It is hard to believe that Jewish leaders are giving Al Sharpton a pass because he is “accepting criticism” for the role he played in the Crown Heights riots (“Sharpton-De Blasio Ties,” Jan. 24). His remarks were made in an attempt to clean up his image when MSNBC announced the inaugural of his own talk show.
This is a man whose rhetoric sparked the Freddie’s Fashion Mart fire in Harlem in which several customers were killed, referred to “Jewish diamond merchants” during the Crown Heights riots, and knowingly lied to authorities and was convicted of defamation in the Tawana Brawley rape case. His power and influence derive not from moral leadership but by the implicit threat that he will play the race card if he is not given his due respect. It is shameful that anyone would abet the rehabilitation of this man.