Is Al Sharpton faking it?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Yesterday I noted that much of what passes for conservative commentary is, in actuality, a brand marketing decision.

Of course, this same thing happens on the Left. A prime example came up recently when I interviewed Ron Christie about his new book, “Blackwards: How Black Leadership Is Returning America to the Days of Separate but Equal.”

When I asked Christie if Al Sharpton really believes that voter ID laws are somehow comparable to Jim Crow, he noted,

We have a small apartment in New York City, and, who lives in my apartment building but Al Sharpton. And I have spent many a time asking him the same thing that you asked me. Because in person, we get along.

And I look at him and I say to him: ‘Reverend Al, you can’t believe half the stuff that you say.’  And he said, ‘well me an example.’ [A]nd I said, ‘you can’t honestly believe that we’re going back to Jim Crow.’ And he said, ‘Oh, you Republicans. You want to have a poll tax.’

I said, ‘no we don’t … it was outlawed by the Supreme Court, these voter ID laws are racially neutral in their application — and you know that. But you’re doing this to fundraise, aren’t you? — you’re doing this to get your name out there, aren’t you?’

And he just looked at me and had this big smile on his face. And I thought, ‘that’s what this is for them. It’s a business. It’s something to get their name in the paper … I think he believes this is a great marketing and advertising tool for him. (Emphasis mine.)

Listen to streaming audio of my full conversation with Ron Christie. Or download the podcast on iTunes.

Matt K. Lewis