Al Sharpton Quotes
24 Sourced Quotes
Tawana Brawley told her story many months before I got involved—and many others got involved, Bill Cosby, and many others, who have never refuted the story. I don't refute it now. I believe … something happened to Tawana Brawley.… There is a problem in this country, that a lot of people don't believe women. A lot of people don't believe young women. I took the risk, as I have in most of the civil rights cases I have fought, to stand up for the victim. In this particular case, a jury did not believe her.
I'm projected as an ambulance chaser, but I'm more the ambulance. People call me because they know I will come.… I have never fought a case where they didn't ask me to come. People have this picture like I'm sitting up in bed at night with a walkie-talkie. "You hear anything? Oh, let's run! It's Virginia today!"… Every victim calls us.… "Who put Sharpton in charge?" The victim!
What I profess to do is help the oppressed and if I cause a load of discomfort in the white community and the black community, that in my opinion means I'm being effective, because I'm not trying to make them comfortable. The job of an activist is to make people tense and cause social change.
I disagreed with the grand jury on [Tawana] Brawley. I believed there was enough evidence to go to trial. The grand jury said there wasn't. OK, fine. Do I have a right to disagree with the grand jury? Many Americans believe O. J. Simpson was guilty. A jury said he wasn't. So I have as much right to question a jury as they do. Does it make somebody a racist? No! They just disagreed with the jury. So did I.
Mr. President, as I close, Mr. President, I heard you say Friday that you had questions for voters, particularly African- American voters. And you asked the question: Did the Democratic Party take us for granted? Well, I have raised questions. But let me answer your question. You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule. That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres. We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us.