NEW YORK CITY–Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights activist and host of MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, took the opportunity last night to blast the lack of opportunities available to black students who wish to shoot up their schools and classmates.
“Any time there is a story about a school shooting on the nightly news, you only see pictures of white faces,” Sharpton said, “20% of high school students in this country are African American, but less than 5% of school shooters have black faces.”
Sharpton pointed out that most school shootings tend to occur in upper-middle class districts, with generally lower numbers of minorities enrolled. He suggested that the financial advantages enjoyed by white students allows them access to more reliable firearms and greater caches of ammunition.
“When shootings happen at schools with higher numbers of black kids, the shootings tend to have lower numbers of victims,” Sharpton went on, “And why? Is it because the poverty that grips our black youth prevents them from purchasing tools required to initiate a mass event?”
Sharpton criticized the news media for glamorizing the perpetrators of mass school shootings, saying it only gives young black students another unattainable goal in their depressed lives.
“A lot of black kids feel like the only way out of their situations is by becoming a professional athlete or rapper–or school shooter,” Sharpton said, “But the reality is only a microscopic percentage ever attain those heights. The majority can only dream of that type of fame.”