This Friday, the Oxford Union in London will hold a debate about race relations in the United States. MSNBC host Al Sharpton accepted an invitation to the event, but after confirming he would be one of the participants to propose the motion that the United States is “institutionally racist,” he did an about face, shocking his esteemed hosts.
Sharpton was supposed to defend his proposition along with Black Panther leader Aaron Dixon and liberal blogger Mychal Denzel Smith, while SiriusXM host, Breitbart News, and Fox News Contributor David Webb; conservative commentator Joe R. Hicks; and BBC radio host Charlie Wolf would oppose the motion in a structured Oxford-style debate.
The Oxford Union has committed to continue with the debate, which will be held this Friday, January 23rd. The debate details are on their website at oxford-union.org.
Sources have indicated that Sharpton, who is an informal adviser to both President Obama and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, has asked Oxford for an opportunity to speak but not debate the counter argument. “He wants to control the event, because he won’t debate the facts and the real issues including how his own conduct impacts race relations in the U.S.,” stated Webb. “He doesn’t want to be exposed for what he really is – a shakedown artist and racial coward. After years of conning people into giving him money by fanning the flames of racism, he’s just too afraid to have a civil, fact-based conversation about the issues of race in America.”
Oxford will allow Sharpton to speak for 20 minutes before the debate but will also have to answer questions from the audience, Webb, Hicks, and Wolf. The Oxford union, to its credit, is attempting to keep its history of fair debate intact. Webb was assured by the Oxford Union president Lisa Wehden that the opposing side will have an opportunity to ask questions of the Sharpton following his structured remarks. “It would be wrong to allow Sharpton to get away with just his usual thin, inflammatory rhetoric when this is supposed to be a substantive discussion,” said Webb.
Sharpton had a rough year in 2014, with criticism coming from all sides. Most recently, Sharpton’s comments following the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases came under fire for creating a racially charged environment in New York and elsewhere that has pundits and citizens have alleged led to more violence against police across America. The New York Times investigated the long-rumored issue of tax evasion, claiming that Sharpton owes more than $4 million in back taxes. And, while Sharpton railed against law enforcement, The Smoking Gun reported that he was a paid FBI snitch in the 1980s.
The debate will be taped and aired on David Webb’s SiriusXM Patriot radio show Monday, January 26 at 9PM Eastern time. Additional coverage by Breitbart News, Fox News Network, and worldwide media is expected. The Oxford Union YouTube channel will have the full debate following its conclusion.