The business of racial justice has been far more lucrative for Al Sharpton than he would have you believe. It has just been confirmed that he has made over $1 million in compensation since the Black Lives Matter movement was started.
Sharpton and his tax-exempt National Action Network 501(c) have been fighting against “threats to racial justice” since the tragic death of Trayvon Martin in 2012. Martin’s death was only the beginning of Sharpton carrying out a business model in which he would attach himself to various tragedies and fight police brutality for his own personal gain.
“Freddie Gray was robbed of the life he had ahead of him, his family was robbed of a loved one, and the Baltimore community has been robbed of a young man and, in recent days, a sense of peace,” Sharpton said in a statement in 2015. Since then, Sharpton and his National Action Network (NAN) have hosted press conferences for the deaths of various men and women, including many appearances to honor George Floyd.
Publicly available financial records for the National Action Network show that Sharpton was paid $1,238,704 between January 2003 and December 2012. The network paid Sharpton $241,545 in 2013, which was the year Black Lives Matter was founded after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the controversial 2012 shooting death of Martin.
In the seven years since 2013, Sharpton’s compensation from NAN has increased dramatically along with the network’s revenues. In 2014, Sharpton was paid $412,644 by NAN, a more than 70% increase over the previous year. The most recent financial records from NAN that are publicly available are from 2018, when Sharpton’s salary was listed as $1,046,948, a four-fold increase from 2013. That same year, the revenues for NAN were $7.3 million, its highest ever.
When Sharpton was asked about his large salary, he replied, “It’s a six-day-a-week job and several hours a day, and when [the compensation firm] compared it to other companies, other non-profits, that’s the salary that they would get.”
It seems that the business of social justice is far more lucrative than anyone thought indeed.