In a recent episode of Politico‘s “Off Message” podcast, infamous race agitator Reverend Al Sharpton is blaming President Trump for the racial tensions in America–tensions that Sharpton helped stoke.
“We’re in a poisonous atmosphere that is being increased by the president of the United States. It’s like turning on the gas in a room,” Sharpton told the podcast host. “Any match could lead to an explosion, and we’re getting that kind of atmosphere from this president.” Apparently, Sharpton forgot that his business thrives on sowing racial division. For example, in 1992 Sharpton attempted to incite violence.
“All the Panther lovers. All the ‘do it or die.’ All the ‘by any means necessary’ negros…I didn’t see ’em stand up and do nothing. ‘Oh really, I don’t believe in marching, I believe in offing the pigs.’ Well they got pigs out here. You ain’t offed one of them.” Sharpton told a receptive crowd. “What I believe in I do. Do what you believe in. Or shut up and admit you’ve lost your courage and your guts to stand up,” Sharpton was captured saying.
Essentially, Sharpton was calling a room of activists cowards because they hadn’t started “offing the pigs.” Yet now he accuses President Trump of stoking racial tensions because he condemned violence on both sides of the Charlottesville, Virginia protests.
Unlike President Trump, Sharpton may have violated federal law by inciting violence. According to U.S.C. § 2101, any person who worked “to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot… shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
Rev. Sharpton directing his followers to “off the pigs” and to off the “plenty of crackers walking right around here tonight,” surely should be considered the encouraging of a riot.
Of course, Sharpton’s inflammatory accusations against President Trump did not come without self-promotion. The reverend used his appearance on the podcast to promote his upcoming rally, scheduled for August 28th. Sharpton will be drawing activists to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC. While Sharpton hosts a similar rally each year, he explains that this one will be “special.”
This is not the first time that Sharpton and President Trump, both New York natives, have squared off. In 2012, Rev. Sharpton insinuated that Donald Trump was racist for promoting the birther conspiracy theory started by Hillary Clinton’s campaign team in 2008.
Sharpton says Trump is the one fueling racial division. Is Al Sharpton the real race divider?
The conflict came to a head when Donald Trump invited Sharpton to Trump Tower in November, 2012. Trump described the meeting on Twitter, claiming that Al Sharpton came “to apologize for calling me a racist—very nice, apology accepted!” However, Sharpton denies apologizing. He also denies ever accusing Donald Trump of racism.
However, it is hard to ignore the sharp contrast between the treatment of President Trump and Al Sharpton in the mainstream media. Sharpton has made a career out of fanning the flames of racial tensions, even going as far as inciting violence in the name of black activism, yet he is heralded as a hero of race relations. President Trump, on the other hand, is doing everything he can to condemn white supremacy, yet he is accused of pouring gas on a flame.
This discrepancy is not helping resolve the conflicts in our nation, but only serving to create deeper divisions.