Rev. Al Sharpton was the Wednesday night guest on The Daily Show, discussing his new book Rise Up and offering advice to Trevor Noah and his viewers on the importance of protesting with tangible goals.
The interview took place the day after the chaotic presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, but Sharpton doesn’t see the political and racial turmoil that we’re in as anything new.
“After eight year of Barack Obama as president, there was this backlash, almost like after Reconstruction in the 19th century in this country,” Sharpton said. “And that backlash was personified by Donald Trump.”
Referring to the recent protests surrounding the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Sharpton sees “nothing new” with the tensions between older and younger activists: “Don’t forget, Dr. King was challenged by those in the Black Power movement.”
When it comes to tactical disagreements, though, Sharpton believes the best way forward is to set a goal. “The tactics must complement the achievement of the goal,” he explained.
Sharpton also stressed that intersectional movements must co-exist alongside each other — the push for racial equality must coincide with the movement for gender equality, LGBTQ equality, and environmental justice. “We must build on that so that we equalize society, where we don’t have a society with the top 1% owning everything, or exploiting the water and the air,” he said. “We need to build with all that we have, and then go forward.”