It now appears that for years I have been operating under a misconception. I have long thought that Al Sharpton had no peer when it comes to being the most irresponsible, opportunistic, self-serving, despicable race hustler in the black community. However, “Reverend” Al might just have found a contender for his infamous crown in the person of Malik Shabaz. In fact, after witnessing his performance in Baltimore recently I began to think that Shabaz makes Sharpton look good—well, almost. Actually, nobody could make Al Sharpton look good. After all, he is too committed to low-life tactics and exploiting black Americans for profit to ever look good.

But the “Reverend” is going to have to sink even lower if he wants to keep up with the irresponsible antics of Malik Zulu Shabaz. By praising those who rioted, looted, and burned and claiming that these are the only tactics that will bring justice to the black community, Shabaz showed himself to be little more than a gangbanger in a suit. Not only is Shabaz the former National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party, he holds the ironic distinction of being fired by former Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry for being too radical. You have to be a real piece of work to be too radical to work for a mayor who was a confirmed drug addict and criminal—and Shabaz is.

When not in Baltimore inciting wayward young black men to loot, burn, and riot, Shazbaz passes his time as the National President of Black Lawyers for Justice. Here are the principles Shabaz claims to advocate:

  • Black nationalism
  • Black power
  • Support for slavery reparations
  • Anti-Zionism (including claims that Jews dominated the African slave trade and were behind the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, City)

Shabaz is hardly what the black community needs as a leader. Those who study poverty in the inner-city—including black scholars—uniformly list drugs, crime, and fatherless families as the factors that do the most to create the hopelessness and misery that prevail there. Fatherless young black men who join gangs as a way to gain a sense of belonging soon find themselves deeply involved in drugs, crime, and violence. In Baltimore recently they have been engaged—with the encouragement and blessing of Malik Shabaz—in looting, arson, and violence. These budding young criminals, in turn, father children who they take no responsibility for and the cycle continues in a downward spiral. Yet here we have Malik Shabaz calling violent young black men who burned and plundered their own community heroes.

Shabaz is so far out in left field that black pastors in Baltimore who worked hard for calm while encouraging peaceful protests—the kind that were led by Dr. King and his colleagues in the 1960s—vocally rejected him and his message. One pastor, Reverend Louis Wilson, claimed that Shabaz is trying to “impose a national narrative” on Baltimore that does not comport with local conditions. He added that Shabaz does not speak for all African-Americans and that there are people in Baltimore who wish he would “just stay away.” In spite of the fact that Freddie Gray’s family repeatedly asked for peace and calm, Shabaz called for the rioters to “Shut it down if you want to! Shut it down!” He might as well have told the protestors in Baltimore to shoot themselves in the foot because those who took his advice were doing just that and worse.

Dr. King staked out the high moral ground in his epic battles for Civil Rights, which is why he ultimately won those battles. Since Dr. King’s death, Al Sharpton has staked out the moral low ground in his opportunistic battles to promote and enrich Al Sharpton at the expense of black Americans. But Malik Shabaz makes “Reverend” Al look like an amateur when it comes to dragging the black community into the gutter. The views espoused by Shabaz are not good for black Americans, nor are they good for black communities. Shabaz now runs Black Lawyers for Justice; an organization that provides legal services for black Americans. Observing his antics in Baltimore, one can only wonder if he is purposefully trying to increase the size of his client list.