It appears that the Reverend Al Sharpton’s crusade against what he deems to be objectionable content within Hip-Hop music is shifting fronts. During Monday’s press conference to announce the formation of a Buffalo Chapter of his National Action Network, Sharpton supported a proposal by New York Senator Antoine Thompson to divest an estimated $3 billion of New York’s state pension from record companies in hopes of opening up a dialogue with industry executives.
Thompson, a Democrat representing New York’s 60th District said, “We just want to have more responsible entertainment where we’re not using language that’s offensive to anybody.” The move is the latest in a series of actions that has seen Sharpton and his peers take exception with lyrics he feels are “celebrating a culture of depravity and decadence.”Sharpton stepped up is efforts in the wake of the Don Imus firing and he also made a similar plea to artists during June’s BET Awards.
And while many speculate the firing of Imus sparked Sharpton’s renewed interest in the content of Hip-Hop’s lyrics, the Reverend can be quoted in an online interview with Radar Magazine saying he wouldn’t necessarily oppose an Imus comeback. “My position is that we never called for him to be permanently barred from being on the air,”Sharpton said. “We’ll see when he comes back, and if he comes back, what are the boundaries and what is the understanding. We’ll be monitoring the situation, but we wanted him to pay for being a repeat abuser, and he paid. We never said we didn’t want him to make a living.”