Sharpton not ready to jump on boycott bandwagon

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH

Civil rights activist will ponder direction on boycott by the time he returns to Daytona Aug. 18

FROM STAFF REPORTS

While many celebrities such as Steve Wonder, individuals and organizations have announced plans to boycott Florida while it still has the controversial “stand your ground” law on the books, the Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, does not support such an action, at least not for the foreseeable future.

The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks to several hundred people gathered at Manhattan Police Headquarters in New York during a “Justice for Trayvon” rally on July 20. The rally protested the decision in the George Zimmerman murder trial, and demanded justice for Trayvon Martin. (CAROLYN COLE/LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT)

The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks to several hundred people gathered at Manhattan Police Headquarters in New York during a “Justice for Trayvon” rally on July 20. The rally protested the decision in the George Zimmerman murder trial, and demanded justice for Trayvon Martin.
(CAROLYN COLE/LOS ANGELES TIMES/MCT)

Sharpton made the statement on his nationally syndicated radio program, “Keeping it Real with Al Sharpton” after being asked by Daytona Times reporter James Harper on his show about his planned visit to the state this week for the National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ) convention in Orlando.

Harper asked him what he thinks about Blacks and others boycotting the state and why he isn’t boycotting.

In Daytona this month
Sharpton, whose own organization National Action Network held its Southeast Regional Civil Rights Revival and Conference July 23-25 in Miami at New Birth Baptist Church in Northwest Miami-Dade, said boycotting the state was an issue brought up during the conference.

“We went over that and raised the questions to our chapters around the state because that is who will be impacted,” he said.

“We don’t want to engage in a boycott that is not achievable and specific. By the time I preach at Rev. Durham’s (church) in Florida, we will determine what (we are going to do),” Sharpton continued.

Sharpton is scheduled to speak Aug. 18 at Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Daytona Beach for his friend, Dr. L. Ronald Durham, who is celebrating his 10th anniversary with the church that weekend.

Big conventions in state
During the radio broadcast, in response to the question from Harper, Sharpton recalled using the boycott tool to achieve getting rid of apartheid in Africa.

“We were specific. We knew what was being asked of and it was achievable. I am not going to be part of some random, reckless talking. We are going to do things that have a goal, purpose that can be achieved. We have not figured that out,” Sharpton said.

He noted that the NAACP and NABJ already had their conventions scheduled.

“(They had) money down. They couldn’t boycott. Others have already planned things there. We can’t just run out the door without saying we are going to have a problem because of A, B, C, D,” said Sharpton.

“Let us do something where we are not playing with our people – we are planning something we know we can pull off,” he continued.

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