The reporter then asked whether he regretted inciting violence against Jews in New York City in the Crown Heights neighborhood several years ago. Sharpton was also asked whether he felt responsible for his supporters’ decision to kill a Hasidic Jew after Sharpton made a number of incendiary anti-Semitic statements. Sharpton responded by saying that “Comparing blacks and Jews is like comparing apples and oranges. Given the power structure of America, it just isn’t fair to make the comparison.”
The White House released a statement Monday explaining the Obama administration’s decision to revoke Helen Thomas’ press pass and to ban her from all future White House events. Speaking for the White House, Rahm Emmanuel said the following: “Had Thomas made similar remarks about Jews, President Obama could have overlooked the situation. But the remarks were about blacks, and that is an entirely different matter.”
When White House reporters (sans Thomas) pointed out that Emmanuel is himself Jewish, he continued: “Most blacks care more about their blackness than Jews care about their Jewish-ness. We’ve found other ways to advance in America. We have honed our skills. The blacks must still rely on the rhetoric of civil rights. We understand that. And we respect that.”
In response, a reporter pointed out that the President is himself black. The press conference was adjourned immediately. Outside, the Reverend Al Sharpton objected to Emmanuel’s statements reminding reporters “You just can’t trust a Jew.”
Reverend Jesse Jackson agreed while assuring reporters that, despite Thomas’ comments, liberal Democrats are still the leaders of the modern civil rights movement. Senator Byrd concurred.