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Rev. Al Sharpton leading Kanye West boycott


Civil-rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton is leading a boycott against Kanye West, after the rapper declared he had "reclaimed" the Confederate flag from racists, and emblazoned the symbol on his tour merchandise.

The rapper decided to stamp the items for his current Yeezus tour with the controversial flag, which was adopted by the  southern states during the Civil War.

After receiving negative responses for his fashion choice, the outspoken rapper defended his decision to wear the flag, stating, "I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It's my flag now."

Bing: Kanye West's BBC interview

But his actions have upset many African American leaders, including Sharpton, who is the head of the National Action Network (NAN).

On Monday, Sharpton took aim at West during a press conference, slamming him for using a symbol which has deep ties to African-American oppression and slavery.

Sharpton stated, "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. 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 NAN, explained the organization's boycott, and added, "Our organization is determined to shut down that (clothing range) and any store that decides to sell this merchandise. 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. 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. The Jewish community would run him out of town if he did and so should the African American community."

Nov 14, 2013 6:31AM
I have an idea of what Kanye truly means based on his revolutionists ideas. What he means is that he has conquered the Confederate idea of White supremacy. In history the of warfare we find that when one country conquers another there are 4 things that happen. First, the men are imprisoned; second, the women are forced to be the wives of the new power regime; three, the art, history and libraries are raided to miseducate the coming generations of the captured; and fourth, the FLAG is destroyed or captured to symbolize the victory and submission. Does this sound familiar to any people of color? We do not want to forget our past because we need to remember or be reminded of the horrible treatment of African Americans. Black people are too comfortable with our present state in America, at least Kanye is not.     
Nov 13, 2013 2:56PM
The definition of confusion...Fathers Day on MLK Blvd.
Nov 13, 2013 6:55AM
Nov 13, 2013 6:39AM

Kanye's main problem is that he REFUSES to believe that he is NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT enough to change history!!! He truly thinks he's THE trendsetter and that any controversy he causes will bring about some new fad! Yeah...a NEW & IMPROVED way to be DISGUSTED by one big mouthed IDIOT! {and WHO IN THE HELL let him name that baby NORTH WEST!!! Kim K is GOOOONE!!!} #dumba$$es

Nov 12, 2013 10:52PM
The one thing I've always wondered is if "The Confederate flag symbolizes dehumanization, injustice and pain." to blacks, does the American flag symbolize dehumanization, injustice and pain." to Native Americans?

Not that slavery was a good thing, but the whole sale colonization, land theft and genocide that Native Americans faced was at least as bad.

I haven't heard much noise from Native Americans suggesting the US get a new flag.
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