What if Al Sharpton jumped in front of the Vigilance Parade instead of the Racism Parade?  Would the world follow?   Find out.


Friday--February 7, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 513
Al Sharpton:  Beast of Racial Terror Or Presidential Contender?
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Feb. 7--Critics say Reverend Al Sharpton is a Beast of Racial Terror.  Others claim he is a viable candidate for President of the United States.
       In either case, he's a Voice.

The Sylvia and Danny Kaye Auditorium at Hunter College

      In fact, for many, he's the Black Voice of America.
      My wife and I went to see Reverend Sharpton speak last night at Hunter College in Manhattan.   It wasn't very crowded so we were able to secure front-row seats.  I'm a white Republican Conservative by political nature from Orange County, California, one of America's conservative hot beds.   But, I'm also a TerrorHunter, and I force myself to shed as much of my political skin as humanely possible so I can look at issues without tainted glasses--a feat not easy for anyone.

Reverend Al Sharpton responding to question from Karen Hunter

       My first impression of Al Sharpton is that he is a "racial terrorist," a guy who likes to foment angst between blacks and whites so he might gain national attention, shifting the spotlight away from the causes he trumpets onto his James Brown hairstyle and his virulent attacks on the "white world" seeking to oppress the "black world."
       My prejudice against Sharpton pops up in many ways I have to guard against.  First, I think of the definition of leadership I once heard:  "Leadership is finding out which direction everyone is going and running to the front of parade and leading it."
       For the most part, I see Sharpton through the foggy lenses of being a "racial opportunist" versus a Martin Luther King statesman.  Opportunists are those who leap into the spotlight to jimmy their agenda up the flagpole at the expense of those they champion.
      Statesmen of the Martin Luther King ilk are those who promote Vigilance for the Children's Children's Children, more concerned with what is right for all in the long run than what is just for the few in the short run.
      Sharpton's background doesn't lend him much credibility in the statesman arena.
      His "reverendship" was given to him when he was ten years old.  He started preaching from the Pentecostal pulpit when he was four years old, and six years later was "ordained."   He was the star "child" preacher on tour with famed gospel singer Mahalia Jackson.
      Jessie Jackson appointed him youth director for Operation Breadbasket in 1969, an organization that boycotted and demonstrated against businesses that were not hiring blacks.

January 15, 1981 James Brown took Al Sharpton to get his hair done like his and made Sharpton vow to keep it like that until he died.

Carefully coiffed Reverend Al Sharpton         'ala James Brown'

     In 1973 Sharpton became touring manager for rock-and-roll icon, James Brown, serving in that capacity until the early 80's when he began to press his foot down on the racial protest accelerator.  
      Sharpton started to ignite the racial protest radar in 1986 when he organized demonstrations in the aftermath of the Howard Beach incident, in which a crowd of whites chased a black man named Michael Griffiths onto a highway.  Griffiths was struck and killed by a vehicle.
       Two years later he stirred the racial pot by championing the cause of Tawana Brawley, a black teenager who claimed she had been abducted and raped by a gang of whites.  The grand jury found the incident was but a hoax.  The press pigeonholed Sharpton as a "racial opportunist."
       He continued to rail against "white oppression," and in 1991 was stabbed in the chest by a white man as he was preparing to lead a protest march in Bensonhurst following a black youth being attacked by a white mob.
       In 1997 he led demonstrations against police brutality in following the torture of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.
       After the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo by the NYPD, newly elected Mayor Giuliani sought a meeting with the victim's mother to express his sorrow and defuse racial tensions in the city.   Sharpton interceded and blocked the mayor from meeting with her, fueling the fires of dissent between the black and white community.
       Heather MacDonald, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, reported Sharpton told black church leaders to deny Mayor Giuliani access to the pulpits so he could communicate with New York City's black community.
MacDonald stated in her article:  "All this adds up to more business for the reverend and more trouble for the police.   The antipolice animus Mr. Sharpton foments makes public safety and the successful prosecution of crime more difficult to achieve.

Jackson kibitzing with Sharpton

        Politically, Sharpton ran unsuccessfully in the 1992 and 1994 Democratic primaries for the U.S. Senate from New York.  In 1997 he won 32 percent of the Democratic votes for mayor of New York City.
       Now, he's on the stump tour to collect votes for a Presidential bid, and, to sell his new book, "Al On America," authored by Sharpton and Karen Hunter, a newspaper columnist and co-author of "Queen Latifah."
       His strategy for becoming the 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate is, according to his book:  "I am running to take out the DLC, which I call the Democratic Leisure Class, because that's who it serves--the leisure class and the wealthy."
       In October 2001, Sharpton went to Israel to repair divisions between the Black and Jewish Communities.  He met with Israeli leaders and then, to the surprise and anger of the Israeli community, met with Yassar Arafat.
       Recently, he served a 90-day sentence for protesting the U.S. Navy's practice bombing rights on the island of
Vieques in Puerto Rico.

