How Sharpton Gets Paid to Not Cry ‘Racism’ at Corporations

Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein, New York Post, January 4, 2015

Want to influence a casino bid? Polish your corporate image? Not be labeled a racist?

Then you need to pay Al Sharpton.

For more than a decade, corporations have shelled out thousands of dollars in donations and consulting fees to Sharpton’s National Action Network. What they get in return is the reverend’s supposed sway in the black community or, more often, his silence.

Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal met with the activist preacher after leaked emails showed her making racially charged comments about President Obama. {snip}

Pascal and her team were said to be “shaking in their boots” and “afraid of the Rev,” The Post reported.

No payments to NAN have been announced, but Sharpton and Pascal agreed to form a “working group” to focus on racial bias in Hollywood.


In 2008, Plainfield Asset Management, a Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund, made a $500,000 contribution to New York nonprofit Education Reform Now. That money was immediately funneled to the National Action Network.

The donation raised eyebrows. Although the money was ostensibly to support NAN’s efforts to bring “educational equality,” it also came at a time that Plainfield was trying to get a lucrative gambling deal in New York.

Plainfield had a $250 million stake in Capital Play, a group trying to secure a license to run the coming racino at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens. Capital Play employed a lobbyist named Charlie King, who also was the acting executive director of NAN.

Sharpton has said that most of the Plainfield contribution went to pay King’s salary.

King’s company, the Movement Group, was paid $243,586 by NAN in 2008, tax records show.

Harold Levy, a former New York City schools chancellor who was a managing director at Plainfield at the time, has denied the contribution was made to curry favor with Sharpton or anyone else. But a year later, as the battle for the racino license heated up, NAN raked in another $100,000 from representatives of the AEG consortium, which was the successor company to Capital Play.

One AEG member emailed another in 2009 saying, “Sharpton lobbied [then-Gov. David Paterson] hard over the weekend on our behalf,” according to the state inspector general’s 2010 report on the corrupt racino licensing process.

In order to discredit SL Green, one of the rival bidders whose plan included a Hard Rock Hotel, an AEG executive sent another email outlining tactics to conscript local leaders to its cause.

“We are going to need it, and we are going to need . . . Sharpton to piss on hard rock,” according to the undated email cited in the IG’s report.

Sharpton denied he lobbied on behalf of AEG.


AEG viewed its payments to Sharpton as more of an insurance policy so he wouldn’t scuttle its chances by criticizing the group, said a source familiar with the racino controversy.


Sharpton raised $1 million for NAN at his 60th birthday bash in October, with donations rolling in from unions and a corporate roster of contributors including AT&T, McDonald’s, Verizon and Walmart.

Companies have long gotten in line to pay Sharpton. Macy’s and Pfizer have forked over thousands to NAN, as have General Motors, American Honda and Chrysler.

NAN had repeatedly and without success asked GM for donations for six years beginning in August 2000, a GM spokesman told The Post. Then, in 2006, Sharpton threatened a boycott of GM over the planned closing of an African-American-owned dealership in The Bronx. He picketed outside GM’s Fifth Avenue headquarters. GM wrote checks to NAN for $5,000 in 2007 and another $5,000 in 2008.


Sharpton landed a gig as a $25,000-a-year adviser to Pepsi after he threatened a consumer boycott of the soda company in 1998, saying its ads did not portray African-Americans. He held the position until 2007.


Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • phorning

    This is evil. It is shameful that corporations cooperate with Sharpton and that he has influence with the White House.

    • superlloyd

      Obama is cut from the same chap, shabby cloth as Sharpton.

  • Old news, but still worthy to read. We figured this out when the other Justice Brother, Jesse Jackson, shook down A-B for a Chicago area distributorship.

  • MekongDelta69

    I’m still waiting for one White person who owns a business to grow a spine and tell Sharp-Tonnage where to go.

    Just one

    • SentryattheGate

      I remember from years ago, that Toyota rebuffed Jackson’s (or Sharpton’s?) demand for money after Toyota’s ad showing blacks eating fried chicken (which was racist,OF COURSE!)

  • superlloyd

    Sharpton is a shakedown artist who doesn’t pay taxes. He should be in jail on both counts. Disgusting that big business sucks up to this criminal, lying bigot.

    • Cid Campeador

      He’s a typical Mayate!

  • John

    Sharpton’s coercive tactics as described are almost identical to the one’s that Jesse Jack(ass)son uses to rip off corporations. Read his biography entitled “Shakedown” by Timmerman for all the gory details. He tried this on a Japanese corporation. They basically told him to put it where the sun didn’t shine. Jackson backed down.

    • SentryattheGate

      I made the comment above, before seeing your’s. Toyota’s fried chicken commercial.

