Al Sharpton Compares Blackface To Bank Robbery: ‘This Is a National Crisis’

Al Sharpton Compares Blackface To Bank Robbery: ‘This Is a National Crisis’

Reverend Al Sharpton believes Virginia Governor Ralph Northam should resign. Speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Sharpton blasted Northam’s attempt to deny he was one of the men in a yearbook photo that could cost Northam his job.

The panel was discussing segregationist George Wallace, who begged for forgiveness from the African-American community towards the end of his life. Journalist Jonathan Capeheart had just shared the story. Host Joe Scarborough said Wallace’s ‘atonement’ was moving.

“I wonder, is there a place for that forgiveness here?” Scarborough asked.

“The question is does forgiveness come before or after you have done something to demonstrate the sincerity of your apology?” Sharpton said. “You know, I remember the story that Jonathan is talking about because I preached the sermon that morning. This is on one of the anniversaries of Selma when George Wallace’s daughter stood up and all of us were so moved.”

“And let me say all of us have said or done things we feel was over the line. I’ve used racial language, even the N-Word that I had to apologize for but you had to go back and correct it,” he said. “I remember there was a huge gathering in Harlem that was called by people that said anti-white things and I said I’ll come and speak and I got up and denounced people using anti-white rhetoric, antisemitic rhetoric, including anything I might have said in the past.”

“The question I think here, Joe, is that a blackface is not someone saying something over the line or something in the heat of the moment, it is an intentional display of dehumanizing and mocking a race,” Sharpton said. “For this governor to not only say Friday night I didn’t, Saturday morning I didn’t do it, in his saying I didn’t do it, he said I didn’t do blackface, my friends told me I I wasn’t in that picture, but I did do blackface against Michael Jackson. So I didn’t rob Wells Fargo bank, but I robbed Bank of America. Either way you are a bank robber and you ought to be out as governor.”

“All whites did not wear black face in Virginia. And I hope whites and blacks join us together but there must be a penalty. This governor should resign” Sharpton said, before mentioning Mark Ertel, Florida’s secretary of state who was forced to resign for wearing blackface.

“We cannot have a national standard where in Florida a Republican can fire the secretary of state for blackface but in Virginia you can do blackface and do a half moonwalk and walk away from it. This is a national crisis in terms of race relations,” Sharpton said.

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche is Political Media Editor