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‘Money, or Mob?’ Al Sharpton and The Art of the Shakedown

21st Century Wire
SPECIAL REPORT

It’s as simple as ‘Trick or Treat’...

When you talk about the ‘Reverend’ (does he actually have a degree  in divinity?) Al Sharpton and the Art of the Shakedown, some readers will have trouble keeping up, and that’s understandable.

Not everyone rubs elbows with street creatures and short-con men, but anyone who’s spent time or done business on the street will know how it works.

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It’s a bit like your standard protection racket, where unsuspecting victims are ‘shaken down’ for money.

Most people know how that works: the neighborhood wiseguy gives the local reprobate kids free cigarettes and a couple of quarters before sending them around the neighborhood breaking windows of shops who aren’t ‘contributing’ to the local boss. Next, they send around their brother who replaces glass windows. If that works, then they will further vandalize the shop and another cousin is sent by to offer ‘protection’ to the business. “Pay me $500 every week and we’ll make sure no one gives you any trouble, after all – we own this neighborhood”.

What some might just consider as shameless political opportunism, is much more than that. Any activist, or community organizer campaign can be lucrative if you know how to ‘work it’, and ‘black activism’ is no different. Sharpton comes from a long and established line of ‘poverty pimps‘ – men and women who have sought to profit from the poorest corners of their own neighborhoods – maximizing their personal capital gains by reminding ‘their own’ of just how bad their lot is, and telling them who else is to blame for whatever perceived ills may have fallen upon them, in this life, the last, and the next (it’s a very thorough sales pitch).

What Al Sharpton is allowed to do from his new pulpit of respectability on MSNBC, or through his cash cow, National Action Network (NAN) touting the mob’s favorite threat, ‘No Justice, No Peace’ (unless he gets paid) is really no different, and as the New York Post recently points out – it’s nothing short of extortion. In their article entitled, “How Sharpton gets paid to not cry ‘racism’ at corporations”, journalists Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein describe how Sharpton purposefully inserts himself into any possible situation that might contain racial overtones, or even undertones, positioning himself in front of various unwitting potential shakedown. He extracts his treasure in the form of donations and “consultancy fees”, usually payment for instructions on how not to fall foul of his politically correct and racially-charged mobs.

New-Jack-City
GEE MONEY: Sharpton plays the role of poverty pimp depicted in the classic film New Jack City (Image: Warner Bros)

He’s been doing it for years. Whether it’s inciting looting, street rioting and killings at Freddy’s Fashion Mart in New York City, whipping-up mob retaliation over false accusations against police in the Tawana Brawley fake rape case, stiring up race mobs over Trayvon Martin in Florida, promoting Dorian Johnson’s lie in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, or lobbying to get Barack Obama’s head on to Mount Rushmore – Sharpton is there, running one shakedown or another.

Even political commentators on the right-wing of US media understand that Sharpton is a shakedown artist, but even they do not fully grasp the situation, thinking that the White House has invited Sharpton into its sacred walls, when in fact it’s the opposite – Sharpton invited himself. Both Barack Obama and Eric Holder fear Al Sharpton more than a leak at Man’s Country Bath House. The word on Pennsylvania Ave is that the White House made the call to the heads at MSNBC telling them to give Sharpton (who refers to the President as ‘His Excellency’) his current job hosting PoliticsNation – just to keep him ‘off the streets’. So in order to avoid a future shakedown – they submitted to his MSNBC shakedown. A double-reverse shakedown. Amazing.

Here is just one of many scams run by Obama’s ‘advisor’ Sharpton: “In 2008, Plainfield Asset Management, a Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund, made a $500,000 contribution to New York nonprofit Education Reform Now. That money was immediately funneled to the National Action Network. The donation raised eyebrows. Although the money was ostensibly to support NAN’s efforts to bring “educational equality,” it also came at a time that Plainfield was trying to get a lucrative gambling deal in New York.” When you read the whole report, it actually gets much worse.

