42




 
 

 
Screen Shot 2014-11-23 at 3.55.30 PM

Activists gear up for Dec. 3 protests to highlight US role in funding Mexican security forces

As activists in Mexico have been protesting for weeks to draw attention to the 43 missing students from the Mexican state of Guerrero, their counterparts here in the United States are gearing up for an action on December 3 to d...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 
 
marion1

Marion Barry (1936-2014) and Summer Jobs

From the suites to the streets. Early this morning former Washington, D.C. Mayor and current Ward 8 Councilman Marion Barry died.   In an age of gridlock where many members of Congress brag about flying back and fourth from ho...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
7-ups2A-1024x762

A Powerful Week for the Black Caucus

SEVEN UP. It was a fascinating week for the Congressional Black Caucus.  Perhaps one of their best days since four Black Caucus members became Committee Chairman in January 2009. The week started with New Jersey Rep. Frank Pa...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 

Advertisement
 
2014-11-20_15-19-54

iAmerica.org launches as a resource for administrative relief

As President Obama announces his plan to provide administrative relief to millions of undocumented immigrants this evening, organizations are gearing up for an influx of questions from those who might be eligible for relief fro...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 
 
webb3

2016 Campaign Starts With Jim Webb’s Walk Into Inner Cities, Focus on White Poverty

Former Senator Jim Webb, a Democrat from Virginia, launched his campaign for President late last night via an e-mail and a video.  Webb is establishing a exploratory committee that is likely to become a full presidential campa...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 




One Comment


  1. I’velearn some good stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how so much effort you put to make the sort of magnificent
    informative site.

    Feeel free to visit my web page; legal



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>