It appears that the Reverends Al Sharpton and Eugene Rivers have a lot in common as they both have made headlines locally and nationally, respectively. Unfortunately those headlines have been of a very negative nature for both. Rev. Sharpton has been exposed as a former FBI informant/snitch, while it seems to appear that Rev. Rivers has been involved in some sort of an extortion scheme.
Lets start with Rev. Sharpton and his dilemma. The news blog “Smoking Gun” recently disclosed in one of their articles that in the 1980’s, Sharpton was an FBI informant/snitch and spied on the Italian mafia. I was surprised at this revelation as although aware of his being a “snitch” in the Black Liberation Struggle trying
to help entrap and capture “Sister” Assata Shakur as an example, had no clue about his mafia involvement.
apparently Sharpton tried to negotiate a drug deal with what he believed to be a South American drug king
pin who was actually an undercover FBI agent. Rev. Sharpton, in a state of panic, had no other choice but to
be “flipped (snitch)’ or face the possibility of some lengthy prison time. Sharpton then proceeded to wear a “wire” to gather information to be used against members of the mafia.
Now on to Rev. Eugene “riverboat gambler” Rivers. He has been wheeling and dealing in the City Of Boston for the last few decades. His name has often popped up in questionable situations and in most instances they revolved around financial transactions that were beneficial to his personal bank account. In fact, Rev. Rivers has never hidden the fact that he is about collecting the almighty dollar. A recent example would be the Keolis controversy. Keolis is a France based transportation company with a shady past (slavery, holocaust involvement), that recently won a multi-billion dollar contract with the MBTA. A group composed of Rev. Rivers, Pastor Bruce Wall, Leonard Lee and others, allegedly were seeking a diversity commitment from Keolis and came up with a phantom invoice demanding $105, 000. 00 for services Keolis claims were never rendered. Rev. Rivers was the “front man” if you will and his actions in moving forward on the invoice has created the controversy that unfortunately has tainted the good name of Pastor Wall and the others involved. Rev. Wall has resigned from the group, but is paying the price for having his name written on the letter/invoice and being aligned with Rev. Rivers.
It appears that Reverends Sharpton and Rivers are “joined at the hip” as they use the issues sensitive to the Afrikan/
Black community as a catapult to enhance their own personal material status. Admittedly they both have done some good things, but the negative far outweighs the positive. Sharpton is now a wealthy man who has become the primary Afrikan/Black pawn of the Obama White House. Meanwhile, Rivers, while not at the same level of wealth as Sharpton, has counted on various back room schemes through the years to generate his monetary income.
You might ask as to how this could be?? Well the problem is the lack of accountability in our Afrikan/Black community on a local or national basis. “Back in the day,” an identified FBI informant/snitch would go into hiding in fear for their life and and take on a new identity with the help of the FBI. Now a Rev. Sharpton can be identified and hold a press conference to defend his being a traitor to his people and actually receive some support. We must remember the old adage that “there is no such thing as a former informant/snitch (Sharpton), as when they (FBI) have you, they never let go. On the local front Rev. Rivers is a known quantity with a murky reputation who roams from group to group and is embraced until the predictable crisis comes to the surface and he goes underground until resurfacing again for his next chaotic venture.
So, at some point we as Afrikan/Black people must re-establish a code of honor that must be adhered to by all or they face the community consequences. Only then will potential violators hesitate and rethink their intent to violate our much needed community standards. Just “keeping it real!”