Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) exposed Al Sharpton’s history of racist and antisemitic rhetoric on Thursday — doing so, in part, by relying on past complaints by Sharpton’s MSNBC colleague, Morning Joe co-host Joe Scarborough.
As Breitbart News has documented, Sharpton has a long record of using racist and antisemitic rhetoric. Many Jews blamed him for exacerbating mob violence against the Jewish community in New York in the 1990s.
More recently, Sharpton led protests against the 2012 death of black teenager Travyon Martin, which he and fellow activists cast as racially motivated, marking the beginning of a decline in race relations that has lasted several years.
On Thursday, Sharpton appeared before a congressional hearing at the House Judiciary Committee on policing practices. During his turn to question the witnesses, Gaetz referred to a resolution, H.Con.Res. 270, which then-Rep. Scarborough introduced in 2000.
The resolution was called, “Condemning the racist and anti-Semitic views of the Reverend Al Sharpton.” Though it was never voted on, it contains a list of offensive statements and actions by Sharpton, as follows:
Whereas the Reverend Al Sharpton has referred to members of the Jewish faith as ‘bloodsucking [J]ews’, and ‘Jew bastards’;
Whereas the Reverend Al Sharpton has referred to members of the Jewish faith as ‘white interlopers’ and ‘diamond merchants’;
Whereas the Reverend Al Sharpton was found guilty of defamation by a jury in a New York court arising from the false accusation that former Assistant District Attorney Steven Pagones, who is white, raped and assaulted a fifteen year-old black girl;
Whereas, to this day, the Reverend Al Sharpton has refused to accept responsibility and expresses no regret for defaming Mr. Pagones;
Whereas the Reverend Al Sharpton’s vicious verbal anti-Semitic attacks directed at members of the Jewish faith, and in particular, a Jewish landlord, arising from a simple landlord-tenant dispute with a black tenant, incited widespread violence, riots, and the murder of five innocent people;
Whereas the Reverend Al Sharpton’s fierce demagoguery incited violence, riots, and murder in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York, following the accidental death of a black pedestrian child hit by the motorcade of Orthodox Rabbi Menachem Schneerson;
Whereas the Reverend Al Sharpton led a protest in the Crown Heights neighborhood and marched next to a protester with a sign that read, ‘The White Man is the Devil’;
Whereas the Reverend Al Sharpton has insulted members of the Jewish faith by challenging Jews to violence and stating to Jews to ‘pin down’ their yarmulkes; and
Whereas the Reverend Al Sharpton has practiced the politics of racial division and made inflammatory remarks against whites by characterizing the death of Amadou Diallo as a ‘racially motivated police ‘assassination’ …
As a video released by Gaetz’s office shows, Sharpton had to admit many of the statements, or claim not to have recalled them or to be responsible for them. He noted, in his defense, that he and Scarborough work together well.
Chairman Nadler struggled to maintain control as Gaetz fought to ask his questions within the time limit. Rep. Jim Jordan (D-OH) yielded his own time back to Gaetz to continue his line of questioning to Sharpton, who struggled to answer some of the allegations, including that Sharpton had used a gay slur in referring to “Greek homes.” Gaetz also asked Sharpton about whether and why his charity allegedly paid him $500,000 for rights to his life story.
In 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) would not be seen with Sharpton and made it known that he did not want Sharpton’s endorsement. But Obama later turned to Sharpton to defend the administration in the black community.
At the same time, Sharpton began working for MSNBC as a prime time anchor, after the liberal network faced criticism for having a lily-white lineup. He continues to host his own show on the left-wing cable news network.
In the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primary, Sharpton has emerged as a kingmaker, as virtually every one of the candidates has courted his favor — speaking at his conferences, meeting him for lunches in Harlem, and so on.
Gaetz represents the same district, FL-01, that Scarborough once represented in the western Florida panhandle.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. 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.