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Al Sharpton: “Jim Crow Had Sons…He’s a Little More Polished But the Results Are the Same”

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Speaking at the funeral of Rosa Parks Wednesday, the Reverend Al Sharpton connected the civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 60s to the struggles that are taking place today. [includes rush transcript]

  • Rev. Al Sharpton, speaking Nov. 2nd, 2005 in Detroit, Michigan.

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Like many of the speakers at Rosa Parks’s funeral, the Reverend Al Sharpton connected the civil rights struggles to the struggles taking place today.

REV. AL SHARPTON: The fact of the matter is Rosa Parks was not only the mother of the modern Civil Rights Movement, she was the mother of this nation. Why would you say that, Sharpton? Because you call George Washington the father of the nation, but when he became father, we wasn’t included in the nation. Women were not included in the nation. The first time we had a parent in this nation is when all of us was included, and Rosa Parks did that on December 1, 1955.

I heard somebody say Jim Crow is who she fought, and Jim Crow is still around, but Jim Crow is old. That’s not who I’m mindful of today. The problem is that Jim Crow has sons. The one we’ve got to battle is James Crow, Jr., Esquire. He’s a little more educated. He’s a little slicker. He’s a little more polished. But the results are the same. He doesn’t put you in the back of the bus. He just puts referendums on the ballot to end affirmative action where you can’t go to school. He doesn’t call you a racial name, he just marginalizes your existence. He doesn’t tell you that he’s set against you, he sets up institutional racism, when you have a nation respond looking for weapons in Iraq that are not there, but can’t see a hurricane in Louisiana that is there.

AMY GOODMAN: The Reverend Al Sharpton.

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