In a powerful exchange, Reverend Sharpton forced Corey Stewart to answer for his racist statements.
Corey Stewart, the GOP's official U.S. Senate nominee in Virginia, tried to excuse his blatant support for the Confederacy — but Reverend Al Sharpton wasn't about to let him get away with it.
On Sunday morning's edition of MSNBC's "PoliticsNation," Rev. Sharpton pressed Stewart to explain how he could hope to represent all Virginians given that he praised and defended Confederate monuments while running for governor last year.
"Now you say today you want to get past race — after you talked about how we should praise and erect [statues of] people whose only role in history was to uphold slavery and commit treason against the United States," Sharpton said.
"You know, why is it that you on the left are so obsessed with what happened 150 years ago?" Stewart began, but Sharpton cut him off.
"No no no, I'm talking about you, last year," Sharpton said. "I'm not talking about 150 years, I'm talking about Corey Stewart running for governor last year, and that's what you said. Explain to me your statement, in light of what you're saying now."
Stewart again tried to deflect in a lengthy digression, during which he tried to attack Sharpton as a "race hustler." But Sharpton was unbowed.
"I'm not going for the bait. This is not about me. I'm not going to defend myself standing up for racial justice," Sharpton said. "I'm going to give you an opportunity again to defend your statements defending and praising Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson, not 150 years ago, a year ago. You're running for Senate now."
Stewart replied with a dogwhistle to white supremacists, saying that he loves Virginians because "they have the heart of a rebel." Then he went off on another digression to evade Sharpton's question.
But Rev. Sharpton pressed Stewart again, and forced him to say whether he still stands by his statements.
"I just thought it was wrong to be removing historical monuments that were placed there by prior generations," Stewart finally admitted.
Stewart may have pleased some of his racist fans by attacking Rev. Sharpton — but it's clear that most Virginians won't be falling for his act.
The fact that Republican voters chose Corey Stewart, who appeared in public with neo-Nazi activist Jason Kessler two months before he organized the deadly riot in Charlottesville, says all you need to know about today's Republican Party.
But thanks to people like Rev. Sharpton, that racism won't be swept under the rug.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.