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Sharpton speaks out against 'racist' knockout game

File- This July 26, 2013 file photo shows the Rev. Al Sharpton gestures as he takes part in a panel discussion during the National Urban League's annual conference in Philadelphia. Sharpton is threatening to boycott luxury retailer Barneys over allegations by shoppers that they were racially profiled there. Sharpton said Saturday Oct. 26, 2013, that black New Yorkers "are not going to live in a town where our money is considered suspect and everyone else's money is respected." (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Some talking heads in the media, often times the more conservative ones on Fox News, have called on MSNBC's Rev. Al Sharpton to condemn the recent spate of street crime across the country known as the "knockout game."

Sharpton on Monday used his weekly column at The Huffington Post to address the matter, perhaps to the surprise of some of his critics:

It is an alarming trend that is spurring outrageous incidents across the country. It is deplorable, reprehensible and inexcusable. It is insane thuggery, and it is unequivocally wrong. These kids are targeting innocent people, and in many cases specifically targeting Jewish folks. We would not be silent if it were the other way around, and we will not be silent now. This behavior is racist, period. And we will not tolerate it. ...

There is nothing funny or even remotely entertaining about attacking innocents walking down the street. This is not a "game"; it is inhumane behavior that has no place in our country or the world. When you start condoning it and you start to act like there's something funny about these types of actions, you set up the kind of crisis that leads to the demise of everyone. Diversity is one of the greatest strengths of this nation, and we must respect one another in a way that preserves and further develops this diversity. Therefore, when an injustice happens to anyone, it is the duty of all to speak up. Silence is akin to tacit acceptance.

Many of the reported "knockout" incidents -- wherein one person unexpectedly punches a random victim on the street -- have been deemed racially charged, with the victim appearing to be white and the attackers black teens.

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