While I may not always agree with what Al Sharpton says, he is a civil rights activist and has shown himself as such through words and actions. I do not believe in calling people "race baiters." While this is a criticism that is raised about Sharpton, I believe people say this because they don't agree with Sharpton's opinions and are not sure how to respond. As for Sharpton himself, he thinks that being called a "race baiter" shows that he is effective in his work because he is getting people to at least have a discussion.
While Al Sharpton's tactics include race baiting, his effectiveness proves that he is so much more than that. The fact is that he figured out early on his career that if you want to grab people's attention, you have got to be sensationalist. If his causes were not wrapped up in provocative language, would as many people listen? Probably not.