Al Sharpton, the prominent anti-Semite and verbally challenged MSNBC host, was among the "sophisticated crowd" of guests who attended former president Barack Obama's 60th birthday bash on Martha's Vineyard over the weekend. Jewish comedian Larry David was not.
David was not the only prominent Jew disinvited from the party, which was reportedly "scaled back" due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic but appears to have been a massive gathering nonetheless. Former Obama adviser David Axelrod, who is Jewish, was also cut from the invite list, according to the New York Times.
Sharpton, who was photographed arriving by private jet, was a central figure in the Crown Heights riot of 1991. His anti-Semitic rhetoric and inciteful actions fueled what would become the worst outburst of anti-Semitic violence in modern American history. Yet "Reverend Al" remains a ubiquitous figure within the elite subset of liberal activists, Democratic politicians, professional journalists, and other celebs.
In 2019, Sharpton's American Action Network defended a Jersey City official who suggested Jewish "brutes" were to blame for an anti-Semitic shooting at a kosher deli that left six dead. The local official, Joan Terrell-Paige, also invoked an anti-Semitic trope by suggesting that Jews were "selling body parts." Sharpton affiliate Carolyn Oliver Fair came to the defense of Terrell-Paige, urging her critics to "shut their mouths" and falsely claiming the gunmen responsible for the shooting were Jewish.
Obama hosted the birthday blowout at his $12 million estate on Martha's Vineyard. Around 700 guests were initially expected to attend, until media reports on the impending "superspreader event" stirred up some bad publicity. The president's supporters defended his decision to host a massive gathering in the middle of a pandemic by noting the "sophisticated" nature of the attendees, according to one summer resident and columnist with the Vineyard Gazette.
Sharpton was joined by an array of celebrities, including Jay-Z, Beyoncé, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Don Cheadle, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Nancy Pelosi, and Kim Fields, star of Real Housewives of Atlanta.