Al Sharpton, opportunist extraordinaire, announced plans for a commemoration of the 57th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech in Washington, D.C. during a June memorial service in Minneapolis for George Floyd. The theme is “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” and that was a refrain Sharpton uttered several times during his eulogy of Floyd. No points for creativity with that theme, Al.
There’s a coronavirus pandemic, though, and the basic rules about organizing a rally and a march in Washington, D.C. have changed. Therefore, Sharpton has to make some adjustments. Instead of a big blowout rally at the Lincoln Memorial and then a march to the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in West Potomac Park, next to the National Mall, the crowds have to be reduced. And, what about Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser’s restrictions due to COVID-19 in the nation’s capital?
On August 28, busloads of people will descend on the Lincoln Memorial from surrounding communities, or so we are being told. Others will be asked to join satellite marches planned in states that are considered hot spots for COVID-19.
“We’re following protocol,” Sharpton told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview. “The objective is not how many thousands of people will be (in Washington). It’ll still be a good crowd.”
All participants will be required to wear masks, Sharpton said. Organizers also will provide hand sanitizing stations and conduct temperature checks throughout the event.
“The objective is to put on one platform, in the shadow of Abe Lincoln, the families of people that … have lost loved ones in unchecked racial bias,” Sharpton said. “On these steps, Dr. King talked about his dream, and the dream is unfulfilled. This is the Exhibit A of that not being fulfilled.”
In late July, Mayor Bowser ordered that anyone traveling or returning to Washington from a virus hot spot must self-quarantine for 14 days. A list of hot spots is revised every two weeks and the newest list, released on Aug. 10, classifies 29 states as hot spots. The mayor says officials have been in touch with march organizers and told that the rules will not be relaxed for them. “They are aware of all the local guidance that would affect their planning,” she said. “If there are people who are coming from jurisdictions that are on that list, they would need to be quarantined.”
The National Park Service (NPS) has already issued a permit. The application specified attendance at 100,000 participants. NPS spokesman Mike Litterst said the NPS is talking to organizers, but, “that compliance with local virus restrictions was “not a requirement or condition of the permit.” Hmm. So, this will likely turn into any other big protest event – the masses gather and the rules for everyone else fly out the window. Coronavirus mitigation guidance on avoiding large gatherings doesn’t apply to social justice protests, right? Social distancing? Nah. Wearing a mask doesn’t negate the need for establishing a distance between individuals to lessen the transmittal of the virus.
Sharpton asks protesters in other states to march to their U.S. senator’s offices to demand support of federal policing reforms. That, however, is already happening in Congress. And, Sharpton calls for demands of U.S. voter protections. Remember, this election’s narrative, if Democrats lose, is one of voter suppression.
In June, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act, which would ban police use of stranglehold maneuvers and end qualified immunity for officers, among other reforms.
In July, following Lewis’ death, Democratic senators reintroduced legislation that would restore a provision of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965 gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013. The law previously required states with a history of voter suppression to seek federal clearance before changing voting regulations.
Both measures are awaiting action in the Republican-controlled Senate.
“Everybody is trying to jump from demonstration and to reconciliation, with no legislation,” Sharpton said. “If we don’t have the legislation, we’ll be back here again.”
Let’s be honest, they’ll be back again anyway. Professional race-baiters like Sharpton make a living off of keeping people divided and angry. No legislation will ever be enough to satisfy them because there is no incentive for them to be satisfied. If the social justice warriors become satisfied with the progress being made in this country, the Al Sharptons of the world are out of a job.
Sharpton’s rally and march will not be about George Floyd any more than the others have become. The BLM leaders who usually organize these events are all about their own agenda and that is Marxism. The co-founders of BLM proudly talk about Marxism and how American capitalism must be destroyed. Sharpton is just using the death of George Floyd to publicize an event that will bring him a lot of fundraising opportunities. That’s the bottom line for Rev. Al.