US Navy Security guard yells at Reverend Sharpton during his arrest for entering US Navy lands on May 1, 2001 on Vieques, Puerto Rico

      To his critics he says, " They underestimate my power.  They ignore I got 32 percent of the votes in New York--and a bunch of those votes had to be white votes."
       Last night, he was tossed softball questions by Karen Hunter who interviewed him on stage.   The team's purpose was to sell books, which were displayed in the lobby of the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Theater on the Hunter College campus where his interview was conducted before an audience that was approximately 60 percent white and 40 percent black.
       Sharpton is entertaining, of  that there is no doubt.
       The first question Ms. Hunter asked was about his hair.  Sharpton skillfully orated that James Brown had taught him how to do his hair, and he planned on keeping it that way even if elected President.
       I was hoping that Sharpton might use the word "Vigilance" in his reply to Ms. Hunter's questions, plus those written by audience members.   Unfortunately, he stuck to the race issue in America, his main campaign and his book's theme.  
       I did my best to keep an open mind, as hard as it was to fight off my own Beast of Terror who wanted me to write off Sharpton as an angry Voice in the wind, an egotistical opportunist who leaps out in front of the madding crowd to strut before television cameras in hopes his stock value might elevate.
        Sharpton lambasted President Bush on the affirmative action issue, as well as others, claiming that President Bush had been the recipient of "educational preferences" because of his father's influence.  He cited how President Bush got "points" when he applied to the college that secured his acceptance.  He said there wasn't any difference between what Bush used to propel himself into Yale and giving minorities bonus points on their college applications.
        I found myself capturing Sharpton's hands with my camera as he spoke.   His constant gesticulations with fingers pointing and clasping, his gestures as he answered the questions, were symphonic.   He reminded me of an orchestra leader signaling to the audience his emotional temperature through his waving digits.
       Go to "Hands of Sharpton Picture Page"  for a composite of his hand gestures, a salute to his skill at keeping an audience riveted not necessarily to his lips or the words passing over them, but to his histrionical manner of expressing them.
       I was glad I attended his talk.
       Even though he was as narrow in his viewpoint as those who stand opposite him, he represented the Vigilant Principle of Action.   He was certainly not Complacent.
       Armchair critics of Reverend Sharpton may be quick to depreciate his words and actions as self-serving egotism, an attempt to walk in the shadow of great black leaders such as Martin Luther King.    There was little doubt his message was not intended to sweep a mixed audience off their feet, but rather was targeted to excite black and minority response.    He kept the fences clear between "white and black" America, and never attempted to straddle them.   At least he was honest in that respect.
       I find it, however, discouraging that those who represent the disenfranchised don't rise above the obvious, worn pulpits of racism.    It seems that Mr. Sharpton could easily move himself into another arena of greater scope and deeper keel were he to address the Beast of Terror that exists just below skin color, below religious preference, underneath cultural variation and ethnic DMZ's.
       The true oppressed are those who live in the shadow of the Beast of Terror--the blacks, browns, whites, yellows who are often not aware that roiling beneath their flesh, burrowed in the marrow of their being, is Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
        These three Triads of Terrorism have little to do with race, color, or creed.  They are equal opportunity "Demons of Terror," striking all humanity with equal force--the rich and poor, the privileged and underprivileged

The Triads of Terrorism are equal opportunity "Demons of Terror"

        A woman recently rammed her car repeatedly into her husband, smashing him against a brick wall in a parking garage while her stepdaughter sat next to her.    The rage and anger unleashed within her was as primal as a Klu Klux Klan Pit Bull trained to attack blacks on sight.
        The foster care system that is so negligent it allows children to be chained to beds, or locked in basements for days, certainly suggests a horrific Beast of Terror that uses the young and innocent as slaves of adult Terror, victims of the negligence as Parents of Vigilance.
        I would think Al Sharpton might have a giant Voice in American and world politics were he to use his power of Voice and purpose to elevate human attention away from the issues of racism and aim his sights to the Beast of Terror, the one who stalks us all when we look in the mirror and feel the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency of unworthiness, of being less than, of being victims.
        I thought that perhaps had Mr. Sharpton's book been titled, "Al On Vigilance In America and the World," he might have a much broader readership and certainly a far more global appeal.   I think he forgets we are slaves first to the Beast of Terror, and secondly to the societies and cultures in which we exist.   We cannot rid ourselves of prejudice and bigotry from without until we have attacked it within.
       Sharpton has a magical way of making us laugh at the enemy.   Last night, I was captivated by Sharpton's persona.  He had no righteous airs other than his position that the problem was about black versus white.   While I don't go there, I understand how easy it is to get stuck in the quagmire of racism as the root of all evil.  It sells papers.  It generates funding.  It attracts people to the choir.