How does he do it? Al Sharpton commands a sizable race mob and will threaten to unleash this force upon anyone who rebuffs his overtures. Just like on the streets in the protection racket game – if they are weak, they will submit to the shakedown – Obama and Holder are typical Sharpton appeasers (and opportunists, eager to gain political traction themselves) here, both are weak, and thus, Sharpton dictates the terms of any arrangement taking place on what he sees as his (poverty pimp)  turf. This is why Sanford, Ferguson and NYC were each blown-up into a race wars, and why the White House and the DOJ both attached themselves to cases which would otherwise be local cases. Obama fears the backlash of the black community, and Al Sharpton never misses an opportunity to remind the President of this fact.

Until the double cop revenge killing which left two NYPD officers dead before Christmas, Sharpton’s confidence was at an all-time high, but when black vigilante lunatic activist Ismaaiyl Brinsley pulled his trigger on Dec 20, 2014, Sharpton’s inflated shakedown bubble was popped.

Suddenly, #ICantBreathe brand dropped down a notch, seemingly disappearing as fast as it was born. Michael Brown went from martyr, to unlucky, misguided kid. Even Louis Head – Ferguson’s prodigal arson enthusiast, of “burn this bitch down” fame, has migrated back to hanging out on the corner by Sam’s Meat Market. Sensing he could no longer command his street mob, Sharpton has quietly withdrawn into the shadows from where he normally resides, albeit temporarily. The Zeitgeist ended, and most of his obedient media heads also ran for cover.

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NAN TRAVELING CIRCUS: Sharpton’s pre-Christmas road show with MIchael Brown’s mother showing off her new line of hip-hop apparel, her husband Louis ‘Burn it Down’ Head, and Sharpton in the background basking in the moment.

While everyone was engaged in Monty Python-style politics with the White House’s Sony-North Korea hack hoax, and The Interview film release, the US Media conveniently missed the real drama which was taking place behind the scenes. Just before the double cop killing, Sharpton even tried to shakedown Sony during the hacking crisis. Again, he was not invited by Sony – he invited himself. Apparently, Sharpton saw a way into Hollywood in the form of Sony’s hacked emails – which purported to show Sony executives making ‘racially charged’ remarks about President Obama. In an attempt to shake-down studio execs, Sharpton – himself a  former FBI snitch, went to meet with the Sony Entertainment Pictures Chairwoman Amy Pascal, and then arrogantly announces afterwards from his bully pulpit on Sony’s front lawn that, “The jury is still out on whether we go with Amy”, meaning that he reserves the right to demand she be fired. According to The New York Post, Chairwoman Pascal feared certainly feared Sharpton’s threats of bad publicity (from his bully pulpit at MSNBC) for Sony brand and caved-in to his advances, agreeing to meet because of Sharpton’s White House name-dropping (aka ‘threats’). Sharpton wanted to form a “working group on racism” with Pascal and another Sony Exec. In other words, “Work with me, let me in your world – or else”.

Why Sony took the bait and let him past security in the first place is anyone’s guess. Not very smart. When Sharpton is in town, you’d better be wearing your fire suit (just ask the business owners of Ferguson).

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Most disturbing of all, however, is how the President of United States has allowed a known, low-life thug universal access to White House, and given the title of “advisor” to Barack Obama. As bad as Sharpton might be, his access to the Oval Office speaks volumes about how – and why, the office of the presidency has dropped in stature so much during this administration.

More on his fortunes generated through shakedowns, here’s the Daily Caller via the NY Post…

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Chuck Ross

The Daily Caller

How has civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton made his money over the years?

According to The New York Post, the debt-ridden MSNBC host has generated revenue for himself and his nonprofit organization, the National Action Network (NAN), by peddling influence.

Sharpton’s most common tactic is by selling his silence, The Post reports. But there is other evidence that Sharpton lobbies lawmakers directly in some instances.

