Why is it that any time an African-American of note reaches new heights or has a significant event, skeletons that have been raised before seem to come back from the dead for a second or third round? Why is it that news that was front page stories years ago can make the front pages for days on end years later with little more information and no smoking gun that makes it newsworthy? Why is it that it always happens right before a notable event? Why does it happen at all?

Timing is everything. This week the Rev. Al Sharpton will be hosting the annual convention of National Action Network. Headlining the convention will be the President of the United States Barack Obama. Isn’t it curious how issues come to the forefront right before this historic convention?

Is this whole charade a tactic to try and embarrass the president because of his relationship with Sharpton? Is it a tactic to try to discredit Sharpton and his TV and radio shows? Is it a tactic to try to strengthen the right?

Check all of the above.

This recasting of old issues, digging up old mildewed dirt, that have not changed is just a distraction to all the good that is being accomplished by Sharpton and his organization. The ability for Sharpton to move people, legislation and agendas scares so many that trying to discredit him still remains a priority, even if it means dredging up timeworn, already covered issues.

What will it take for those who dislike Sharpton and other leaders in our community to realize that trying to take down the pillars in the community will not weaken our foundations, but strengthen them with more support.

Our first impulse was not to dignify such trash, not to give the indignation any further compost in which to fester. But the nasty, malicious headlines of two dailies warrant a response, so we’ve left that to our reporters to tackle. We agree with Rev. Sharpton that this is nothing more than another attempt to criminalize and to demonize someone who has made significant strides in empowering our community.

Sure, like all of us, he’s by no means perfect, but he’s hardly the rat that some of our detractors have charged.

If Sharpton is a rat then the president is a rodent too by association, and as Attorney General Eric Holder reminded the audience at the convention, there is an abundance of hatred out there for our black leaders in high places.

There is no need for us to expend any more words in defense of Sharpton; he demonstrated in a recent press conference, on his radio and television show, that he is quite capable of taking on his adversaries.

Only thing different about this current round of insinuations is that it’s a fresh slice of insignificant crap that the dailies know will command attention, sell papers, and keep Sharpton and allies on the defensive.

One again the Smoking Gun has misfired.