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An interview with a French or international personality from the world of economics, politics, culture or diplomacy. Every Wednesday at 4.45 pm Paris time and Saturday at 7.45 am.

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

2017-11-15 Middle East

'Saudi Arabia is becoming one-man rule', exiled journalist says

In an interview with FRANCE 24, prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi praised the anti-corruption crackdown undertaken by Saudi Arabia, stressing that the royal family had...

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2017-11-15 security

Islamic State group changing strategy, French defence minister tells FRANCE 24

In an interview with FRANCE 24, French Defence Minister Florence Parly discussed the fight against terrorism, in Syria and Iraq as well as in Africa, warning that the Islamic...

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2017-11-11 Americas

Exclusive: 'The United States wants to intervene militarily in Venezuela'

As president of Venezuela's Constituent Assembly, Delcy Rodriguez is the second-most-important figure in the regime of President Nicolas Maduro. In an interview with FRANCE 24's...

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2017-11-04 Islamic State (IS) group

'The Islamic State group has this ability to redeploy or mutate'

Peter Harling is the founder and director of Synaps, an organisation that mentors locally hired analysts and field researchers in Syria and Lebanon. He was previously the Crisis...

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2017-11-04 environment

Climate change: 'With or without Washington, California is moving forward'

All eyes are on the United States amid the climate change talks in Bonn, Germany, this after President Donald Trump vowed to exit the Paris deal earlier this year. However, one...

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