Monday, June 16, 2008

How Green Was My Shakedown?

Four years ago Kenneth Timmerman published a meticulously researched book about how Rev. Jesse Jackson has used race for decades to extort millions of dollars from corporations and other guilt-ridden entities. Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson is quite an interesting read. But in these days of HOPE and CHANGE it seems almost like ancient history. Can the multi-million dollar race shakedown game still be lucrative when the prospective next President of the United States is black? Well, half black-- but the media elites always describe him as black, so we'll go with that.

One day last week I was driving along a nearby county road while a radio station out of Charlotte, North Carolina was reporting on Rev. Al Sharpton's upcoming visit to their city. It had something to do with a police shooting. That part of the story was just the low hum of life's rich pageant to me. The interesting thing to me was that the fellow being interviewed was from another city in North Carolina but was connected to Rev. Al's operations. In addition to talking about why Al was coming to town to get "the facts" and "the truth" about this particular shooting, he also revealed that the Sharpton organization was planning to open a branch office in Charlotte. That was an "I coulda had a V-8" moment for me. Now, I knew that Al's organization had "network" in its name but in an age where diet food by mail is hawked as a "system" I never considered that this "network" extended beyond New York. Sure enough, Al Sharpton franchises the race hustle industry! The entrepreneurial spirit of America is endlessly exciting.

So apparently Rev. Sharpton isn't overly concerned about how an Obama presidency could detract from his revenue streams. The Post has an interesting story this very morning about how lucrative this public service is to the National Action Network and its Chief. Lots of fun details in there for your reading pleasure. I wonder if Al has a team of marketeers in a room somewhere with white boards and squeaky colored markers planning around the various scenarios vis-a-vis the November elections? That sort of planning takes me back to a prior business life. Fun stuff. Oops, just re-read that. Sorry Al, I meant Powerpoint slides, not "white board" and "colored markers." Please don't boycott me.