Al Sharpton

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I’m projected as an ambulance chaser, but I’m more the ambulance. People call me because they know I will come.

Alfred Charles Sharpton Jr. (born October 3, 1954) is an American civil rights activist, Baptist minister, talk show host and politician. Sharpton is the founder of the National Action Network. In 2004, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidential election. He hosts his own radio talk show, Keepin' It Real, and he makes regular guest appearances on cable news television.


  • Mark Miller is my brother and I love him dearly.
    • The Richard Bey Show (31 March 1988), accusing Pagones in the alleged gang rape of Tawana Brawley; The Brawley case was later dropped and Pagones sued Sharpton successfully for defamation
  • "We built pyramids before Donald Trump even knew what architecture was. We taught philosophy and astrology [sic] and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it…Do some cracker come and tell you, ‘Well my mother and father blood go back to the Mayflower,’ you better hold your pocket. That ain’t nothing to be proud of, that means their forefathers was crooks."
    • Speech at Kean College (1994), transcribed in The Forward (December 1995), as quoted in Foolish Words : The Most Stupid Words Ever Spoken (2003) by Laura Ward, p. 192.
  • "There is a systemic and methodical strategy to eliminate our people from doing business off 125th Street. I want to make it clear … that we will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business."
  • "What’s wrong with denouncing white interlopers?"
    • As quoted in National Review (20 March 2000).
  • Though there were over 200 policemen standing around, none of them made a move to grab him.
    • Go and Tell Pharaoh (1996), on being stabbed by Michael Riccardi.
  • I disagree with [Khalid Abdul] Muhammad. I'm against hate, anti-Semitism and homophobia.… This is not a village of hate. It's a village of hope.… Don't let midgets give us a bad name. There are still giants in Harlem giants who will stand up for our children.
    • First Million Youth March in Harlem, New York (5 September 1998)[citation needed]
  • When he said he was going to stop the march and called it a hate march, I think that was very provocative. The Mayor's statements have created a climate that could possibly lead to some kind of confrontation.
    • News conference (18 August 1999), prior to the second Million Youth March[citation needed]
  • I have no problem with Khalid Abdul Muhammad. My problem is with Giuliani. It is not Khalid who is talking hate. It's Rudy Giuliani.
  • Tawana Brawley told her story many months before I got involved—and many others got involved, Bill Cosby, and many others, who have never refuted the story. I don't refute it now. I believe … something happened to Tawana Brawley.… There is a problem in this country, that a lot of people don’t believe women. A lot of people don’t believe young women. I took the risk, as I have in most of the civil rights cases I have fought, to stand up for the victim. In this particular case, a jury did not believe her.
    • NBC's Meet the Press (25 August 2002).
  • I do believe the [Democratic] party has moved far to the right. I do believe that the party has a bunch of elephants running around in donkey clothes.
  • Now that they have achieved the capture of Hussein, they should appeal to the UN to come in with a multilateral redevelopment plan. This is all the more reason this war should come to an immediate end.
    • Remarks following the capture of Saddam Hussein, quoted in "The Capture of Hussein" (15 December 2003) New York Times p. A19.
  • Clearly, [President Bush] lied. Now if he is an unconscious liar, and doesn't realize when he's lying, then we're really in trouble.
    • Source: Democratic presidental debate at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin held on 15 Feb. 2004 [1].
  • They tried to say that being gay is a sin, and I said that adultery is a sin. Adultery is responsible for breaking up more marriages, but do we put that in the Constitution? It’s absurd.
    • Remarks announcing the National Action Network anti-homophobia campaign, quoted in Jamal Watson (3 August 2005) "Sharpton Pledges Fight Against Homophobia Among Blacks" New York Sun.
  • Jim Crow is old. That's not who I'm mindful of today. The problem is that Jim Crow has sons. The one we've got to battle is James Crow Jr., Esq. He's a little more educated. He's a little slicker. He's a little more polished, but the results are the same.
  • I disagreed with the grand jury on [Tawana] Brawley. I believed there was enough evidence to go to trial. The grand jury said there wasn’t. OK, fine. Do I have a right to disagree with the grand jury? Many Americans believe O.J. Simpson was guilty. A jury said he wasn’t. So I have as much right to question a jury as they do. Does it make somebody a racist? No! They just disagreed with the jury. So did I.
  • I'm projected as an ambulance chaser, but I'm more the ambulance. People call me because they know I will come.… I have never fought a case where they didn't ask me to come. People have this picture like I'm sitting up in bed at night with a walkie-talkie. "You hear anything? Oh, let's run! It's Virginia today!"… Every victim calls us.… "Who put Sharpton in charge?" The victim!

