Politics

Steele Says Sharpton, Liberals Only Offer Blacks Racial Victimization, Division

Hoover Institution senior fellow condemns attempts by Dem activists to politicize tragedies involving confrontations of African-American men, police

Liberal political activists like Rev. Al Sharpton continually seek political advantage from tragedies such as the Stephon Clark death because they have nothing to offer American blacks except “examples of victimization,” according to professor Shelby Steele.

“What’s amazing about Mr. Sharpton is, he has a passion for black victimization, he loves it, he celebrates it, he won’t let anybody escape it,” Steele said Friday on “The Ingraham Angle.”

A senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, Steele told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that  “victimization is [Sharpton’s] only source of power. He has nothing else to offer. He has nothing to say about the economy, immigration or whatever. Nor do most people on the Left have much to say about those issues.”

Steele was referring to remarks delivered by Sharpton on Thursday in Sacramento, California, during the funeral service for Stephon Clark, a 22-year-old unarmed black man who was shot by police during a chase earlier this week.

Police claim they thought Clark had a firearm when they confronted him. After firing multiple shots at him and killing him in his grandmother’s backyard, authorities found that he was only holding a cellphone.

Sacramento has been tense ever since, with Black Lives Matter organizers leading multiple protests, including demonstrations that temporarily shut down Interstate Highway 5 and made it all but impossible for fans of the Sacramento Kings NBA basketball team to enter the coliseum to watch their team play.

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Sharpton condemned President Donald Trump’s press secretary for calling the shooting a local issue. He vowed that “this is not a Sacramento fight anymore, this is a national fight … We all stand for Stephon Clark. We will make Donald Trump and the whole world deal with police misconduct. Stephon Clark has woke up the nation.”

Clark’s coffin was draped with a banner that read, “Rest in Power.”

Sharpton’s address to the mourners was more like a speech on the campaign hustings than a funeral oration, as he continued, saying, “They have been killing black men all across the country — we are going to start standing up … It’s time to stop this madness.”

“We are going to start standing up … it’s time to stop this madness.”

When Ingraham pointed out that Sharpton’s comments at the Clark service recalled those he and other liberal Democratic activists repeated in recent years after tragedies like the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown shootings in Florida and Missouri, Steele asked why Sharpton wasn’t in Chicago when hundreds of young black men were murdered with firearms.

“Mr. Sharpton should fly to Chicago where, in 2016, 762 young and largely black boys were shot by other black boys. They committed that many murders in one year. Where was Rev. Sharpton then?” Steele said.

He also observed that Sharpton and many other liberals “can sure call people racists. They can sure take positions that give them this sort of aura of innocence from the American past: ‘I’m not a racist, I’m an innocent, good-hearted American and we’re going to go and have diversity and inclusion and so forth while they actually ignore the real problems.’ If you have 762 boys being shot on the south side of Chicago in one year, that suggests a profound — an unheard of level of human pathology particularly in the Western world. Well, we will begin to believe them again when they have something meaningful to say about that circumstance.”

Senior editor Mark Tapscott can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

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