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Another Letter to Reverend Al Sharpton

    Another Open Letter to Reverend Al Sharpton

    Greetings Rev.I am writing this open letter not for attention. The work that I am doing as a civil rights activist will speak for itself. I am writing this letter because I am fed up with your hypocrisy and your mistreatment of people who have supported you down through the years.

     Three years ago, I came to you for help on a police brutality case involving Moshowon Leach, the young man in Penns Grove, New Jersey who was brutally killed by a police officer. You gave me your word that you would help me shed light on the case, but in the end of the day, you did nothing to support the cause. I guess it was not high profile enough for you.

    Despite the public let down, I was a committed member of your National Action Network, traveling to Harlem every Saturday for nearly two years. I believed in your movement and wanted to be a part of the movement, particularly since you mentioned that you were looking for young leaders to step up and carry on the activism.

    We attended several speaking engagements and events together and you publicly mentioned that I was your protégé. However, as I became more critical of your tactics and your approach, you further distanced yourself from me.

    As you will recall, the NAN Voter ID tour was my idea and you even asked if I wanted to be a part of helping you organize during the 2012 election.  Later, you did not include me in any of the organizing efforts. Looking to become a leader in the fight for social justice, I volunteered to help organize in Sanford, Florida following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, but neither you nor the staff of National Action Network provided me opportunity to utilize my skills to help bring attention to his tragic death.

    On the morning after the George Zimmerman verdict, I called you offering to help mobilize the response and to remind you that young people should play a central role in organizing the public protests. Trayvon Martin is of my generation. During that heated phone discussion, you dismissed my concerns and claimed that “my ego will be my downfall.”

    Reverend Sharpton, after my friend Moshowon Leach was killed by police, I was called to the civil rights and social justice movement by a higher power. How the hell can you call yourself a “Reverend” and shun God’s people?

    With all the turmoil you been involved in over the years, it’s critically important that those of us who know you and who have supported you, call you to task for your arrogance. As the scripture says, “How can you say you love a God that you have never seen but hate, talk bad about, shun, mislead the brother and sister you see every day!” John 4:20.

    Growing up, I was in awe of you Reverend Sharpton. But now, you have become yet another celebrity who is uneasy with mingling with everyday people. When the rich and famous come to the House of Justice in Harlem, you escort them out the backdoor, not allowing your working class supporters—your core constituency—who were with you when the media attacked you for Tawana Brawley, to interface with them. Every Saturday, they give their last dollar to support your cause and movement. You are out of touch with the younger generation which is why they have largely abandoned National Action Network. The average age of the members who attend the rallies, are 50 and up.

    I was deeply inspired by the open letter written by Chef Carl Redding and that prompted me to write one of my own. Like Chef Redding, I can’t sit idly by and allow you to continue to perpetuate a fraud on our people. To this end, I am calling for a National Boycott of your book when it comes out. You are doing a disservice to the legacy of Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and other civil rights leaders by engaging in a deal with Cash Money—the company that profits off of pushing negative images in our community.

    While some people have fallen for your buffoonery, trickery and lies, I along with many former NAN members plan to picket your book signings. How can you sign a book deal with a company that you have condemned for their violent rap lyrics and disrespect toward women? Did you think that we were not watching? Nice try, but we gotcha!

    Sadly, many do not know of your relationship to Walmart, which has a history of unfair labor practices.  Rev, it is time for you to make your mind up!  No longer can you continue to play both side of the fence.

    At a time when the black community has so many problems, I’m tired of the contradictions. As a 31-year-old leader who is fighting in the trenches every single day, I want more from my national leaders.

    As Bob Marley put it, “You can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all the people all of the time.” 

    The charade, Reverend Sharpton, is over.  It’s time for you to come clean.

    Walter Hudson, Sr.


    National Awareness Alliance,