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Al Sharpton found out fast after a highly publicized visit to Chicago in 2013 that it was going to take more than rhetoric to cure the city's notorious violent crime problem.
The community activist discovered after one day of seeing Chicago's streets firsthand that he was in “over his head,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
“You need a major overhaul to stop this violence,” Sharpton later said. “You can't address the problem without addressing underlying factors like jobs, after-school programs and the proliferation of guns.”
On Thursday, Sharpton took Trump to task for his pronouncements about “sending in the feds” to deal with the Chicago crime problem if the city didn't get the alarming situation under control, as well as Attorney General Jeff Sessions's opposition to certain federal guidelines directing law enforcement how to deal with police misconduct.
“You can't have it both ways, you have to fight criminal behavior whether the criminal has on blue jeans or a blue uniform,” Sharpton pointedly said.
Sharpton spoke more about Trump at an event held at the New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in West Garfield Park, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
“I've known him for 35 years,” he said. “If you can meet with the Russians, you can meet with the leaders in Chicago!”
Sharpton also touted his bona fides as a Trump expert to the Chicago Reverends and others in the audience.
“Donald Trump's from New York and I know Donald Trump better than folks in Chicago,” he said. “... That is why I'm working with the ministers and in Chicago to understand what we've got to do under this New Yorker's administration.”
Sharpton has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration. At an event in March, he voiced strong opinions about Ivanka Trump and her prominent role in the White House.
“Giving an office on the West Wing of Ivanka Trump, somebody explain to me how you can give security clearance, access to classified material, and an office to somebody that don't have a title or job?” Sharpton said. "They say now she ain't got no title. She ain't got no role. We ain't payin' her no money. But she can see everything classified.
“If President Barack Obama had given his daughters or his mother-in-law an office and some access to classified documents and cleared security status," he added, "they would have run him and everybody else out [of] the White House.”
The Trump administration banned Sharpton from the White House in March.
Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.