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Al Sharpton

  • American activist
  • Born October 3, 1954

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. In 2011, he was named the host of MSNBC's PoliticsNation, a nightly talk show. In 2015, the program was shifted to Sunday mornings.Sharpton's supporters praise "his ability and willingness to defy the power structure that is seen as the cause of their suffering" and consider him "a man who is willing to tell it like it is."


If you can get the proper definition of trouble, then we can find out who the real troublemakers are.




Demonstrations must be dignified and nonviolent, as the overwhelming protests in Ferguson and Staten Island have been. Do not confuse anarchists who don't want the system to work and thugs who want to exploit a situation with the majority who from day one have operated with impeccable nonviolence and clear goals.




If it weren't for the mentorship and guidance from people like my mother, James Brown and others, I wouldn't have been able to make something of my life.




I was raised by a single mother who made a way for me. She used to scrub floors as a domestic worker, put a cleaning rag in her pocketbook and ride the subways in Brooklyn so I would have food on the table. But she taught me as I walked her to the subway that life is about not where you start, but where you're going. That's family values.




I knew from the age of four that I wanted to preach. I didn't even consider it strange that grown people were listening to this kid preaching until I was around thirteen. I have never believed in limitations.




If the black vote does not come out in big numbers in the age of Ferguson and voter ID, it will empower our adversaries and enhance our marginalization.




If O.J. had been accused of killing his black wife, you would not have seen the same passion stirred up.




We are engaged in immediate conversations with the White House on deliberations over a successor whom we hope will continue in the general direction of Attorney General Holder.




During my 2004 presidential campaign, I was fond of saying that it was high time for the Christian right to meet the right Christians.




In order to establish peace, you must have fair justice for everyone.




From racial profiling and being pulled over just for 'driving while black' to this new phenomenon of killing unarmed people out of some preconceived idea of fear, our lives and our children's lives are not being valued.




I've been able to reach from the streets to the suites.




The dream was not to put one black family in the White House, the dream was to make everything equal in everybody's house.




Following Michael Brown's death, I went to Ferguson and met with his parents. I stood with them as they tried to hold their heads high and deal with both their immense loss and the larger issues of police-community relations.




As a kid who grew up chubby, I just marveled at the fact that I could be thin.




I was the first candidate to come out against this war, spoke at every anti-war march.




In 1999, I was in St. Louis with Martin Luther King III as we led protests against the state's failure to hire minority contractors for highway construction projects. We went at dawn on a summer day with over a thousand people and performed acts of civil disobedience.




I've learned how to measure what I say. Al Sharpton in 1986 was trying to be heard. I was a local guy and was like, 'Y'all are ignoring us.'




I've seen enough things to know that if you just keep on going, if you turn the corner, the sun will be shining.




There's no reason why children in inner cities or rural areas do not receive the same quality education or opportunities as those in suburbs or wealthy neighborhoods. If we truly believe in giving all citizens a chance to pursue happiness and pursue their goals, then we cannot continue to marginalize entire groups of people.




Civilians are arrested every single day - including innocent ones - and they must wait until their day in court in order to argue their side of the story. Police officers must be subjected to the same rules.




I could have easily been a statistic. Growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., it was easy - a little too easy - to get into trouble. Surrounded by poor schools, lack of resources, high unemployment rates, poverty, gangs and more, I watched as many of my peers fell victim to a vicious cycle of diminished opportunities and imprisonment.




Either we need to redefine what probable cause means and say that police are not subject to it, or we arrest officers right away just as we would with any other person accused of committing a crime. Either we write new laws or enforce existing ones; we cannot have it both ways.




I'm never going to be fat - never again. I'm going to make it easy on my pallbearers.




Who defines terrorists? Today's terrorist is tomorrow's friend.




When you loot or behave violently, you give grounds to those that try to justify illegal police abuse. You become the poster child for them to say, 'See, we have no choice but to shoot and kill, or use a chokehold, because just look at the way they behave.'




In every era going back to Lincoln with Frederick Douglass, presidents talk to those that were leading at that time.




We need an amendment that gives us the right to vote protected by the federal government and the Constitution.




When the culture of police departments is sometimes infused with bias or preconceived ideas against certain groups, there needs to be reform and retraining throughout. And unfortunately, we cannot rely on local departments to police themselves; we need intervention from the top.




The United States government has the obligation to educate all young people in this country.




Let me be clear: as I have said repeatedly, I do not believe that all police officers are bad, nor do I believe that most are bad. But there must be a transparent, impartial and fair system to judge those that engage in criminal or unethical acts.




Countries around the world have their own immigration laws and methods of dealing with a recurring theme: desperate people searching for peace from volatile parts of the world. And nations everywhere thrive and prosper from the contributions of immigrants and the children of immigrants - including right here in the U.S.




It is up to us to change laws on the books like 'Stand Your Ground' laws and push elected officials to enact regulations that hold police officers to the same standards as the rest of society. This is why we vote.




James Brown became my father. He would talk to me the way a father talked to a son. He became the father I never had.




If companies can refuse to provide coverage for women, what other objections to the Affordable Care Act will we see based on 'religious grounds'? For that matter, will 'religious freedom' be used as an excuse to discriminate against other minorities and disenfranchised groups across the board? Where will it end?




My message to everyone: the next time you hear about migrant children near the border, just picture them as your own. Then think what you would want our government to do.



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