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Latest update : 2017-10-19

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton says Trump 'channels' racism

In an interview with FRANCE 24, veteran US civil rights leader Al Sharpton criticised President Donald Trump for his divisive rhetoric as well as his missteps on race relations and other issues. "He has become the polarizer-in-chief in this country," Sharpton said.

Sharpton also lashed out at Trump for allegedly making insensitive remarks to the widow of a US soldier killed in an ambush in Niger. Trump denies saying that the slain 25-year-old soldier "knew what he was signing up for". 

The US civil rights leader hailed the "sense of courage" of the many NFL players who have chosen to #TakeAKnee in protest during the national anthem. Sharpton says Trump's angry reaction to the players' protests are a "switch-and-bait" tactic to avoid real issues such as police brutality.

Asked whether he thought that, deep down, Trump is a racist, Sharpton said: "Deep down, he is the only one that knows."

But Sharpton added that the president certainly plays on and “channels” racism, going on to criticise Trump's ambivalent attitude to the white supremacists who rallied last summer in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Sharpton also defended former US president Barack Obama’s record on race relations, arguing that Obama did more than "any president since Lyndon Johnson" for black Americans and that Trump’s election was a "backlash" against those achievements.

By Marc PERELMAN

Archives

2018-06-20 Marc PERELMAN

NATO chief hails strength of transatlantic bond on defence

In an interview with FRANCE 24, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg talked of the upcoming July NATO summit in Brussels, saying he believed it would be less divisive than the...

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2018-06-19 Marc PERELMAN

'There are two policies towards Russia in the Trump administration'

Michael McFaul served as US ambassador to Russia under Barack Obama from 2012 to 2014. In an interview with FRANCE 24, he discussed the divisions within the Trump administration...

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2018-06-18 Americas

'Changing FARC peace deal would be a huge historical error for Colombia'

Humberto de la Calle was head of the Colombian government's negotiating team that reached the 2016 peace deal with FARC rebels. In an interview with FRANCE 24, he discussed his...

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2018-06-15 Sport

Nigeria coach: 'We've managed to build a team that works well together'

As World Cup action continues in Russia, we speak to a globetrotter of international football. Gernot Rohr is a former player for Bayern Munich and Girondins de Bordeaux, plus a...

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2018-06-11 Asia-pacific

'With N. Korea, everything is perfectly sound and rational'

North Korea experts Dorian Malovic and Juliette Morillot have co-written a book in French called "The World According to Kim Jong-un". They have both been to North Korea many...

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