From the 2004 DNC

Speech at the Democratic National Convention (2004)
  • Mr. President, as I close, Mr. President, I heard you say Friday that you had questions for voters, particularly African- American voters. And you asked the question: Did the Democratic Party take us for granted? Well, I have raised questions. But let me answer your question. You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule. That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres. We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us.
  • Mr. President, you said would we have more leverage if both parties got our votes, but we didn't come this far playing political games. It was those that earned our vote that got our vote. We got the Civil Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the Voting Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the right to organize under Democrats. Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age. Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of good men, soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham. This vote is sacred to us. This vote can't be bargained away. This vote can't be given away. Mr. President, in all due respect, Mr. President, read my lips: Our vote is not for sale.
  • But we believed if we kept on working, if we kept on marching, if we kept on voting, if we kept on believing, we would make America beautiful for everybody.
  • I suggest to you tonight that if George Bush had selected the [Supreme] court in '54, Clarence Thomas would have never got to law school.
  • They’re losing people of color because they really don’t get the people of color’s life. If you are living in a city, in a neighborhood, that is inundated with crime, and you act like that’s not an issue you've already lost me. That is an issue. You cannot ignore when a 12-year-old kid who is somebody’s niece and neighbor is killed, and you act like that's a nonissue because you're too elitist to live on the ground.
  • We don’t want to be manipulated by right-wing elitist billionaires or by left-wing guys that don’t understand our life on the ground that is living in fear of crime, that is living as a result of inflation that is killing us in many parts of the country. We need gas to go to work.
  • These beltway elitists, these limousine liberals here in New York, don’t live in the real world and Blacks have to, and browns have to deal with the real world every day, and we don’t sit in crowded subways reading left-wing or right-wing propaganda.


  • If Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.
  • I'll know how outraged I am when I know how many black people were on those flights.
    • Attributed as a remark on The O'Reilly Factor on 13 October 2002. There was no episode of "The O'Reilly Factor" on this date.

Quotes about Sharpton

  • As a rule, the civil rights establishment is not punctual. But even by the standards of the chronically late, Sharpton is chronically late. Like all politicians, he tends to schedule an impossible number of events in a single day. But that’s only part of the problem. Habit accounts for the rest. After spending so many years on the road, with so little cash, so far from the edge of respectability, Sharpton has lost the ability to travel like a legitimate person. In Sharpton’s world, itineraries are merely suggestions. It’s a measure of his awesome natural talent that he’s able to get anything done at all. He’s that disorganized. One of the few commitments that Sharpton never misses is church on Sunday. He attends a service no matter where he happens to be. If you know Sharpton primarily through his political activism—or his history as a Tawana Brawley adviser or FBI informant or James Brown protégé—it can be hard to believe that he’s actually a Christian clergyman. Doubts disappear when you hear him preach.
    • Tucker Carlson, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” Esquire, November 2003
  • Sharpton preaches like a man who has been doing it since before he could read or write. (He was only four when he gave his first sermon on John 14 in front of nine hundred people at the Washington Temple Church of God in Christ in Brooklyn.) His sermons are as extemporaneous as his schedule. Not a word is written down; everything is subject to change. Often he switches the topic of a sermon midway through in response to what he feels from the crowd. Sometimes he bursts into song. Most surprising of all, there’s a fair amount of religion in Sharpton’s preaching. He quotes at length from the Bible, talks without embarrassment about Jesus and redemption and heaven and hell. He believes in the supernatural and says so. He’s probably the only Democratic presidential candidate this year who is comfortable discussing faith healing, prophesies, and speaking in tongues, all of which he has seen and is convinced are real.
    • Tucker Carlson, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” Esquire, November 2003
  • "This is the beginning of the twenty-first century's civil rights movement," Reverend Sharpton told the throng. "In the twentieth century, we had to fight for where we sat on the bus. Now, we've gotta fight on how we sit in a courtroom. We've gone from plantations to penitentiaries, where they have tried to create a criminal justice system that particularly targets our young black men."...Reverend Sharpton concluded at the civil rights rally, "Martin Luther King, Jr., and others faced Jim Crow. We come to Jena to face James Crow, Jr., Esquire. He's a little more educated. A little more polished. But it's the same courthouse steps used to beat down our people. And just like our daddies beat Jim Crow, we will win the victory over James Crow, Jr."
    • Amy Goodman Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times (2008)
  • Among the many nonhumane activities Sharpton has been involved in was the infamous Tawana Brawley hoax, in which he fabricated a charge that four white men had raped a young black woman named Tawana Brawley.
    • Dennis Prager, PRAGER: Are You Sure You Want To Play Russian Roulette With Your Child's Values?, May 25 2019, The Daily Wire
  • Sharpton also runs a phony civil rights organization called the National Action Network, which has collected many millions of dollars from corporations in what essentially amounts to an extortion racket that enables those corporations to buy racial peace.
    • Dennis Prager, PRAGER: Are You Sure You Want To Play Russian Roulette With Your Child's Values?, May 25 2019, The Daily Wire
  • Sharpton helped stoke the Jew-hatred that sparked black anti-Jewish riots in 1991. In a book published in 2006, Edward S. Shapiro, a Brandeis University historian, described the riot as "the most serious anti-Semitic incident in American history."
    • Dennis Prager, PRAGER: Are You Sure You Want To Play Russian Roulette With Your Child's Values?, May 25 2019, The Daily Wire
  • MSNBC continues to prominently feature the Reverend Al Sharpton. He was Jussie Smollett before Jussie Smollett was in the matter of the Tawana Brawley hate-crime/rape hoax, and his rabble-rousing attacks on Jewish “bloodsuckers” and “interlopers” preceded the mass murder at Freddie’s Fashion Mart. He inflamed anti-Semitic passions leading up to the Crown Heights riots. Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes apparently are content to be affiliated with him.
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