In a Thursday appearance on Laura Ingraham’s radio show, economist Thomas Sowell had some harsh words for civil rights activist Al Sharpton, who has been a leading figure in the protests surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Sowell told Ingraham that Sharpton “is a race hustler,” adding that he’s “very proficient at it.”
“Have you ever met Al Sharpton by the way or talked to him?” asked Ingraham.
“I have not had the pleasure, nor would it have been a pleasure for either of us. The man knows what he’s doing. He is a race hustler and very proficient at it and there’s no way I am going to talk him out of it,” Sowell responded. “I would not be surprised if he doesn’t make 10 times the money I make; you don’t try to talk somebody into giving up 90% of his income.”
Sowell, who serves as a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute, also touched on the Eric Garner decision, telling Ingraham he stands behind the law enforcement officials’ use of force in the chokehold case.
Sowell cited his background in the Marine Corps, adding that he’s been involved in situations of this sort and that “it gets pretty ugly,” though not nearly to the extent of what happened to Garner.
“The fact is what caused this altercation was that the man refused to be arrested, hand-cuffed, and taken away. If you have the idea that laws are optional, that’s the same as saying there are no laws these are just suggestions,” Sowell said. “If you expect the police to go out there and enforce the laws that politicians pass, I don’t see how you can just throw them under the bus when someone refuses to be arrested.”
“I’ve seen that video and it was a tragic situation. I’ve also been in a situation as a guard in the Marine Corps. We had to take someone into custody who thought he wasn’t going to be taken into custody. It gets pretty ugly,” he continued. “I don’t know why you have rules and why you have people to enforce the rules if your going allow people to say, ‘I’m not going to be arrested.’ I really wonder if people think we ought to have laws or not have laws.”