Rev. Al Sharpton hit back at Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Friday’s show after the conservative pundit revealed his $25,000 donation to Sharpton’s charity in order to prove, in his words, “what kind of person Sharpton is.”
“He’s been portraying me as a racist and a brutalizer of the poor,” O’Reilly said on his Thursday program. ”A few years ago Sharpton told me that his charity in Harlem, New York, was out of money and that it could not provide Christmas presents and Christmas dinners to hundreds of poor people in Harlem. So I gave Sharpton a $25,000 donation to provide the gifts and the food.”
Sharpton said on Friday’s PoliticsNation that O’Reilly’s story is far more revealing of the conservative’s own nature.
“Bill doesn’t realize it, but this story actually reveals what kind of person he is,” he said. “It says more about him that it does about me. Because Bill gave that money privately to someone he’s publicly called a quote ‘race hustler’ working in what he calls ‘the grievance industry’ – That’s his term for the civil rights work that I do.”
“What are we supposed to think about a man who is privately generous, but who says the most vile and divisive things in public?” he continued.
In the weeks following the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, O’Reilly launched a series of attacks on Sharpton for his reaction to that verdict, including calling for a Justice Department civil rights investigation.
More recently, Sharpton had called out O’Reilly for referring to people on food stamps as “parasites,” prompting O’Reilly to reveal his donation.
“The sad truth is,” Sharpton said. “The good that Bill did with that check is far outweighed by the vile and hateful things he says on the air, night after night. Bill is playing to the extremists in his audience.”