With the debate around the removal of Confederate statues heating up, people are starting to look twice at other monuments, as well.
MSNBC host and controversial speaker Reverend Al Sharpton not only advocated for Confederate statues to be removed, but to halt federal funding of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. — citing the fact that America’s third president owned a few slaves himself.David/Flickr
Similarly, the President Donald Trump also asked tongue-in-cheek at a press conference, “Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson?”
However, Sharpton remains firm on the position that this is personal to him. In an interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose, the reverend explained:
This is personal to us. My great grandfather was a slave in South Carolina, owned by the family that ended up Strom Thurmond was one of them. The newspaper discovered it.
People need to understand that people were enslaved.
Therefore, he argued that public funds should not be spent on public monuments, like the Jefferson Memorial, that have that kind of background and open display of bigotry — which he calls an “insult to his family.”
Rather than having them publicly displayed, he suggested that they belong in a private museum or park.Screenshot/PBS
However, it doesn’t seem like he’s getting too much support from the public on this initiative.
After the interview, Twitter users pointed out the irony of Sharpton complaining about where his tax dollars are going while he’s been under scrutiny in the past for tax evasion … and let’s just say the responses were brutal:
Al Sharpton doesnt pay his taxes but is concerned about the use of taxpayer dollars for public monuments. None of those dollars are his! ? https://t.co/mUwH2XlGeS
— D VICTOR PELLEGRINO (@DVICTORPELLEGRI) August 18, 2017
Al Sharpton should pay his back taxes before he preaches on public funds
— Super Elite Covfefe (@Trump_Videos) August 18, 2017
When did he start paying taxes? ?
— Leiterfluid (@Leiterfluid) August 18, 2017
Al Sharpton & all such of his ilk in the black community don't speak for me. I'm a black man that holds no bitterness towards the white man.
— Jamie L. Melton ? (@MrJamieMelton) August 18, 2017
Sharpton has denied rumors of tax evasion, but it appears that not everyone is convinced.