Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson verses Martin Luther King Jr.
Letter to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson,
I will say, and I believe this firmly, that Martin Luther King Jr. has done more for African Americans in the last 30 years as a dead man than Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton has done as live men. This is a harsh criticism and I know that these words must sting but I believe they sting with the painful truth.
The reason why I say this is that MLKJ came off to the public in a different way than Jackson or Sharpton. This is not to say that MLKJ was any better or any more Christian than Jackson or Sharpton, just that he seemed that way.
For instance, when MLKJ spoke, he spoke with eloquence that we all know and love but there was more; didn’t even Malcolm X speak with such an equally powerful form? What was truly powerful was that MLKJ spoke to white people while he was with white people or at least this is how the white community perceives MLKJ; he is one of their own. Wasn’t this part of MLKJ’s magic? He could speak to the masses and African Americans can see him as their own but white Americans also see him as “one of them”. It was true that it seemed like MLKJ really practiced what he preached and truly loved everyone.
When Sharpton or Jackson speak, it comes off as they are speaking as black men either at best willing to work with white people or at worst against them. This is how they are perceived whether this is in their hearts or not. This is opposed to MLKJ speaking as a man for every man and for that matter, every woman.
So when old reels of King in Birmingham or Washington are played on the news, white America listens to his voice and hear it in their hearts. When Al Sharpton or Jess Jackson speak on TV, white America turn the channel because they are often not perceived as speaking with this community but against it. And this is why MLKJ does more for the civil rights as a dead man, as a ghost whose words are repeated year after year, than any other civil rights leader who is breathing in the flesh.