Sunday, December 28, 2014

Family of police shooting victim tells Al Sharpton to go away

Al Sharpton
Akai Gurley


The family of police shooting victim Akai Gurley has been mourning their loss and is now saying that they want to do it without the intervention of a person who seems to make a living by showing up whenever someone is killed by the cops.  According to The New York Post, the family has told Rev. Al Sharpton that he doesn’t need to show his face at the man’s funeral, and that he would be an unnecessary distraction.
The NY Post is claiming that Sharpton not only made plans to attend the funeral, but even put out a press release claiming that he would be delivering the eulogy, all of this allegedly without the family’s permission.   This is a pretty heavy allegation if true.  The family is making it clear to the public that they don’t need Sharpton’s help and would rather have him stay away.
“It’s been a nightmare,” Gurley’s aunt, Hertencia Petersen, told The Post. “He just wants to take credit for this when he’s never even contacted my sister [Gurley’s mother].
“Who made you the spokesperson of our family? We just want to bury our nephew with dignity and respect.”
According to The Post, Peterson was shocked to hear that Sharpton had planned himself to be the speaker at their loved one’s funeral.  She claims that they wanted the eulogy to be delivered by someone who actually knew the deceased.
“How can you do a eulogy for someone you don’t even know? It’s heartbreaking,” she said.
Sharpton has backed away from the situation peacefully, and says that it was due to “confusion and division” within the family which led to the misunderstanding.   He also said that he would not attend either the funeral or the wake.
Sharpton’s presence, while certainly debatable, may have been helpful in garnering public support and sympathy for what the Gurley family is going through. He also has a national platform at MSNBC that could have helped the country to keep up with developments in the tragedy.  Critics claim, however, that Sharpton can often take credit for things he didn’t do and that his close relationship with federal officials makes him more of a defacto ward boss to control black community activism rather than a true catalyst for lasting and significant change.
Maria Lloyd, writing for KultureKritic.com, states that of the three meetings that Al Sharpton and other civil rights leaders have had with President Barack Obama, almost nothing has come out of the meetings.  Lloyd seems to feel that Sharpton’s presence is meant to occupy the minds of the public rather than to actually get things done.
Perhaps if Black leaders who participated in the Black Agenda meetings had reached out to Black America at large for feedback and/or suggestions, they would’ve been told that reparations and an overall push to educate Americans about systemic racism (e.g. school to prison pipeline, mass incarceration, wealth disparity, etc.) would need to be discussed with the president. Instead, Sharpton, Morial, and Jealous neglected would put the president on alert about the regressive state of Black America — outside of their own.
 
The 28-year old Gurley was shot and killed by the NYPD, which is under fire for also killing Eric Garner. The shooting took place in the Pink Houses in Brooklyn, where officers allegedly fired into the dark, killing the man in a stairwell.
Give us your take on Al Sharpton.  Does he overstep his boundaries, or is he needed when we are trying to get attention on social justice issues?  Tell us what you think.
 
Isaiah 9:16
16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.
 
 
Micah 3:11
11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.