“Quit pitting the old against the young," Sharpton said during a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation event. "In Africa, we went to the elders, we didn’t tell the elders that was old school -- I would take our older seniors that know the way better than anybody that’s imposed on us by new liberals who are progressive on everything but race.
"We’re not looking for better slave masters, we’re looking to be free.”
Sharpton's comments came as progressive newcomers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and her "squad" of progressive lawmakers challenged establishment Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential primary, also faced age-related criticism after a series of verbal slip-ups. Earlier this month, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., seemed to back another candidate in questioning Biden's mental acuity after the third Democratic primary debate.
Sharpton said that under "bigot" President Trump, it was "fighting time" on racial issues. "There's no more time for analytical dissertations -- stop impressing us with what you know -- and it's time for what we do," he said.
It's unclear who exactly he was referring to during the speech. Ocasio-Cortez and others have pushed theories about race that included spotting "white supremacy" in things like calling people "communist."
Sharpton also warned about "negro amnesia," which he described as a phenomenon "where people have forgotten where they come from, and forgot why we put you where you are.”
"We didn't fight to put you in the c-suite to forget about us. We didn't fight to put you in office to give you a title," he said.
"We fought thinking if we would put you somewhere, you would fight as the best of us for the rest of us. And if you are scared to fight, then sit down and shut up and let somebody that's not scared fight."