News

Al Sharpton’s record as FBI informant re-emerges

Tue., Apr. 8, 2014 7:15 AM EST
by Mo Barnes
Rev. Al Sharpton in his younger days

Rev. Al Sharpton in his younger days

The Rev. Al Sharpton must be getting some people really angry with him, so they dug up old dirt.

The website thesmokinggun.com has published a blistering report on Sharpton. In the report, Sharpton is identified as FBI confidential informant CI-7. During the late ’80s and ’90s Sharpton worked with an FBI taskforce that targeted major Mafia crime families.  The website  alleges that Sharpton had mafia contacts through his dealings in the music business under James Brown. It was during this time period in the 1970s that Sharpton encountered known mafia members from the Gambino crime family.

Sharpton learned that the Italian Mafia controlled artists, distribution and major record labels.  Sharpton is quoted as saying “the music business is a dirty business … it’s all cash” during this time period in his first book.

According to documents, Sharpton was used to tape a series of conversations with a known mobster from the Genovese crime family, Joseph “Joe Bana” Buonanno. During these conversations the mobster opened up to Sharpton about criminal enterprises that included drug deals, rigged bids and in one case a possible murder. All of this was recorded on a FBI modified briefcase that was always with Sharpton.

Back in 1993 there were many people who were wary of Al Sharpton. He has been accused of shaking down concert promoters, construction sites, union jobs and other entities doing business in the black community. He would demand access to jobs for blacks from the community where the construction companies were building.  Sharpton would also seek donations for his nonprofit ventures that worked within the black community from powerful businessmen and politicians.

One view of the new accusations is that Sharpton understood the way the system worked and used it to help the black community.  It is a fact that because of Sharpton’s activities for social justice and civil rights he has been imprisoned, stabbed, vilified and receives daily death threats. But none of this is talked about in the smoking gun article. Instead, it focuses on the New York Mafia and Sharpton being an informant. But being an informant also served to take down mobsters that were injuring the black community.  The article does not mention that Sharpton put his life at risk with every encounter, if had been discovered he was wired.

This begs the question why now? Why bring old news up during Obama’s presidency,  as the Drudge Report declared “Sharpton was FBI mob rat.”

Simple, it’s because Sharpton is making a difference and his name is backed by thousands in both black and white America. The reach of the National Action Network has brought black activism and social justice issues to a point where they must be addressed within mainstream American policy and thought. This exposé by the Smoking Gun is a blatant character assassination piece that further shows the continued effort to destroy or discredit black leaders.

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