By Gary R’nel

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Reverend Al Sharpton selectively applies the phrase Black Lives Matter when it is tethered to his checking account deposit tickets.

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I digress for just a moment. The Reverend? Bethany Blankley in the Christian Post writes that by age ten, Sharpton was “ordained” by Pentecostal minister Bishop F.D. Washington—a man with no training or education. Regardless of education, no one in his or her right mind can ascribe the title of minister to a 10-year-old.

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Recently, an African American police officer, 30-year-old Robert Wilson III, was gunned down in an attempted robbery. The suspects were black, with each in possession of a rap sheet that displayed total and wanton disregard from human life and dignity. Officer Wilson leaves behind a nine- and a one-year-old child. He was gunned down on a Friday in a GameStop store buying a gift for his son’s upcoming birthday on Monday. The officer, an eight-year veteran, stepped away from others in the store to keep them out of the crossfire, police said after watching the store’s security camera footage. Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey could not find enough superlatives in describing the embodiment and spirit of the officer, caring about the safety of his community and unselfishly giving of himself to charity.

So where is Al? Seconds after Michael Brown, an African American, was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Sharpton was on the phone with his travel agent booking the next red eye express to Missouri. The circumstances matter not. What matters in this is race. Sharpton is the consummate professional when it comes to messaging to a minority community desperate for national leaders who will honestly address its challenges.

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In 1998, Sharpton lost a defamation suit brought by an upstate New York prosecutor, Steven Pagones, after accusing him of being part of a group of white men whom he said had abducted and raped the teenager Tawana Brawley, an allegation that a grand jury report showed had been fabricated. Sharpton gravitated to the community, deposit tickets in hand, to fund his National Action Network. It was a rare occasion for Al. He actually had to revert to the withdrawal slip. Still, there was no call for accountability among his acolytes. Sharpton fancies himself a modern day Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have been in Philadelphia for the funeral service of police officer Robert Wilson III.