In the latest installment of Reply Al, Rev. Sharpton responded to a viewer asking why many in the African-American community deny the similarities between their struggle for civil rights and the LGBT equality movement.
“Why do so many African-Americans refuse to acknowledge the similarity between the civil rights struggle and the LGBT struggle, when it’s so apparent that they are one and the same: a grand struggle for human rights?”
“I believe that there is no way to fight for some human rights without the others. Every struggle has its own distinct way of engagement and we’ve all gone through certain levels, and certain oppression, and certain bias or discrimination, so even though some have suffered differently or more than others, it’s one fight against all discrimination. And I think that we cannot distinguish between the two. One of the worst things in the world is to say ‘Did you suffer as much as I did? Do you hurt as much as I do?’ All of us need to not suffer, all of us need not to have pain, and you cannot have bragging rights on discrimination. We must have the bragging rights of saying, ‘We all must stand together against all bias, all wrong.’ And even if I may be different, for religious reasons, with others, I must defend their right to make their choice. There’s nothing that I see that [gives] me the right to impose my faith and belief on others, and in fact I must fight for their right, so that someone will protect and respect my rights.”
“Dear Rev. Al, I would like to know how much money and time that I and other taxpayers have spent on the attempted repeal of the [Affordable Care Act] after 37 times. If we are going to pay them, then they should be using their time and our money on issues that can be worked upon instead of this constant and only symbolic repeal process.”
“Taxpayers should know about this. The GOP has spent over 80 hours–two paid work weeks–trying to repeal the health care law and it has cost American tax payers $55 million dollars. And they know they will not be able to pass it through the Senate, they know the president won’t sign it. This is just to continue this kind of motion and symbolic gesture, playing to their base and harassing the president. That money could be used to help do some concrete things for vulnerable Americans.”