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, strategist and political analyst. She created Crewof42.com, a blog that covers the work of Black members of Congress, in 2009. She is a former Senate and House staffer and has had a very diverse career in politics and media. Ms. Burke appears regularly on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin on TVOne and has been seen on MSNBC. She holds a B.A. in History from The American University. E-mail anytime: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @Crewof42. Instagram: LVB325. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and have complete editorial independence from any Politic365 partners, sponsors, or advertisers. For additional information about Politic365, please visit http://politic365.com/about/.




 
 

 
cands1

April 7: A Ferguson (65% Black) Jennings (85% Black) Election Chart

Will people vote in seven days in Ferguson?  Next Tuesday, April 7, is a day that will indicate whether or not voting patterns will change for the better in the city of Ferguson.  After almost a year of marches, protests and ...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
pence1

Results: LGBT Lobby Demonstrates How Pressure Gets Results in Politics

How Economic Pressure Works.  Wanna watch how green politics on a blue agenda item works in a red state? Watch Indiana right now.  The tipping point is right now as we see Indiana Republicans turn against their own.  As you&...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
16491577129_5c4a442f19_k

Marco Rubio to enter presidential race on April 13

According to a new report from Bloomberg, Florida Senator Marco Rubio will announce that he is going to enter the race to be the Republican nominee for president on April 13: “Senator Marco Rubio plans to announce his cam...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 

Advertisement
 
senator6

6 Black U.S. Senators in 2017?

Six in 2017? Could it happen that there will be six African Americans sworn-in to the U.S. Senate in January 2017? (CA) Kamala Harris (IL) Robin Kelly (MD) Elijah Cummings/Donna Edwards (NV) Steve Horsford? (SC) Sen. Tim Scot...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
pence4

Indiana Governor Just Can’t Say “No” to LGBT Discrimination

In a failed attempt at misdirection, double talk and dodged questions, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence made the mistake of saying yes to a twenty minute interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.  What Pence failed to do is giv...
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>