      • John

        I done that more than a few times myself. I read the book several years ago and couldn’t remember for the life of me who the Japanese corporation was.

  • TruthBeTold

    Longtime AR readers are familiar with the AR article about competitive altruism.

    I always though that was wrong.

    The real motivation is what I call Preemptive PR.

  • David Ashton

    Protection rackets? The Al Capone of multiracism.

    • JohnEngelman

      Nice company you’ve got here. It would be a shame if something happened to it. I think you need some protection.

      • David Ashton


        • John

          John made a funny. He was being sarcastic.

          • David Ashton


        • I think John was alluding to Mafia types who suggest that a business owner pay them ‘protection money.’ It’s a valid point.

          • David Ashton

            Oh, I see.

  • Luca

    He walks into various companies around the country and does his little song and dance known as the ‘Sharpton Shakedown.’

  • Alexandra1973

    This is why I refer to him as Al Shakedown.

  • Tarczan

    The Rev was talking on his show today how he works on all holidays to help his people. He went on to say how he helps feed the poor; he must be feeling a little heat.

    • SentryattheGate

      He came to my Southern town, before the 2010 election. BBQ was served to the mostly black crowd, who had a “I voted” sticker. That’s probably why they voted—for the BBQ! Flyers were given out by the Demoncat party on who they should vote for. The event was held next to early voting polls downtown, for the ease of voting, then getting fed!

      • DD-762

        I heard it was fried chicken, not BBQ…just kidding.

      • BulgAryan

        That’s the way our Gypsies were “stimulated” to vote in the 90’es. Now is cash and carry.

  • TrayvonCohen

    proves “US still a nation of cowards on race” by Holder is right

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    If it were you or I, it would be called extortion. Sharpton gets away with it – and the $4.3 million he owes to the IRS – because he is a member of the protected black victim class.

    NY POST;

    Sharpton raised $1 million for NAN at his 60th birthday bash in October, with donations rolling in from unions and a corporate roster of contributors including AT&T, McDonald’s, Verizon and Walmart.

    Companies have gotten in line to pay Sharpton. Macy’s and Pfizer forked over thousands to NAN, as have General Motors, American Honda and Chrysler.

    Al is passing around the collection plate – and it had better have enough in it – to stave off calls for boycotts and accusations of racism, which the complicit media will happily blare from the front pages of the papers.

    We cannot be silent while African-Americans spend hard-earned dollars with a company that does not hire, promote or do business with us in a statistically significant manner.

    – Sharpton, e-mail to Honda

  • Whitetrashgang

    Al reminds me of the republican party for some reason,I just don’t know why.

  • John Smith

    Al Sharpton is a perfect example of how corrupt, subversive and destructive the filthy creatures in the anti-white media cabal are.

    Even with his past statements and history, this fraud has the ear of the NY mayor and our president!

    Over the years, if the filthy creatures in the anti-white media cabal had given the non stop gasoline-and-matches treatment to Sharpton’s past like they did with eg Paula Deen or Donald Sterling, there is no way Sharpton could have inflicted any damage to the corporate world and to our society.

    But no, thanks to the…(c’mon everybody, repeat after me…filthy creatures in the anti-white media cabal)… this carnival barking fraud continues his rampage.

  • Reverend Bacon

    This is news? Did you think Tom Wolfe invented “Reverend Bacon” from whole cloth? In Bonfire of the Vanities, Wolfe’s Bacon (Clearly, Al Sharpton) exacts payments for what he calls, “Steam Control,” which is, you guessed it, control of black anger. That was in 1987, when Sharpton was just getting started.

    I suppose Wolfe might have given Sharpton the idea, or emboldened him to scale up his scams, but the last thing I am about this “news” is surprised.

  • Al Sharpton is willing to do jobs that honest Americans won’t do.

  • OyVey00

    Sharpton is smart. Even the Tribe is getting jewed by him now.

    • benvad


  • Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he works with the SPLC. Anybody who refuses to “donate” to him gets put on their “hatewatch” list.

  • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

    Sharpton only shows up to get paid. Where there is no money, that city is spared his dreadful presence.

  • John Smith

    Old news. Jesse pioneered this and Al muscled into the action.

  • Yves Vannes

    A lot of these companies have deep pockets and could fight this crap if they had the backbone. Yea, a little bad publicity – but they have deep pockets and can weather a little storm. They can use their power to expose just what these race extortionists are up to. If a few decided to fight this they would put an end to all of it. Some companies actually tell them to stuff it. Sun Microsystems told Jessie to get lost about 15 years ago and they took a little heat from a few weeks and that was it. It will take some backbone.

  • Lkoehn

    Al and Jesse have perfected the art of corporate blackmail which is why they have to keep the racism pot boiling. These guys are not reverends, they have no churches, they are just plain ordinary black con men.