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A group of pastors in New York city have decided to make it their mission to undermine the growing political power of Rev. Al Sharpton. Sharpton has gained national prominence and a stronger mainstream presence during the last five years since the election of President Barack Obama. Critics claim that Sharpton has used his power for personal gain, fame and fortune and left behind the interests of black people in the process.
Four clergymen, according to the New York Daily News, have created “Speak Out Say It Loud,” headquartered at Mount Neboh Baptist Church. The group is seeking to pull together 100 churches that will work together to create new black leadership in the pulpit that will help the people and not forget about them.
Pastor Johnnie Green, 51 says that while Sharpton travels the country, people in their community are suffering.
“While (Sharpton) is jet-setting around the country, people are going to our churches saying they don’t have money to eat,” he said. “Someone needs to fight for them.”
The other pastors in the coalition include Carl Washington, Kris Erskine, and Patrick Young. They expect to bring together 1,500 people with the unified objective of dethroning Sharpton from power in the streets of Harlem.
“Sharpton isn’t a community organizer. He’s a personality,” said Raymond Blanchette, head bishop of the United Churches for Kingdom Building.
Sharpton says that attacking him is not going to solve the problem.
“We need to attack the issues, not each other,” Sharpton shot back. “If you want to be the big guy, be the big guy, be that. Don’t act like I’m not doing anything local. I am.”
Sharpton has been criticized for being too close to President Obama to critique him objectively. He even went onto the television show “60 Minutes,” and said that he would never criticize the president. Some say that it was Sharpton’s silence which led to black unemployment worsening under Obama while it has improved for whites.