Tamika Mallory, the 31-year-old executive director of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, has some words of warning for African-American reporters. On Friday, Mallory wrote a column titled “Time For Black Journalists To Stop Criticizing Rev. Sharpton.”
Mallory’s column, which was published on NewsOne.com and linked on National Action Network’s web site, was addressed “to all the Black journalists out there.” She begins by discussing her distaste for criticism of Sharpton’s MSNBC show, “Politics Nation,” which premiered August 29.
“Whenever I hear people question Reverend Sharpton’s new show, ‘Politics Nation’ on MSNBC, I find myself thinking of the theory known as ‘crabs in the barrel.,’” Mallory wrote.
Sharpton’s show drew critiques from conservative news outlets in its first week on the air including Andrew Breitbart’s BreitbartTV, which mocked Sharpton’s language skills, and Newsbusters, which poked fun at his ratings. Mallory doesn’t identify any criticism from African-American members of the media that may have inspired her column, but she does explain why she thinks black reporters shouldn’t criticize Sharpton’s show.
“Rev. Sharpton is and has always been an advocate and defender of the people, and I believe ‘we’ should support his new endeavor for it affords him the opportunity to continue to build on his years of struggle. An activist such as Rev. Sharpton doesn’t need to be fed information on the injustices in society, because he lives and breathes them every single day,” Mallory wrote.
Mallory was named executive director of National Action Network in 2009. Her parents are founding members of the group, and Mallory has said she “grew up in this organization.” According to National Action Network’s web site, Sharpton created the organization to “to promote a modern civil rights agenda.”
“After knowing [Sharpton] for over 20 years, I would bet my last dollar that he will continue championing justice in his new position with no apologies,” Mallory wrote.