Civil rights activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton encountered protesters and accusations he was “stoking racism” when he held a press conference at the makeshift encampment for Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas.
Mr. Sharpton was met with derisive shouts by protesters when he attempted to deliver a speech after touring the encampment.
“Del Rio is not a racist city,” a heckler shouted at the Thursday event. “Del Rio is a loving, caring community. We don’t want your racism in Texas. Get out of here! Nobody wants to hear your racist nonsense in Del Rio!”
Others hurled accusations that Mr. Sharpton was “a race-baiter” and accused him of being a racist himself.
He said the hecklers were right-wing “Trump supporters” and dismissed their accusations.
Mr. Sharpton visited the migrant camp under the Del Rio International Bridge in response to shocking photographs and video of horse-mounted Border Patrol agents corralling the Haitian migrants as they crossed the Rio Grande into the U.S.
Democratic lawmakers and activists said video of Border Patrol agents using horse reins like whips to threaten border crossers are reminiscent of America’s slavery past.
The criticism of the administration also came from Vice President Kamala Harris.
Mr. Sharpton’s National Action Network said he intended to visit the encampment in Del Rio to “meet and pray with refugees in the wake of the humanitarian crisis.” He said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he would investigate the conduct of Border Patrol agents.
The White House announced Thursday that President Biden will bar Border Patrol agents from patrolling the Del Rio sector on horseback given the outrage over the photographs.