“F*** Al Sharpton!” Ferguson protesters chanted. Unreceptive to Al Shartpon’s civil rights advocacy, young activists have been shrugging off the reverend as a parasite; a spotlight-hungry leech on the #BlackLivesMatter movement. And Sharpton is not having it, CapitalNewYork reports.
“How you going to be more mad at folk that are marching for the same cause then you are against the folks y’all are marching against? Don’t you see a trick in there?” Sharpton said on Wednesday at the Harlem office of the National Action Network.
Sharpton added that “they” — whomever “they” are — are misguiding the young activists to focus on him when protesters should be funneling their energies to revamping the system:
“They got you arguing about who going to lead a march—the old or the young—when they cutting up the city budget. You can’t be that stupid! You more worried about who going to lead [National Action Network] than who going to be the governor with a multi-billion dollar budget that you got to pay state tax in. You can’t be that stupid.”
Sharpton went on to say that younger civil rights activists in the Ferguson movement are being “pimped”:
“[Younger activists] were told, ‘Your problem is Al Sharpton and the other guys.’ Anytime you have movements, whether it’s in Ferguson, whether it’s in New York, whether it’s in Denver, wherever it is, when they got you more angry at your parents then they got you at the vote you’re supposed to be out there for, you’re being tricked and you’re trying to turn the community into tricks. And they are pimping you, to do the Willie Lynch [reference to a colonial-era slave owner] in our community.”
Using “mommy and daddy” as an analogous reference to older activists in the movement, Sharpton insinuated that the younger generation is just yipping and yapping when they should be, instead, attentive to their political environment:
“You’re busy arguing with your mommy and daddy when they re-electing a mayor, and re-electing a prosecutor, he said. “It’s the disconnect that is the strategy to break the movement. And they play on your ego. ‘Oh, you young and hip, you’re full of fire. You’re the new face.’ All the stuff that they know will titillate your ears. That’s what a pimp says to a ho.”
Josmar Trujillo, a young protester and founder of New Yorkers Against Bratton, responded to Sharpton’s speech: “…To paternalistically admonish younger, more dynamic leaders by comparing them to ‘hos’ is just another self-serving attempt to squash dissent as he wrestles for control of a movement that’s leaving him behind,” he told CAP.
Al Sharpton has served as a spokesman for the families of Eric Garner and Mike Brown, who were killed during police interactions last year.
Who’s side are you on?