- (Photo: Reuters/Larry Downing)
Reverend Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist, is speaking out against rap mogul Kanye West, who recently defended stamping his "Yeezus" tour clothing with confederate flags and wearing them publicly.
Sharpton, the leader of the National Action Network, threatened to lead a boycott against West during a press conference.
"The Confederate flag symbolizes dehumanization, injustice and pain. It is a stark reminder of an era in our history that was defined by the abhorrent practice of slavery," Sharpton insisted, according to Eurweb.com. "And it is representative of a mentality that looked upon blacks as inferiors who needed to remain in the shackles of subservience."
Najee Ali, the political director of the Los Angeles National Action Network, explained why the organization was making the rap mogul the subject of their boycott.
"Kanye West already has several pieces of merchandise from his Yeezus tour that are emblazoned with the controversial Southern Cross at his tour store in Los Angeles. Our organization is determined to shut down that and any other store that decides to sell this merchandise," Ali said. "For African-Americans the confederate flag is symbolic of the hurt and pain of slavery in the South and the legacy it has left for those still living under those ideologies. When Kanye embraces and adorns this confederate flag, He also embraces the ignorance and racism that goes along with it."
Ali went on to challenge the rap mogul. "I challenge Kanye West to create a clothing line of merchandise featuring swastikas if he's sincere about his beliefs . But we all know Kanye doesn't have the courage to do that," Alis said. "The Jewish community would run him out of town if he did and so should the African American community."
West recently defended his use of the confederate flag on the tour clothing he is selling.
"React how you want," West said during a recent radio interview with Los Angeles radio station 97.1 AMP. "Any energy is good energy. You know the Confederate flag represented slavery in a way – that's my abstract take on what I know about it. So I made the song 'New Slaves.' So I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It's my flag. Now what are you going to do?"