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New York activist Al Sharpton offered an emotional and personal case calling for the federal government to halt funding to Washington, D.C.'s Jefferson Memorial.

Sharpton said America's third president and the author of the Declaration of Independence had several slaves.

His iconic round-roofed memorial sits on the edge of Potomac River- the first of several monuments lining Washington's Ohio Drive.

Sharpton also noted how Jefferson is said to have fathered a child with a slave named Sally Hemings.

"People need to understand that people were enslaved," Sharpton told PBS' Charlie Rose.

He said that his great-grandfather was a slave who was owned by an ancestor of former Sen. J. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.).

"Our families were victims of this," he said. "Public monuments [to people like Jefferson] are supported by public funds."

"You're asking me to subsidize the insult to my family," Sharpton said, adding that private museums were preferable to federally-funded monuments to slaveholders.

Sharpton added that President Trump "had laryngitis for two days" on the issue of condemning white supremacist violence in Jefferson's hometown of Charlottesville.


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