Al Sharpton had a chance to do right during a press conference about the two New York police officers that were assassinated over the weekend. He had the chance to condemn the actions of the cop killer, and reflect on the lives of the slain officers, which he did, kind of. He even had the chance to admit that his vehement hostility and call for protests over the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases had a hand in the deaths of the officers, and call off the protests since they're obviously getting out of hand and only fueling violence and the rise of racial tension in the country. But, he didn't.

While Sharpton did speak out against the deaths of Officers Ramos and Liu, he said, "We are now under intense threat from those who are misguided – from those who are trying to blame everyone from civil rights leaders to the mayor rather than deal with an ugly spirit that all of us need to fight."

His concern wasn't where it should have been. Instead of worrying that his movement had gotten out of hand and that perhaps his outspoken ways had a part in the shooting, he was worried about his protest movement. Because, somehow Sharpton managed to make this all about him. Of course he was right in thinking it was about him. It was about him in the fact that his calls for action and demonizing police officers across the country helped play a hand in these murders. Deep down, he seems to know he had part since he said, "To blame the mayor and others is not what we need," he said. "The blame game will only lead to further venom and further division."

The problem with Sharpton and other protest leaders like him is that they have created a brand and image for themselves that is fueled by racial tension and protesting, and having people murdered in the name of their causes mars their reputation. If Sharpton's cause were to protest against completely innocent people being murdered (like the innocent NYPD officers that were doing their jobs trying to keep the public safe) that would be one thing. Instead, Sharpton has aligned himself to defend two people that were breaking the law when they were killed. Is it unfortunate that these deaths occurred? Absolutely. But, does fueling these protests that turned violent long before the officers were killed help anyone? Absolutely not. It only creates more tension in an already tense situation. And for Sharpton to play victim in the middle of this because his beloved protest movement is under threat is utterly detestable.


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