Al Sharpton Angry With Callers Critical Of Barack Obama
Protecting Obama, Angry Sharpton Turns Against Audience
*** CAUGHT-ON-TAPE EXCLUSIVE ***
Faced with an increasing number of calls from African-American listeners angry with Barack Obama's performance, a frustrated Reverend Al Sharpton has begun to turn against his own radio audience in an attempt to diffuse it.
Until a week or so ago, Sharpton's radio callers remained seemingly euphoric over Obama's victory, rarely raising critical points. Almost with the flick of a switch, however, listeners are suddenly phoning the syndicated liberal talk host to express their concerns over unfulfilled promises and unclear results.
While polls still show Obama with as much as 97% approval among African-Americans, that doesn't mean there aren't significant concerns beneath the surface.
But these frustrated supporters, both men and women, have clearly phoned the wrong program. Rather than discuss their grievances, Sharpton has taken to angry outbursts, personal insults and threats. Only one, a woman named Fay from Detroit, seemed able to find him agreeable to her points.
Though Sharpton is known for attention-generating public confrontations, his radio program is normally quite the opposite, generally featuring polite conversation and often avoids controversy altogether.
In order to save Obama's strongest base of political support, is Sharpton willing to sacrifice his audience? You betcha.
First, here's the caught-on-tape clip capturing two of these callers, followed by transcripts of three. All have taken place over the past week on his syndicated radio program:
MARK ALLEN (CALLER) (48:22): Listen, man, I want to say something about the President’s (NAACP) speech. You know Al, you’ve run for office before and I can’t imagine after 30 years of us working together in the trenches that you’ve finally become Senator or whatever and I can’t talk to you no more, or you don’t respond the way that you do now to different people that call you from around the world. Even today, they bring you issues. You respond back with yes, no, maybe so. Or something. I think that we had this conversation several months ago.
Remember when Barack Obama first announced, he was going to develop this office on urban policy that was going to lift the people up on the bottom in urban areas, based upon what happens in Chicago.
Well, months later, Chicago's blowing up. Where’s the urban policy? New York, Detroit, all these areas where the NAACP has chapters, they’re dealing with record unemployment, rise in urban crime. And then as opposed to coming before all of these chapters and say look, here’s how my public policy is about to lift all your people up. That you could hold, be publicly accountable to. He gives one of those good, I told you so, do this kind of speech and walk away without saying any public policy by which the people can hold… (Sharpton interrupts)
SHARPTON: So you think there wasn’t enough policy in his speech?
ALLEN: I think he did one of those good Sunday morning, like some preachers say, all I gotta do is get up and speak for twenty minutes. I could go back to I could give a good feel-good session. But, when it’s over, I didn’t hear him say nothing about urban policy? Do you know right now Al, there are hundreds of millions of dollars that are still sitting in various levels of bureaucracy of people who got grass roots job programs to put people to work right now. The anti-crime program, ceasefire.
SHARPTON: Well see, I think where I do agree with you is there’s got to be some specifics that why we having the Conference in Atlanta following this up and some of his White House people will be there and we had on the head of urban policy the other day. I agree with you there, but I also question what kind of preachers you hang out with that all they want to do is make us feel good twenty minutes on Sunday morning. But I understand. I know some of the folks you hang out with in Chicago, so I’ll let that go, Mark. We’ll take a break. We’ll be right back.
SHARPTON: Let’s go to Sadiki in Boston. Sadeki?
SADIKI KAMBON: Rev. Sharpton, how you doing?
SHARPTON: Good how are you?
KAMBON: You and your assistant there, I hope you’re having a good day. What I was calling for is I know there has been a lot of talk in terms of whether or not the President talks down to black people. Let me just say, well, there’s a couple of things. Number one that in certain respects I think that we allow President Obama to patronize us.
Examples being that, like for instance, I think that the NAACP speech and others, nice speeches, but he didn’t say anything and in certain aspects of the words, basically you know critical of black people just like Father’s Day, not this Father’s Day, the one before it. On that Father’s Day he came up and criticized black men in particular about responsibility, which we need to deal with, but did not necessarily have to deal with then.
But for me, when I say patronize, it seems like black folk are still caught up in the euphoria of his election and it’s because he’s a black President that we allow things to happen. Say for instance, and that includes black leadership. Like for instance, the International Conference on Racism, his boycotting that.
And worst thing, we don’t agree with it. Now, do you think the Jews said would say we didn’t we don’t agree with you if he was to send a delegation? No, they told him you better not send a delegation.
Also on the issue of black farmers, where is the money for the black farmers in terms of the compensation for past wrongdoings? The black college issue, I heard you talking about the fact and this is the whole thing about patronizing that he appointed as special consultant to deal on the issue of black colleges. You don’t need a special consultant Mr. President. Put the $85 million dollars back there, not only on a temporary basis, but on a permanent basis.
SHARPTON (Addressing Sadiki's earlier call, as promised): Where I disagree with a lot of people and I have to say this, is that President Obama is doing what he promised. When some of us said during the election that we need to get straight on things about the black community, a lot of people called, no don’t do that, y’all just jealous, y’all player hating. Told us to shut up.
Now, he is doing exactly what he promised and y’all want us to go back now and make him do something he never promised. The reason that I’ve been so supportive of the President, he ain’t he’s not lied he never told no body he I got to apologize for slavery. He ain’t saying noting now he didn’t say last year. He never told y’all he was supporting reparations. He said he didn’t and y’all beat us down. ‘You gotta support the brother. What are you taking so long for, Sharpton?’
One lady from Chicago ran around lying that I cut a deal with Clinton. And I we went ahead and supported it. Now, when people ain’t getting what they did, what they wanted, its cause we couldn’t get a lot of this press in advance because they told us to shut up and let it go through. So, I mean blame yourselves, activists!
Thank you Fred. Let’s go to Facebook and Twitter.
Now, when I say blame yourselves that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hold him accountable because we should and it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stay on these issues, and we will. That’s one of the reason we’ve been on these things. But, I don’t want to hear it from some people because they were the same people criticizing me when I said ‘Mr. Obama I want to know this that and the other thing' in advance and made him come to our convention and deal with that. They accuse us of everything. Should we hold him accountable? Yes. Should we be critical? Yes.
But should some of y’all that jumped on us and told us don’t ask him no questions, shut up, I don’t want to hear from you! I want and I dare you to call my show because I’m going to tell you to your face, you didn’t want it. Some of y’all thought you were going to get your little deal, you didn’t get it and now you’re mad. Hello. Cause I know people who went publicly hollering and screaming, “where’s Sharpton? What’s the deal?’
FAY (female caller from Detroit): Okay, hi Rev Al Sharpton and Britney (producer / niece). My opinion is, the President is keeping to his campaign promises, but he’s not completing things. He’s taking on too many things at one time. For example, we need jobs. People need jobs. If you don’t have jobs, you can’t revenue money and you can’t bring in money. I just feel that even though he (Obama) gave money out to the different states, no jobs were created. People are still losing… (call disconnected)
SHARPTON: Now I think you have a legitimate concern. The one thing I think there’s a problem and I saw the President’s Budget Director on one of the shows last night, is that you know they’re not in this recovery, there’s not jobs that are being I think that’s a legitimate concern. So on that one I’ll give you that. I think Fay raises a very good concern.
From here, will Sharpton continue to take these calls, screen them out, or develop a new strategy altogether? Only one thing's for sure: there will be more.
FOR New England regional talk radio updates, see our other site.
Amazon orders originating with clicks here benefit The Radio Equalizer's ongoing operations.
Your PayPal contributions keep this site humming along. Thanks!