Rev. Al Shakes Down GM, Chrysler, Honda

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
rev al shakes down gm chrysler honda

A grand jury investigating a "charity" run by Revered Al Sharpton– the National Action Network (NAN)– has uncovered an extortion racket that set its sights on the U.S. auto industry. "A General Motors spokesman told The [New York] Post that NAN had repeatedly – and unsuccessfully – asked for contributions for six years, beginning in August 2000. Then, in December 2006, Sharpton threatened to call a boycott of the carmaker over the closing of an African-American-owned GM dealership in The Bronx, and he picketed outside GM headquarters on Fifth Avenue. Last year, General Motors gave NAN a $5,000 donation. It gave $5,000 more this year, a spokesman said, calling NAN a 'worthy' organization." The General wasn't the only automaker wetting Big Al's beak. "In November 2003, Sharpton picketed DaimlerChrysler's Chicago car show and threatened a boycott over alleged racial bias in car loans. 'This is institutional racism,' he bellowed. In May 2004, Chrysler began supporting NAN's conferences, which include panels on corporate responsibility and civil rights and a black-tie awards dinner to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Last year, Sharpton gave Chrysler an award for corporate excellence." Honda? "In 2003, Sharpton targeted American Honda for not hiring enough African-Americans in management. 'We support those that support us,' wrote Sharpton… Two months after American Honda execs met with Sharpton, the carmaker began to sponsor NAN's events – and continues to pay "a modest amount" each year, a spokesman said."

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  • ZoomZoom ZoomZoom on Jun 16, 2008

    I find it interesting that they threaten a boycott, citing some alleged grievance, but when they get the cash, they stop the boycot threats. If the original behavior was SO BAD and HASN'T STOPPED, then why stop the boycot just because a check was written? Unless, that is, if the original intent was to shake 'em down for the cash anyhow. I wonder if a case could be made that Sharpton and Jackson are guilty of fraud, or illegal benefit from the so-called charities they support? Sharpton, maybe...after all, he's a member of the US House of Representatives, correct?

  • GS650G GS650G on Jun 16, 2008

    Al would have made some kind of president, that is for sure. Jesse too. Obama has carefully worked to create a persona that avoids the worse of these two and creates a comfort level among guilt laden white liberals. Car companies need every dollar they can get so none can afford to diss the two reverends.

  • Bjcpdx Bjcpdx on Jun 16, 2008

    If anyone still thinks Sharpton has any credibility, I have two words for you: Tawana Brawley.

  • on Jun 16, 2008

    Who is this news to? Are there really people blind enough out there that they can't see Al Sharpton for what he is? (Jesse Jackson for that matter too.)