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Obama Sharpton NAN ticketSharpton Fan Club

By Sam Riddle
Special to the Michigan Citizen

We love it if we can see it on a screen. HD TVs are going for street reasonable prices so we can see that “Scandal” sistah get it on with the white prez in high def, and smaller smart phone screens will do to sneak a peek at Mimi working it slippery-when-wet from a shower rod. Hey it’s not worth a post if it’s not moving on some kind of screen.

President Barack Obama was in New York City in person before thousands during Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) Convention. I witnessed many in prime seats looking at the jumbo screens instead of the president himself, in person, a few feet from them —obstruction free. Such is the power of the media-driven screen addiction we suffer from en masse.

The Big Apple media is unrelenting, going hard and staying personal once you are targeted. Last week during the NAN Convention, Reverend Al Sharpton wore the media bulls-eye with as much dignity as alleged informant CI-7 could muster pending a visit from Commander-in-Chief Obama.

Hey, you had to be there.

If old news about Sharpton’s cooperation with the feds didn’t offend the president of these United States of America, why in the hell should the fed ex-con state political director of NAN Michigan raise an eyebrow?

Full disclosure is in order; before boarding my flight to New York, I did tape a segment for a documentary with a U.S. Department of Justice media crew in production to help prevent political corruption (a concept I presented in public to the Eastern District U.S. Attorney a few months ago).

Had I cooperated when it counted instead of being a hard ass, I might have gotten a cushy camp instead of a real federal penitentiary. LOL, nah wasn’t rolling like that. Call BS on the feds, but “shut up and do the time” was my mantra.

A mind snack: Once American activism is institutionalized around a personality, a caste system evolves that stifles the necessity of real activists/freedom fighters in that organization thus red, gold and green tickets for the presidential appearance.

Be clear, I knew of the allegations against Sharpton before I started working with Michigan NAN. I respect the evolution of Sharpton. But Sharpton has built a fan club not a movement. Strong local NAN chapters such as Michigan NAN must carry the movement torch.

The ingredients of a movement are of stern stuff, not dependent on cameras and adoration but commitment to confront oppressive liberty denying profit-driven power brokers who trample on human rights in making light of U.S. Constitutional guaranties no matter the personal cost — whether cameras are present or not. Campaigning by press conference is no campaign but serial photo-op ravaging.

People in pain deserve much more to relieve their condition. So old informant revelations don’t really hurt the fan base of one whose fans just want to make sure they can be in touch with the man on the screen.

Celebrity activists ought to be required to plant and tend a garden with real dirt to work so they can see how to grow stuff, and learn that those cameras don’t grow anything but energy depleting ego.

Congrats to freep’s Stephen Henderson for landing a CD-free Pulitzer.

We must never let haters cause us to lose hope or dislike ourselves and never let haters make you weak in your faith. Keep the faith. Stay on the battlefield.

Sam Riddle is political director for Michigan National Action Network. Follow him on Facebook at or Twitter at



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