Gaetz Recounts Fiery Clash with Al Sharpton Ahead of Judiciary Policing Hearing
Who would be the worst person in the world you can think of to provide testimony at a community policing hearing?
Someone who has called police officers “pigs.” Someone who has suggested white people be murdered. Someone who has been anti-Semitic in their comments about Jewish merchants in communities.
That’s who Democrats welcomed last year when they invited Reverend Al Sharpton to a House Judiciary hearing on community policing – and Congressman Gaetz was having none of it.
“It is offensive to the people who wear the badge to trot out a racist like Al Sharpton as some sort of authority on community policing or policing at all,” Gaetz stated in his Friday podcast episode of "Hot Takes with Matt Gaetz."
Rep. Gaetz questioned Al Sharpton in September of 2019 during a House Judiciary Committee Hearing on community policing.
He exposed Reverend Al Sharpton’s history of racist remarks and inflammatory actions by quoting a concurrent resolution by former U.S. Congressman Joe Scarborough, which detailed a pattern of questionable conduct by Reverend Al Sharpton.
The resolution, named “Condemning the Racist and Anti-Semitic Views of Reverend Al Sharpton,” recounted instances where Reverend Sharpton uttered repeated animosities toward the Jewish people, toward people of white descent, and toward people of color. Congressman Gaetz entered Mr. Scarborough’s resolution into the Congressional Record via unanimous consent.
“Have you ever referred to African Americans that disagreed with you as 'cocktail-sip negros'?” Rep Gaetz asked Sharpton during the hearing.
“I have,” replied Sharpton.
“Have you ever referred to African Americans who disagreed with you as 'yellow,' and then the n-word?” Gaetz continued.
“I don’t know that I …I’ve referred to people as names,” Sharpton answered.
Gaetz pressed further, asking “Have you ever referred to African Americans that disagreed with you as 'negro militants'?"
“I didn’t know that was a derogatory statement,” Sharpton retorted.
Gaetz acknowledged the need for action by the US House to address policing concerns but cautioned against allowing bigoted men like Sharpton to have a platform in hearings, noting that his past history of checkered comments against individuals who disagreed with him were racist and ignorant.
“Next week, as we head back to Washington to work together to try to improve these circumstances, it’s my hope that House Democrats won’t try to inflame the situation by giving a platform to racists, but that they’ll instead, work with us for the types of solutions that will result in better policing, stronger communities, more safety, and confidence among the American people that we will get through this and we will be stronger as a nation as a consequence.”
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