WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Civil rights leader Al Sharpton responded to President Barack Obama’s recent comments on the racial effect to his approval numbers by stating that he believes the president doesn’t bring up “the race card” enough.
Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this week, Sharpton said Obama has encouraged civil rights and other African-American leaders to abstain from using race issues against his opponents. Sharpton said “in every meeting” with civil rights leaders throughout the five years of his presidency, Obama has asked that his race be left out of criticism against his opposition.
“He has discouraged us, who firmly believe a lot of people are against him because he’s black – and we still do – and he has said, ‘No, I don’t agree with you pushing that,’” Sharpton said.
Sharpton’s comments come in response to the New Yorker article in which Obama told editor David Remnick: “There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president,” but that “the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black president.”
Sharpton insists that the president has avoided using race as a topic of criticism, despite many civil rights leaders’ belief that Obama should discuss how race is used against him more frequently.
“But he has never used race as the factor against him, though many of us believe race has been a factor,” Sharpton said. “I think he wrongly is blamed for using the race card, but I think many of us are frustrated he hasn’t brought up race as it relates to him more than he has.”
“He’s not said anything differently in public than he’s said in private,” said Sharpton.