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Crown Heights College to Grant Al Sharpton an Honorary Degree; Outrage Ensues



Outrage has ensued after Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights has announced its intention to grant an honorary doctorate degree to Rev. Al Sharpton. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Outrage has ensued after Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights has announced its intention to grant an honorary doctorate degree to Rev. Al Sharpton.

By: Nina Ferducci

The College, which is funded by New York taxpayers, intends to grant an honorary doctorate degree to Mr. Sharpton — who many say increased tensions during race riots in the early ’90s.

The race riots began after Gavin Cato, then 7, was accidentally ran over by the motorcade of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson — who headed the Lubavitch Hasidic section.

Hours after the accident, Yankel Rosenbaum, a Hasidic scholar, was approached by a sizeable mob who yelled: “Kill the Jew” — who ultimately stabbed him, killing him.

At Mr. Cato’s funeral, Mr. Sharpton said that he died because of “the social accident of apartheid.” He went on to refer to Jews overall as “diamond merchants.”

One day following Mr. Cato’s accidental death, Mr. Sharpton rallied local activists in Crowd Heights — and ultimately starting rioting. In just four days of rioting, looting and blazes, led by Mr. Sharpton, 152 cops and 38 local residents were injured, and over 25 police cars were wrecked.

An internal document drafted by the college obtained by The New York Post makes no mention of the riots led by Mr. Sharpton, and instead, notes that he founded the National Action Network to “increase voter education, provide services to those in poverty, uphold police accountability, and support small community businesses.”

“This is not a person you honor,” Norman Rosenbaum, Yankel’s brother, told The Post. “Within the last 27 years, he hasn’t changed. The same character is there.”

“I think he’s a fraud and a charlatan whose actions over the years speak for themselves and they’re not good actions,” Mr. Rosenbaum continued. “He’s a man who does not promote peace. He’s not told the truth.”

Medgar Evers College also ignores Mr. Sharpton’s infamous defense of Tawana Brawley, who made up a lie and falsely claimed in 1987 that she was abducted and later raped by a group of white men. Mr. Sharpton never apologized, when Mrs. Brawley’s claims turned out to be untrue.

“I can’t believe the guy’s being recognized for anything,” Steven Pagones, a former Prosecutor who Mr. Sharpton falsely accused of aiding the fake attack, told The Post.

Mr. Pagones told the Post that Mr. Sharpton is now “worried about his own political agenda, and that’s it.”

If the proposal to grant Mr. Sharpton the honorary doctorate degree passes a vote before CUNY’s Committee on Academic Policy, Programs, and Research, it will go up for a vote before the organization’s regular board next month.

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