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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, television/radio talk show host and a former White House adviser for President Barack Obama. 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 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."


We have defeated Jim Crow, but now we have to deal with his son, James Crow Jr., esquire.




I've never done anything else in my life other than preach and be an activist. Way before I was known.




In New York, you are competing with Times Square lights and all of that, so you've got to be 300 pounds and crazy to get anyone's attention. Then, you can refine yourself. I always knew under those 300 pounds and tracksuits was a refined, slim, dignified man.




I always beat the sun up in the morning. It's the secret to why I'm double trouble.




One of the reasons I get so much joy out of my own children's childhoods is that I'm having my first childhood myself.




I can call a march, and thousands come out, and I happen to have access to the White House at the same time.




The United States has got to adopt a policy of befriending and creating allies around the world.




The resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder is met with both pride and disappointment by the Civil Rights community. We are proud that he has been the best Attorney General on Civil Rights in U.S. history and disappointed because he leaves at a critical time when we need his continued diligence most.




My organization, National Action Network (NAN), was on the ground talking and meeting with people in Ferguson, just as we did in Staten Island following Eric Garner's death.




Evangelicals catapulted George W. Bush back to the White House.




I've gone from, you know, being too close to politicians, to being too close to entertainers, and people's father that I'm not.




The right wing always mobilizes around constitutional amendments: the right to bear arms, school prayer.




As I often say, we have come a long way from the days of slavery, but in 2014, discrimination and inequality still saturate our society in modern ways. Though racism may be less blatant now in many cases, its existence is undeniable.




I'm a patriot in the truest sense of the word.




I could take all the cartoons in the tabloid newspapers, but I couldn't take my daughter punching me in the belly and asking why I was so fat. That was my inspiration to lose the weight. And probably the last time anyone hurt my feelings.




Dr. King used Gandhi's commitment to non-violence and to passive resistance.




I grew up in the 1950s and '60s, when it was almost a holiday when a black act would go on Ed Sullivan.




Dr. King's general principles are universal. But the things he confronted took place in another era.




Bill Clinton strikes me as the kind of guy who goes wherever the polls lead him, rather than leading the polls.




We're not anti-police... we're anti-police brutality.




Like myself, President Obama is the father of two daughters. He understands the obstacles that they face as women, but he also understands the emergency of the state of young black men in America.




Local prosecutors work alongside local police officers on a regular basis and are therefore conflicted when it comes to prosecuting those same officers. They are under extreme pressure from local police unions and from rank-and-file cops.




I very rarely read any fiction. I love biographies; I read about all kinds of people. I love theology and some philosophy.




If you play the theatrics too much, you get in the way of your own cause.




The horrific cases in Ferguson, in Staten Island with the death of Eric Garner, and all across the country serve as stark reminders that we must have a say in who polices us, and how that policing is done. We must, we must, let our voices be heard on Election Day.




You don't need any indictment in order to arrest someone; probable cause is sufficient to arrest civilians, so it must be enough to arrest police.




My ministry's always been one of social activism. I think a responsible minister must be at some levels involved in the social order.




If Charlton Heston can have a constitutional right carry a rifle, why can't grandma have a constitutional right to health care?




I've seen too much in life to give up.




All women, regardless of her economic status or racial background, have a right to vote, and no politician or regressive law should prevent her from doing so.




I actually lost more weight than I am!




The United States isn't a dictatorship ruling with a brutal army and an iron fist, so our police departments must understand that they are there to serve and protect us - all of us. And when they do commit crimes, they must be arrested and prosecuted like anyone else, bottom line.




We cannot reform institutional racism or systemic policies if we are not actively engaged. It's not enough to simply complain about injustice; the only way to prevent future injustice is to create the society we would like to see, one where we are all equal under the law.




When people discuss the 1960s and the great Civil Rights Era, they often speak in romantic terms as if there wasn't immense work put in, and as if there wasn't immense sacrifice that took place. But none of those battles were easily fought and won; there were sustained movements behind them.




The boxing world is full of all kinds of corruption.




As a preacher who has spent significant time in churches and houses of worship all across the country, I can tell you firsthand that religious liberty and freedom are principles that can never be infringed upon.



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