“Seats remained unfilled at the main venue even when Rev. Al Sharpton began” his speech, observes Middlebury Campus reporter Jaime Fuller, even after the college “made many preparations providing for an overflowing audience.”
Indeed, the liberal arts college in Vermont fed the civil rights activist’s remarks into two additional campus auditoriums, but the crowds were a no-show — perhaps in anticipation “that Sharpton’s remarks would be inflammatory,” the article notes.
“I will not overwhelm you because I understand you have a controversial speaker here tonight,” Mr. Sharpton began. “If there are those who disagree with me, or don’t like me, I would hope at the end of the night they get a good night’s sleep because I assure you, I will.”
He went on to say that the election of Barack Obama as the nation’s first black president is an invalid reason for a return to complacency.
“Many feel that because we have had a huge, historical, momentous occasion with the election of Barack Obama, that all of a sudden we no longer need advocacy, and this could not be further from the truth,” Mr. Sharpton said. “Fox News . . . now announces we are beyond race, when they said we never had a racial problem in the first place. How does my good friend Sean Hannity preach the funeral of a body that he said there never was?”
Mr. Sharpton also expressed distaste for former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, whom he characterized as being “of my
color, not of my kind.”