12 May 2007 Project 21 Press Release: Sharpton Must Apologize; Weeks After Imus Crusade, Sharpton Shows Intolerance of His Own
Black activists representing the Project 21 leadership network are calling upon the Reverend Al Sharpton to acknowledge and apologize for his inappropriate and insensitive remarks directed at the Mormon faith. The particular shame of Sharpton making such a statement, Project 21 members say, is compounded by the fact that he recently led the movement that forced the firing of radio shock jock Don Imus for insensitive on-air racial comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.
“Reverend Sharpton would like to portray himself as a man of faith and a teacher of tolerance, but his recent bigoted attack upon Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith is just another example of the intolerant and destructive mindset that is inherent among far too many liberals these days,” said Project 21 member Kevin Martin.
On May 7, during a debate with noted atheist and writer Christopher Hitchens at the New York Public Library headquarters, Reverend Sharpton said this about Romney: “As for the 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.” Romney called Sharpton’s comment “bigoted,” and Romney spokesman Kevin Madden told CNN: “It is terribly disheartening and disappointing to hear Reverend Sharpton offer such appalling comments about a fellow American’s faith.”
Sharpton has since said he meant “other believers, not atheists, would vote against Mr. Romney for purely political reasons.” A house editorial in The Washington Times, disputes Sharpton’s explanation, noting that his phrase “those who believe in God” was obviously directed at Romney because the qualifying term “really” would not need to be used when referring to an atheist such as Hitchens.
“Last month, Sharpton was the one demanding that Don Imus be fired for calling the Rutgers women’s basketball team ‘nappy-headed hos.’ Imus was fired. Now, Shaprton is entrapped by his own words – saying something people are finding equally as bigoted – but he is saying the words have been taken out of context. Not so fast,” added Project 21’s Martin. “Reverend Sharpton is proving himself to be a hypocrite in demanding accountability from others while making excuses for his own despicable work as a political attack dog for the far political left.”
“It seems that Al Sharpton has seen fit to foolishly invite upon himself criticism for doing precisely that which he castigated Don Imus for,” said Project 21 chairman Mychal Massie.
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or [email protected], or visit Project 21’s website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.