File this one under the heading THINGS WE ALREADY KNOW, right next to "water is wet" and "sunshine is warm." Al Sharpton is a hypocrite. And a hatemongering one at that.
When we were last visited by - or rather forced to endure - Reverend Al, he was once again snatching up the scepter of media-anointed spokesman for All Things Black. It was the heady days of the Affair Imus. The women of the Rutgers B-ball team had the kink of their hair and the level of their sexuality called into question by the I-Man. Al, as Al is wont to do, took it upon himself to act without invitation and speak for those who were perfectly capable of speaking for themselves (for those keeping score, that's hypocrisy number one).
Toward the tail end of that TV news cycle whipped storm, when it was pointed out to Al that a variation of Imus's rant could be heard with an exponent in heavy rotation within a certain variety of rap music, Al promised to go at the extreme ends of the music business with the same camera-whoring zeal with which he attacked Imus.
On the 12th it will have been a month since Imus was dropped by CBS.
Though I make a point of closely following the news, I was apparently otherwise occupied during the ten minutes Al was flogging his big Anti-misogyny in Music Campaign.
Or so I thought.
As it turns out, it was Al who was otherwise occupied. Rather than take on misogyny, the man who decried there was no place in the culture for hateful language...well, he went out and fresh-brewed some hate talk of his own.
During a debate held Monday at the New York Public Library with atheist author Christopher Hitchens, Al assessed Mormon Mitt Romney's presidential bid thusly: "As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways, so don't worry about that; that's a temporary situation."
"Those who really believe in God."
Lemme be real clear about something. There are no tears shed in the Ridley household over the loss of Don Imus from waves of either radio or TV. However, "nappy headed 'hos" sounds nearly genteel in the echo chamber of Al's religious fanaticism.
But his faith-based bashing is only part one in Al's (current) hypocrisy double header. Al said something hurtful and bigoted, and the way to man up to his mistake is merely to apologize.
But to man up to something, ya gotta be a man.
From Al there was no apology. Only spin.
See, Al - according to Al - wasn't really talking about Romney when he used the phrase "the one Mormon running for office." Al was actually contrasting himself with Christopher Hitchens.
I spoke with Chris Hitchens when I was co-hosting the MSNBC morning news today (in Imus's old slot, I sweetly say). Though Hitchens could be confused for many things, as a devout atheist a Mormon ain't one of them.
Having dangled an excuse so ludicrous in an attempt to give himself cover, it was clearly time for a mea culpa from the Rev.
From Al there was no apology. Only more spin.
Version 2.0 of "what I meant to say" straight from Al: "What I said was that we would defeat him (Romney), meaning as a Republican."
Hmm. 'Cause, you didn't say Republican. You said Mormon. Mormon's what you said, and Mormon and Republican aren't trippingly close linguistically.
So, Al, you know; having tried twice to excuse the inexcusable, there is always, finally, a good old fashioned "my bad" to be given. Say, "I'm sorry," and be done with it.
For the record, what I won't be doing right now: holding my breath. My lung capacity could in no way preserve enough air to wait for an apology that must take its place in line behind the apology due from the Tawana Brawley affair. And from the "I regret" having said "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house." And even that's back of the line from offering sorrow for referring to Jews as "diamond merchants."
More seriously, there are seven dead who still wait for an apology over Freddie's Fashion Mart and "white interlopers."
But you know what, Al? Forget it. Don't bother with any justifications. After the umpteenth cocktail of hate and hypocrisy you've served up, I would say to you exactly as you said to Don Imus: "What is any possible reason you could feel that this kind of statement could be just forgiven and overlooked?"