NORTH CHARLESTON, South Carolina — The Boeing Company sponsored a breakfast for Democratic Party presidential candidates hosted by Al Sharpton’s National Action Network on Wednesday morning, but Boeing executives refused to comment.
Sharpton has a long history of controversial rhetoric, especially on racial issues. He was blamed for encouraging antisemitic mobs in riots in Crown Heights, a neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, in the early 1990s.
More recently, he helped inflame the death of teenager Trayvon Martin into a major national issue in 2012, presenting it, falsely, as a racially motivated killing. The issue caused major damage to race relations.
Boeing, a major employer in South Carolina, as well as a major federal government contractor, sponsored Wednesday’s event, held at the Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, featuring nearly every Democrat candidate, including several who called President Donald Trump a “racist.”
The candidates pitched their campaigns to the audience, made up largely of religious leaders from the local African American community, which comprises a majority of the Democratic Party primary electorate in the state.
The master of ceremonies thanked Boeing from the stage, and executives from the company were seated at “Table 1.”
But when Breitbart News approached them for comment, they declined, other than confirming their sponsorship.
Breitbart News: Hi. Can I just ask you — you guys are from Boeing?
Boeing executive: Yeah.
Breitbart News: Are you guys are sponsoring the event? I got from the podium that —
Boeing executive: I believe we were one of the sponsors of the event, yes.
Breitbart News: Okay. I have to ask — Al Sharpton, controversial figure, said some controversial things, racial rhetoric, antisemitism. How does Boeing feel about associating itself with him and his organization after that history?
Boeing executive: We’re not going to have any comment. But thank you for asking.
Breitbart News: And what about people calling the president a racist from the podium? Boeing has no comment?
Boeing executive: I’m sorry, we have no comment, but thank you.
Breitbart subsequently reached out to Boeing’s communications department for comment, but none was received.
The South Carolina Democratic Party presidential primary will be held on Saturday.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.