Sunday on MSNBC’s “Live,” host Alex Witt said some recent high-profile police incidents with African-Americans was “increasing evidence” that more people are becoming more and more alarmed by the difference in skin color.
Witt said, “So are you sitting down for this? Because in the past few weeks, we have reported on at least six cases, in the past few weeks, in which police were called on African-Americans who were not engaged in criminal activity but were treated as such. In Philadelphia, two black men were arrested at a Starbucks coffee shop. At a Waffle House in Alabama, a black woman was tackled and wrestled to the ground by two male police officers. Bob Marley’s granddaughter was among a group of three black women and one white woman when someone called police. Let’s go to Yale University, a bastion of intellect, I might add, a white woman called cops on a black student who was just taking a nap. Then another Waffle House, this one in North Carolina, police put a black man in a chokehold. He had stopped there after taking his sister to prom. He was wearing a tuxedo. And last Friday, police called to a mall in Wisconsin. They were caught on video punching a black teenager in the face. This has prompted new calls for dialogue on why white Americans call the police on black people.”
She continued, “And joining me now, Reverend Al Sharpton, host of MSNBC’s ’Politics Nation.’ Rev, by the way, this is not in entirety. These are only the ones that have gained notoriety. I guess this evidence, it points to increasing evidence that more people are becoming more and more alarmed by the difference in skin color. Help me understand what’s going on here.”
Witt asked Sharpton, “When white people call the cops on black people, is that, in your mind, outright racism, or something? Is it cultural? Is it media? Is it America’s history? Is it something that has been engrained that is difficult to reverse?”
Sharpton said, “I think that when you have a white person call the police on a black person that would have not called the police on a white person doing the same activity, that’s racism. You don’t have to wear a hood and burn a cross to be a racist. If you look down in a dorm and saw a white young lady sleeping and that would not alarm you, but a black one does, that’s racism and you need to face your own racism.”
Witt said, “OK, I agree with you on that one.”
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