Rev. Al Sharpton clears the air on the TJMS with an exclusive. An informant? A snitch? He clears the air around the topic and his name in an in depth interview.
“So what’s the problem? That I wanted to do something about it?,” Sharpton says.
According to Sharpton, these allegations are only coming to light because President Obama is speaking at his annual National Action Network convention.
Read the entire interview below:
REV. AL SHARPTON: Good morning, good morning. Yes, I’m on the phone. I’ve been doing TV because today’s the opening day of the National Action Network’s convention and the dealing with this fabricated controversy of a 31 year old story. But we expect that every time we have our convention they try to come up with something. Particularly this year since President Obama is speaking Friday and the Attorney General is speaking today, but let me say this, Tom, with all this informant story. Thirty-one years now they’re talking about, they come out with transcripts. A guy named Sal came to New York when I was a leading a fight to make sure concert promoters from the black community was involved in the concerts of Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson. They were getting ready to go on major tours, and black concert promoters had been cut out. This guy, who was a mobster, threatened to kill me and the other protesters. Saying that we didn’t know who we were messing with. I wrote about this in my first book in 1996, so this is nothing new. And I think that the whole inference that if you are threatened and you called the law, that you’re an informant, is ridiculous. If I break into your house and I’m stealing your stuff, and you pick up the phone and call the cops, I say, no, you snitchin’ on me? You’re the victim, you’re not my partner, your partner’s snitching on you. So it’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard of. I’m having the Attorney General of the United States speak at my convention today, not the head of the Costra Nostra. I’m not the bad guy. Of course we work with government against what’s wrong. What is crazy to me is why at that time, and Tom you remember that, even though were much younger than I was, they were going after disc jockeys in the black community, you know, and was letting these mobsters go. I sat in Frankie Crocker’s trial. So y’all gonna tell me that you gonna try to conjure up cases of payola on black DJs and y’all are not gonna do nothing about these guys who you call mobsters doing something to us? I won’t force your hand and that’s what I did and I will do it again.
MIKE EPPS: So, Reverend Al.
TOM JOYNER: Go ahead, Mike.
MIKE EPPS: Reverend, you know what they say, you know what our mothers used to say, if they ain’t talking about you, you ain’t doing nothing, you still doing something.
REV. AL SHARPTON: That’s true, but the point is that they don’t dispute the facts. They’re not saying, no these guys weren’t mobsters. No, these guys didn’t threaten. So what’s the problem? That I wanted to do something about it? And I think the last several years I’ve been all over this show every Wednesday and everywhere else telling kids to stand up against guns and the community and work with law enforcement. This only validates that I always stood and represented what I always said. So I think that it is really the continual criminalization of the black community to act like we supposed to be with the thugs rather than with the good guys, and I’m not …
MIKE EPPS: The fuzz?
SYBIL WILKES: Thugs.
MIKE EPPS: The fuzz? Oh, I thought he said the fuzz? I was like, man, that’s old school right there, the fuzz.
REV. AL SHARPTON: No, no, no. I’m not that old.
SYBIL WILKES: (Laugh)
TOM JOYNER: Hey, Reverend Al, you know, they showing old pictures of you and I don’t think that’s fair. You’ve done all this work to lose all that weight, yet the pictures that they show of you are the old pictures of Reverend Al wearing the, you know, British Knight jogging suit.
REV. AL SHARPTON: You don’t have to describe it, we’ve got the point. (LAUGHTER) I mean that’s the only embarrassing thing, and the only thing that I’m worried about are they gonna come up that my code name was Jay Anthony. (Laughter)
MIKE EPPS: Well, you know what, Reverend? You have changed in a great way, you look great. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the Dark and Lovely. You still got the Dark and Lovely in your hair.
REV. AL SHARPTON: And it’s a little dark and a little grey, and a little lovelier, but I appreciate it, Tom. (LAUGHTER)
TOM JOYNER: My man, Reverend Al.
SYBIL WILKES: Have a good convention, sir.
REV. AL SHARPTON: Alright, thank you.