Rep. Matt Gaetz questioned Reverend Al Sharpton about past comments that are considered racially charged and anti-semitic.
Per CNBC, Rep. Gaetz cited comments made by Joe Scarborough from several years ago, before Scarborough and Sharpton became MSNBC colleagues.
The exchange became heated and several democrats called for points of order throughout. This came during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Oversight of Policing Practices.
Per AmericanThinker, Gaetz later asked Sharpton, “Have you ever said, ‘If the Jews want to get it on, they can pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house?”
Sharpton said that comment was directed at one specific individual who threatened him in 1991, not all Jews.
As the testy exchange continued, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., struggled to keep the hearing moving. With Gaetz and Sharpton clashing, Democratic members asked whether Nadler could shut down Gaetz’s off-topic line of questioning.
Nadler called Gaetz’s questioning “obnoxious” but told committee Dems that the hard-charging congressman had significant latitude under the rules.
Gaetz objected to Nadler’s use of the word “obnoxious” before defending his line of questioning as relevant to the hearing.
“Reverend Sharpton has come before the House Judiciary Committee as a purported expert on policing,” Gaetz said. “Yet his bigoted statements undermine the bipartisan work we should be doing to ensure that all citizens are able to come together and have safe communities.”
As Breitbart News noted earlier this year (original links):
Sharpton has a long history of controversial racial rhetoric. In the notorious Tawana Brawley case in 1987, Sharpton backed a teenager’s false accusations of rape, stirring racial divisions in New York and across the country. When he was successfully sued for defamation [by a prosecutor whom Brawley falsely accused of being among her attackers], he refused to pay the judgement, and supporters had to step in on his behalf. Sharpton still refuses to apologize for his role.
In 1991, Sharpton helped incite riots against religious Jews in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn after a black child was killed in a car accident. An enraged mob murdered a visiting Jewish religious student, Yankel Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum’s brother told Breitbart News in 2012: “I have never seen a person be able to avoid being held accountable in substantive terms for his various and significant serious otherwise well publicized misdeeds over such a prolonged period of time, as Sharpton. This is truly an indictment on all those who have done so in the past and continue to do so.” (Sharpton acknowledged some of his “mistakes” in Crown Heights, while protesting his innocence, in a 2011 op-ed in the New York Daily News.)
In another riot in 1995, Sharpton led protests against Freddy’s Fashion Mart, a Jewish-owned store in Harlem, after it was forced to raise the rent on a sub-tenant, a black-owned record store. (Sharpton called the owner a “white interloper.”) One of the protesters later shot four employees and set the store on fire, bringing the death total to seven.
As of 2008, Sharpton’s NAN had massive debts and owed $2 million in taxes, which it claimed to be paying off. In 2014, the New York Times reported that Sharpton had “more than $4.5 million in current state and federal tax liens against him and his for-profit businesses,” which he denied. And in 2009, Sharpton and NAN agreed to pay $285,000 in civil penalties after the Federal Election Commission found that NAN had made improper contributions to his 2004 presidential campaign, when he ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party nomination.
In 2012, Sharpton and NAN played a key role in inflaming national division and outrage over the death of Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed during a scuffle with neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Sharpton promoted false reports that Zimmerman used what Sharpton called “racial language” in speaking with police. He used his prime-time program on MSNBC to promote the story, including the claim that Zimmerman — whose mother is Peruvian — was “white,” implying racial bias in the killing.
Despite that record, Sharpton has been rehabilitated by the left and the mainstream media. He hosted Saturday Night Live in 2003. He spoke to the Democratic National Convention in 2004 (breaking with his prepared text to aim a racially-tinged attack at President George W. Bush). He was hired as a host by MSNBC in 2011.
But the most important event in Sharpton’s journey from the fringe to the mainstream was President Barack Obama’s decision to embrace him in 2011, even as other black leaders on the left stepped up their criticism of the administration.
As the Daily Beast reported: “Obama stayed so far away from Sharpton during the 2008 campaign that Sharpton, with Obama’s blessing, never even endorsed him. Yet not only did Obama just become the first president ever to appear at the annual conference of Sharpton’s National Action Network, ten top Obama aides, including six cabinet members, Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod, spoke at various sessions of the four-day event.”
Today, Democratic hopefuls are beating a path to Sharpton’s door, eager to speak at his NAN podium — with the slogan, “No Justice, No Peace” emblazoned behind them.
This article was written by the staff of TheConservativeOpinion.com
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