Al Sharpton spared not his vocal cords as he delivered a crowd-roaring eulogy at Michael Brown's funeral.
Taking an opposite approach to the typically somber setting at a funeral, Sharpton prepared a flurry of rhetoric that whipped up the attendees, making the scene look more like a political rally. (Not that Sharpton would politicize such a thing.)
"Religion ought to affirm what we are doing," Sharpton said. "Before you get to heaven," he added, "before you put on your long robe, before you walk down the streets, you got to deal with the streets of Ferguson and St. Louis."
Sharpton told the responsive crowd that God will not judge them by their behavior in heaven, or by Moses, or Joshua for that matter, but how they respond to Brown's death. "All of us are required to respond to this. And all of us must solve this," he preached.
The reverend did call out the community for resorting to violence as if they were more angry than Brown's parents. Brown would not want to be remembered for the violence, Sharpton reasoned, but "remembered as the one that made America deal with how we going to police in the United States."
This brought the crowd to their feet. Sharpton used the momentum to suggest that more money should go to public education than to police forces.
In the end, Sharpton questioned the dichotomy of those that stand with the police and those who stand with him and the Browns:
When people that support the officer, and they have a right to do that, and an obligation if they feel that, but if they support him, they're supporters. But if we come to support the family, we're dividing the country.
His closing words:
America, it's time to deal with policing. We are not the haters, we're the healers!