Backlash after Al Sharpton makes bizarre comment about ‘chitlins and watermelon’ in MLK Day speech

Call it “Martin Luther Cringe Day.”

Speaking before a predominantly black audience on Monday at the National Action Network’s Harlem headquarters, Al Sharpton invoked racist stereotypes that would have gotten a white man in a world of trouble.

Sharpton was reportedly trying to make a point about community involvement at his annual King Day Public Policy Forum on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, according to the New York Daily News.

“A lot of folks don’t believe in public policy,” he said. “But this is not their holiday. This is Dr. King’s day. This ain’t your birthday. And Dr. King was about public policy.”

Echoing a familiar tune, Sharpton then tied King to the union-led fight for a $15 minimum wage, with a helping of “chitlins and watermelon.”

“On your birthday, we’ll eat chitlins and watermelon and drink some sweet iced tea because that’s what you do,” Sharpton said. “But on his birthday, on his holiday, we do what King does. We’re going to march. We’re marching about minimum wage. Fifteen dollars-an-hour minimum wage.”

It’s not clear who he was referring to or if he had an ax to grind. Then again, trying to impute logic on the MSNBC host’s thought process can be a challenge in itself.

Sharpton later claimed that he was “mocking people who take holidays to eat bad food and play into old stereotypes.”

When asked if it would have been wrong for a white person to mention ‘chitlins and watermelon,’ he fell back on the typical double-standard rhetoric the left is infamous for.

“Probably yes, because you’re talking about stereotypes,” he said. “I’m talking about a debate we got going on about food.”

Based on the reaction from social media, the race-hustler’s sphere of influence continues to shrink among those who are paying attention. Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.
Tom Tillison


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles