In an interview with Charlie Rose earlier this week, Rev. Al Sharpton called for the government to strip public funding of the Jefferson Memorial.
Charlie Rose: Does it matter -- he mentioned Thomas Jefferson. He wrote a biography of Thomas Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson had slaves.
Al Sharpton: He had slaves and children with the slaves.
Charlie Rose: Exactly.
Al Sharpton: And it does matter.
Charlie Rose: Should they take down the Jefferson memorial?
Al Sharpton: I think that people need to understand when people that were enslaved and robbed of even the right to marry, and had forced sex with their slave masters, that this is personal to us. My great grandfather was a slave in South Carolina owned by the family that ended up, Strom Thurmond was one of them, a newspaper discovered it. So, this is personal. This is not some kind of removed discussion from us. Our families were victims of this, certainly it ought to --
Charlie Rose: Therefore, everybody associated with slavery in terms of any public monument to them --
Al Sharpton: When you look at the fact that public monuments are supported by public funds, you are asking me to subsidize the insult of my family.
Charlie Rose: Then I repeat Thomas Jefferson had slaves.
Al Sharpton: And I would repeat that the public should not be paying to uphold somebody who had that kind of background. You have private museums. You have other things that you may want to do, but that's not even the issue here, Charlie. We're talking about here, an open display of bigotry announced and over and over again.
Watch the full interview: