MEDIA
12/09/2013 09:49 am ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014

Al Sharpton Rips Historical US Policy Towards Nelson Mandela

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Reverend Al Sharpton spoke on Sunday about the dangers of rewriting history when it comes to the death of Nelson Mandela and America's relations with him.

"I think that for us now to sugarcoat that is a betrayal of history," Sharpton said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I think that it is a betrayal of history to act as though as Nelson Mandela evolved, the world embraced it. There was a real battle in this country."

Sharpton argued that it is important for the United States to acknowledge the truth about the country's tensions with Mandela and the ANC.

"Let's remember the ANC that he refers to were pursuing freedom. Many of the communist nations embraced them," he said. "This country did not."

"We chose sides," the MSNBC host continued, raising his voice. "We chose the wrong side. People in this country turned us around toward the right side. That set the stage for Mandela to evolve. But if you're drowning and someone throws you your raft to get out, you don't call them a rafter. You call yourself the one that's trying to stop from drowning. Those are the ones that threw the raft in South Africa for freedom fighters."

Watch the video for the full clip.

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