Sharpton is no Guardian of God's Mercy

Al Sharpton did not miss the boat when he tore into Don Imus for his scurrilous "nappy headed hos" comment about the Rutgers women's basketball team. He was right to call out Imus on that one, but Sharpton's message wasn't about the Gospel but about Al Sharpton. He boarded his own political craft.

Imus's comment was horrible and stupid. To repeat it and talk about it seems to be a perverse way of keeping it alive. Over the past few days, I have tried to imagine what could have happened if Sharpton had responded to Imus's April 4 comment with the Gospel. Think of what he could have accomplished as a man of the cloth in the middle of Holy Week.

Imagine if Sharpton had publicly forgiven Don Imus in the name of the God whose love he pretends to minister. There is power in that love, which is not to say control. The power is the freedom to do, give, love, and be more in every moment of your life. It is a mighty wind that blows the cobwebs out of your soul and even out of your vocabulary.

It is a love that lifts up all that is good and beautiful to the exclusion of the ugly and flawed.

God got the short end of the stick on this one.

Perhaps, though, these things serve a greater purpose if we stop to consider the quality of our mercy--or the lack of it.

Imus will receive a lot of flak--and he should--while he rakes in millions for charity. The Lady Knights will receive plenty of public support--and they should. Sharpton will find himself adrift in a sea of the same old rhetoric.

Ministering the Gospel would have broken the logjam of same-old, same-old. The very persons who need to be led out of bigotry and racism turned off from Sharpton a long time ago. Kindness in the form of open-armed Easter mercy might make a difference. Maybe giving over being right in favor of being kind will happen someday--when kindness becomes politically opportune.

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the human heart what God has prepared for those who love him” (I Corinthians 2:9).

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  1. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Very accurate, Sandy. It seems that each person who tags onto this mess simply angers me anew. Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Joe Lieberman who will still appear on the show, if it stays on the air. Chris Dodd hasn't decided what to do because he hasn't determined how the wind blows. At least MSNBC dumped Imus. But you're right: Sharpton missed the boat. Again.

  2. I suppose on some level it's the sign of the health of a nation that we can reel in a situation that is wrong or inappropriate. I can't help wondering which of the players in this situation isn't using it for personal gain. It doesn't take long before things to get savage.

  3. Anonymous8:01 PM

    The people going after Imus are every bit the hate mongers they accuse him of being.


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