When civil rights activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton called on black preachers from Hartford, Connecticut, to each donate $100 to his scandal-ridden organization Saturday, he didn't get quite the reaction he anticipated.
Hartford has been plagued by violence as of late, including 49 shooting victims between January and the middle of May, with five homicides in just the last two weeks. In response, community leaders held an anti-violence march Saturday, which involved around 150 participants, including Sharpton, who was invited by Reverend Dr. Boise Kimber. The march ended at Shiloh Baptist Church, where Sharpton spoke to the rallyers.
After Sharpton's National Action Network spent several minutes asking for money, Pastor Marcus Mosiah Jarvis of Christ the Cornerstone Praise and Western Tabernacle voiced his disapproval of Sharpton's use of the rally to raise money for himself (begins around 1:15 mark on video above).
"How dare you ask the people of Hartford to give you their money! You’re nothing but a pimp!” Jarvis yelled at Sharpton, whom he blasted for coming into "a community where people are struggling for jobs, struggling for money, and demanding money to speak."
"Don’t you come up in here asking us for money!" Jarvis said.
Following the outburst, organizers began to escort Pastor Jarvis out, but he managed to remain in the rear of the church.
Sharpton then took to the podium and insisted that all the donations would go to creating a "memorial for the young people that have died." He also pulled out $1,000 cash from his pocket andpledged to donate his own money to the cause.
"Everything that you all raise will go to a memorial," Sharpton claimed. "F]or the lives that could have gone on to cure cancer. Lives that could have been the next President of the United States."
Afterward, Jarvis pointed out that Sharpton’s pledge only came after he spoke out about NAN’s request for money from the cash-strapped community. The money, the pastor said, would have been more useful if directed to the people of the community rather than a memorial.
Former Congressman Allen West had some advice for "Rev. Al" and his tax-evading organization the next time he goes looking for money:
Maybe the Rev. Al didn’t check the job statistics in Hartford before deciding to pay the city a visit. According to Homefacts, the unemployment rate in Hartford Is still 11 percent. I guess we should sing Hallelujah because at one point during Obama’s presidency the national unemployment rate for black Americans was 16.8 percent.
In the end, the Reverend Al also pledged $1,000.00 of his own “walking around” money to help build a memorial to some of the recent victims of violence In Hartford.
Apparently that thousand clams won’t go towards paying of the $19,500 his 2004 presidential committee owes the U.S. Treasury a decade after being caught accepting illegal campaign contributions, according to federal records. It also owes the Federal Election Commission several thousand dollars in unpaid fines, even after paying off a separate $208,000 penalty in 2009 for several campaign violations. And then of course there’s the little matter of the trifling $4.5 million he owes in back taxes. So yeah, a thousand bucks is just chump change for Al.
Seems Rev. Al may have forgotten that sage advice from the Bible (NIV) Romans 13-8: “owe no man anything.”