Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Newsbusters, Forgiveness, and Hypocrisy

So many shows tend to be shoutfests which don't interest me, so I don't watch Hardball. According to Newsbusters, however, it had an interesting interview with Al Sharpton.

David Gregory: "Let me ask you a question based on your standing in the community, as a politician, as a former candidate for the presidency. Do you believe in redemption?"

Al Sharpton: "Oh, absolutely. I think that there has to be redemption, as I said this morning on the Today show. A man of a different race, a white man, stabbed me once for leading a nonviolent march. I not only forgave him, I went to jail and met with him and forgave him. But I didn't say he shouldn't pay for the crime. There's a difference between a redemption and amnesty. A lot of people are not talking about redemption. They're talking about amnesty."

Gregory: "But in your case, as critics would point out, you didn't go as far as Imus in a controversy that had to do with you and the Tawana Brawley case, a woman who a court-"

Sharpton: "Nor did I castigate a whole race of people-"

Gregory: "I'm sorry, if I could, sir, could I just-"

Sharpton: "Nor did I castigate a whole race of people-"

Gregory: "I just want to finish the question. You didn't go as far as apologizing to the people who you hurt through that incident. This was, the courts have concluded, a hoax, accusations against whites by a young black woman about a race-based assault. A court ordered you to pay restitution for a defamation suit against people whose reputation you hurt. You didn't apologize for that."

Sharpton: "And I still don't apologize. This was a case, as you said, of a young lady accusing people of doing something [to] her. To compare that to a man castigating a whole race. Nobody came to him like this young lady came to me. He was not talking about did he believe in a case. The extremes people will go to compare an individual case, a civil case that, when the courts ruled-"

Gregory: "Right. I'm not, but, Reverend, I'm not comparing the cases. I just want to ask the question."

Sharpton: "Wait a minute, you wanted me to let you ask it. Let me answer it."

Gregory: "Okay."

Sharpton: "And to compare that shows how far people will reach. This man was not talking about a specific case that was information somebody gave him, whether you believe the information or not. This man was talking about a race of people and a sex of people. There is absolutely no comparison. And when the courts ruled against us, we paid that. That case happened 20 years ago. We're not talking about that. What you're talking about is maligning a race and him not having to pay for it."

Gregory: "Well, I'm not talking about that. The question has to do with redemption-"

Sharpton: "Oh, I thought you were the one talking. Maybe somebody else-"

Gregory: "No, I don't think that's fair to talk about that. I'm talking about amnesty. I'm asking a question about your belief in redemption and people whose reputations you hurt, people that you hurt, you haven't apologized for, and you have been a strong person in the middle of this debate."

Sharpton: "But if I felt, if I felt, if I believed, if I believed that young lady was telling the truth, as I do, then what am I apologizing for? And how do you compare that to a man condemning a whole race? Did I go and condemn a whole race of people? Or did we say we believe this young lady's statement about an individual. I don't know how you even compare the two."

In other words, it's OK to malign individuals. Glad that's straight.


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