“Al Sharpton has enriched himself and NAN for years by threatening companies with bad publicity if they didn’t come to terms with him,” Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal & Policy Center, told The Post. “Put simply, Sharpton specializes in shakedowns.”

Sharpton’s money-making methods have made their way back into the spotlight following reports that NAN has an unpaid tax bill to the tune of $4.8 million.

Some ‘Sharpton watchers’ claim that the Rev’s recent meeting with Sony co-chair Amy Pascal has all the makings of a shakedown scheme.

According to The Post, Pascal was “afraid of the Rev” and met with him last month to discuss forming a “working group” on racism after hacked emails showed Sony executives making racially charged remarks about President Obama and others.

In a typical Sharpton shakedown, companies pay Sharpton to not protest and to not boycott their products. With his influence in the black community, a Sharpton-led protest could be expensive.

Sharpton has received tens of thousands of dollars in donations and sponsorships from a number of large companies, including Macy’s, Pfizer, General Motors, Honda and Chrysler.

According to The Post, Sharpton began asking GM for donations in 2000. They declined to contribute to Sharpton or NAN, but finally began doing so in 2006 after Sharpton threatened a boycott over the planned closure of a car dealership in the Bronx.

Honda began sponsoring NAN events in 2003 after meeting with Sharpton, who complained that the company was not hiring enough African-Americans.

Pepsi also paid Sharpton $25,000 a year as an adviser between 1998 and 2007 after he raised a fuss that the company’s ads did not feature enough African-Americans.

The Post highlighted another case in which Sharpton was believed to have been lobbying then-New York Gov. David Patterson on behalf of a company which was interested in winning a lucrative contract to place video slot machines at a Queens racino — a racetrack-casino.

A 2010 investigation conducted by the State of New York Office of the Inspector General found that in 2008 Plainfield Asset Management, a Connecticut-based hedge fund, which at the time had a $250 million investment in Capital Play, one of the three companies bidding for a license to operate video slot machines at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, made a $500,000 contribution to a group called Education Reform Now.

That group, in turn, sent the money to NAN. The donation was funneled in that manner, according to The New York Times, because contributions to Education Reform Now are tax-deductible, while contributions to NAN — which is considered a lobbying organization — are not.

Capital Play and NAN had something in common — NAN’s then-executive director, a man named Charlie King, was also a lobbyist for the company.

Sharpton denied any impropriety, saying that most of the contribution from Plainfield went to pay King’s salary.

As the competition for the Aqueduct Racetrack license heated up, representatives with Capital Play’s successor, AEG consortium, contributed another $100,000 to NAN.

Members of AEG were under the impression that Sharpton was lobbying then-Gov. David Patterson for the license.

“Individual members of the AEG team also apparently believed that contributions to entities associated with the Rev. Al Sharpton had, in some fashion, advocated for AEG,” the report reads.

The inspector general report uncovered emails in which Sharpton’s influence on the deal was mentioned.

“Sharpton lobbied [then-Gov. David Paterson] hard over the weekend on our behalf,” one AEG member wrote in a 2009 email.

In another email, an AEG executive sought to use Sharpton to discredit one of the group’s rival bidders, SL Green.

“We are going to need it, and we are going to need…Sharpton to piss on hard rock,” reads the email, which was undated.

Sharpton denied lobbying for AEG, and Patterson denied that he met with Sharpton to discuss the company’s contract.

One person who has worked with Sharpton on behalf of two companies told The Daily Caller that Sharpton’s ways may have changed in recent years as “his financial situation has changed dramatically.”

“There was a time when he was financially short of cash, both personally and in his organization,” Sharpton’s former associate told The DC. “Now that he has the patronage of the President and a fat contract at MSNBC and he’s received with open arms by the mayor of New York City, I don’t get the impression that his financial situation is as difficult as it was 10 years ago, 5 years ago.”

See Chuck Ross’s original article at The Daily Caller

Contributors to this report were Peter Sterry, Basil Valentine and Jason Smith.

READ MORE AL SHARPTON NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Sharpton Files