Reverend Sharpton signing his book "Al on America"

      But true racism is nothing more than the pustules of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency popping out on the surface of the skin.  The real virus, Terrorism, still roams through the blood stream.   Healing a pustule here and a pustule there does not get to the core of racism.   It does not do anything than disappoint those who believe because this sore is gone all future sores will vanish also.   Everyone knows that isn't true. Racism will exist ad infinitum.  It's part of human nature.
       I always think of Star Trek Voyager when I think of racism.  I think of the Klingons.  I think of how, in the future, we're hurling through unknown space trying to rid ourselves of our prejudice and bigotry as we examine the stars and galaxies.   I am not suggesting we drop the issue of racism, but rather we adjust racism from being the primary platform of dissent and turn our attention to its mother and father, its grandparents--Terrorism.
       Racism has always been the outcropping of human Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.  When one group righteously believes itself better than another, or, for that matter, lesser than another, racism roams free.  Racism isn't just about looking down on others with disdain, it also includes looking up with envy and angst.

Vigilance is wholly colorblind

     Vigilance is color blind.  It is also economically and culturally blind.  It is blind to religion and creed.  
      It sees all children of one color, one race, one creed--innocent, vulnerable, in need of protection not from those who might attempt to oppress it from without, but from those demons of pride, anger, greed, lust, envy, gluttony and sloth that wish to attack it from within.
      Al Sharpton could be a powerful Voice of Vigilance a harbinger of Global Sentinels of Vigilance who, rather than attack the differences between others, extol the commonality and the duty to become Parents of Vigilance for the security of the Children's Children's Children.
      If he were to follow his history of leaping out in front of causes and capturing the limelight, this would be a great opportunity for him to champion the Voice of Vigilance.   Instead of lighting the fires of racism, he could turn their power into fuel for destroying racism by reminding all those who claim to be victims of it, that racism is just a pimple on a the Beast of Terror's buttock, just a signpost of how human Complacency allows the Beast to roam the streets of humanity unleashed and unfettered because we attack the symptoms of racism, not the causes.
      Racism is all about one's Fear, Intimidation and Complacency conspiring in the form of skin color or ethnicity to create a mask denying one group over another equal rights as a human being.    To strip that mask's skin back, we need to see beyond the racism and prejudice.   The only way humans can shed their preconceived notions of human difference is through the innocence of children.
      A room full of small, beautiful babies of all shapes, sizes, colors represent not the cleavages of human differences, but instead, their unanimity.

Differences between of children coalesce and become one body of Innocence

      Vigilance is the telescope we use to see into the future.  If we are following the Vigilance Formula, we face Fear with Courage, Intimidation with Conviction and Complacency with Right Actions to the benefit of the Children's Children's Children.
       Looking out three generations, the differences between all children coalesce.  They become one body of Innocence, one nursery guarded by Sentinels of Vigilance who have learned that Terrorism is not the result of despots, but the result of human Parental Negligence.  If we feed our children more Fear than Courage, more Intimidation than Conviction and more Complacency than Right Actions for the future of the Children, they will be Terrorists--either against themselves or others.
      They will ultimately become "victims of oppression," for the Beast of Terror Within will gnaw their equality among all to the bone and spit them out on a pile of regurgitated waste humans have hurled for centuries in their quest to protect their differences rather than expand their universalities.
      All humans enjoy equal doses of Courage, Fear, Conviction, Intimidation, Right Actions and Complacency.  But because we have Free Will, we can exercise One Percent more Courage than Fear, One Percent more Conviction than Intimidation, and One Percent more Right Action than Complacency.  And, if we focus that One Percent More Energy on protecting our Children from the Beast of Terror's wrath, the world will change.

There is a Child of Innocence in all of us

      Humans will shed the scales that blind them when they see color, or creed, or religion, or economic, or cultural differences.   These will only become shrouds covering the Soul of Innocence.   For when one human sees the Child of Vigilance in another human, all the masks melt.  
       And if one human is a Parent or Citizen of Vigilance, subscribing to the Pledge of Vigilance and Principles of Vigilance, and he or she interacts with another Parent or Citizen of Vigilance, each knows the kinship of the other.    It is no longer necessary under the Vigilance Formula that blacks alone are "brothers" and "sisters," or that whites alone are "brothers" and "sisters," or that yellows and browns are "brothers" and "sisters."   What is necessary is that each knows within the other is a Beast of Terror, and that each knows also within the other is a Parent of Vigilance, armed with the Sword and Shield of Vigilance to ward off the Beast's demand that each see the differences not the similarity, that each work out the problems of interaction not to sate selfish, immediate gains, but to protect the future of the Children's Children's Children to whom they are duty bound both by Nature and God.

 All races are duty bound by Nature and God to protect the future of the Children's Children's Children

     Yes, Reverend Sharpton could become far more important than the President of the United States were he to change slightly his attack on racism.   He could point not to the white community as the "source of evil and oppression," but shift his target to the true and great enemy of all--the Beast of Terror.
      Yes, if Al Sharpton were to jump in the front of the Vigilance Parade, who knows where it would lead?
      And you, the reader?  You can jump in front of the parade rather than waiting for Al or anyone else to ponder if it is worth it or not.
      You can be there in the stroke of a pen. Just download the Pledge of Vigilance and sign it...and live by it.


                                      (Go To "Hands Of Sharpton" Picture Page)

Feb 6.--CBS's Beast Of Terror Raises Stench

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