Sharpton: ‘Gangsterism’ Harming Blacks

Cliff Brunt, AP, August 19, 2006

Many black youths fall under a spell of “gangster mentality,” preventing them from becoming leaders and making a positive impact in politics, the Rev. Al Sharpton said.

The civil rights activist faulted Hollywood and the record industry for making “gangsterism” seem cool and acceptable.

“We have got to get out of this gangster mentality, acting as if gangsterism and blackness are synonymous,” Sharpton said Thursday at the annual conference of the National Association of Black Journalists.

“I think we’ve allowed a whole generation of young people to feel that if they’re focused, they’re not black enough. If they speak well and act well, they’re acting white, and there’s nothing more racist than that.”

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