Let the dethroning of Rev. Al Sharpton begin — that’s nearly the mood of four members of the clergy who live in Harlem, who have sent invitations to 100-plus churches to take down the controversial activist a peg or two from his leadership role in the black community.
Pastor Johnnie Green, 51, said Mr. Sharpton has failed to keep in tune with New York’s black voters, and seems to care more about personal fame than the community that backed him through thick and thin. Mr. Green also accused Mr. Sharpton of putting his book and his television show on MSNBC above the needs of his fellow black New Yorkers.
Mr. Green has joined with other clergy in the community who feel similarly to found a coalition of black ministers to take Mr. Sharpton’s place, called the “Speak Out Say It Loud” campaign, United Press International reported. They say they don’t want to completely oust Mr. Sharpton — but rather bring him back to the fold of community activism and proper representation of how the national issues impact blacks. Yet they’re shying from tough talk, and suggest that if Mr. Sharpton can’t appropriately lead, there are plenty of others who can, UPI reported.
Mr. Sharpton, meanwhile, was quick to fight back.
In UPI, he said: “I challenge anyone to match what we do every day, all day. We need to attack the issues, not each other. If you want to be the big guy, be the big guy, be that. Don’t act like I’m not doing anything local. I am.”