Jessie Jackson: Obama "acting like he's white"
Is the master of race baiting and extortion turning his back on Obama? What did he mean by "acting white." Is that as bad as a white person saying Obama was acting Black? Obama threatens Jacksons leadership so Jackson will take shots at Obama. But Jacksons days as leader are numbered. Obama is not corrupt and really does care about the family. So this may just be the first blow in a larger fight.
Jackson reportedly ripped presidential candidate Barack Obama for
"acting like he's white," according to The State newspaper in South
Carolina, but the civil rights leader says he doesn't recall making any
Jackson, who endorsed Obama for president in March, reportedly
blasted the Illinois senator for failing to bring attention to the case
of six black kids arrested on attempted murder charges in Jena, La.
He later told the newspaper that he did not remember making the
remark, but State reporter Roddie Burris told FOX News that Jackson's
"acting like he's white" comment came during a 45-minute, one-on-one
interview Tuesday after an hour-long speech at Benedict College in
Columbia, S.C. Burris said he stands by his report.
On Wednesday, Jackson didn't refute that he made the comment to
Burris, but warned that any efforts to drive a wedge between him and
Obama will fail.
Civil Right Leader Jesse Jackson Endorses White House Bid of Sen. Barack Obama
"I reaffirm my commitment to vote for Sen. Barack Obama," Jackson
said in a statement. "I think Jena is another defining moment of the
issue of race and the criminal justice system. This issue requires
direct and bold leadership. I commend Sen. Obama for speaking out and
demanding fairness on this defining issue. Any attempt to dilute my
support for Sen. Obama will not succeed."
According to the article, Jackson called the incident in Jena "a
defining moment, just like Selma was a defining moment," and said
Obama's failure to seize the opportunity to highlight what he describes
as a disparate approach to prosecuting whites and blacks demonstrates
his weaknesses as a candidate.
“If I were a candidate, I’d be all over Jena,” Jackson said at the historically black college.
Jackson and Al Sharpton, leaders in the civil rights movement, are
rallying protesters to march in Jena on Thursday over the December
arrest of the youths, now dubbed the "Jena 6."
The case began after interracial fighting broke out last school year
when three white students responded to a request by a black student to
open up access to a schoolyard tree — used as a meeting place for white
students — by hanging three nooses around the tree. The white students
The tree has since been cut down, but not before the six black
students were charged with a racially-motivated assault on white
student Justin Barker. Five of the students were charged as adults, the
sixth as a juvenile.
The attempted murder charges have been reduced since arraignment,
but one of the students charged as an adult, Mychal Bell, was convicted
of second-degree battery, carrying up to 15 years in prison.
Bell has since had his conviction successfully appealed on grounds
he shouldn't have been tried as an adult, but he remains in jail with
his co-defendants as the prosecution files its own appeal.
The march is aimed at demonstrating support for Bell, who was 16 at the time of the attack, and the other defendants.
During the speech, Jackson said his home state senator must be
bolder than his opponent, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, if he wants to
win South Carolina, where he's running second to Clinton in primary
polls. Jackson, who ran for president in 1984 and 1988, is the only
African-American ever to carry South Carolina in a primary election.
Obama's camp responded that the candidate has been tough on the
issue of the "Jena 6," last week calling on the Louisiana local
district attorney to drop the excessive charges.
“When nooses are being hung in high schools in the 21st century,
it’s a tragedy,” the statement reads. “It shows that we still have a
lot of work to do as a nation to heal our racial tensions.”
Obama also issued a statement the following day saying he was pleased the court overturned the aggravated battery charge.
"I hope that today's decision will lead the prosecutor to reconsider
the excessive charges brought against all the teenagers in this case.
And I hope that the judicial process will move deliberately to ensure
that all of the defendants will receive a fair trial and equal justice
under the law," he said.
For her part, Clinton told Sharpton on his radio program Wednesday
that the Jena case is evidence of ongoing racial inequality in America.
"People need to understand that we cannot let this kind of
inequality and injustice happen anywhere in America," she said. "It's a
real wake-up call for everybody because it just reminds us that we've
got a lot of work to do."
The State reported that Jackson told the 500 to 600 students
attending his speech that voting remained their strongest way to change
the "criminal injustice" occurring in the disproportionate charges.
“Your fight is not about ropes, it’s about hope,” he said.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson called Tuesday on Democrats seeking the 2008 nomination for president to give S.C. voters “something to vote for” when they go to the polls in January.
On a statewide tour to register new voters, Jackson said South Carolina will determine “who has momentum” in the primary when it votes Jan. 29.
Jackson sharply criticized presidential hopeful and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for “acting like he’s white” in what Jackson said has been a tepid response to six black juveniles’ arrest on attempted-murder charges in Jena, La. Jackson, who also lives in Illinois, endorsed Obama in March, according to The Associated Press.
“If I were a candidate, I’d be all over Jena,” Jackson said after an hour-long speech at Columbia’s historically black Benedict College.
“Jena is a defining moment, just like Selma was a defining moment,” said the iconic civil rights figure, who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1965 Selma civil rights movement and was with King at his 1968 assassination.
Later, Jackson said he did not recall making the “acting like he’s white” comment about Obama, stressing he only wanted to point out the candidates had not seized on an opportunity to highlight the disproportionate criminal punishments black youths too often face.
Jackson also said Obama, who consistently has placed second in state and national polls behind New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, must be “bolder” in his political positions if he is to erase Clinton’s lead.
Jackson is the only African-American ever to carry South Carolina in a presidential primary election.
Obama’s South Carolina campaign pointed to a statement it released last week in which Obama called on the local Louisiana district attorney to drop the excessive charges brought in the case.
“When nooses are being hung in high schools in the 21st century, it’s a tragedy,” the Obama statement said. “It shows that we still have a lot of work to do as a nation to heal our racial tensions.”
Thousands from across the country, including some from Columbia, are expected to converge on the small town of Jena today to protest the “Jena 6” arrests.
Jackson told the 500 to 600 students in his audience at Benedict that “criminal injustice,” instead of a rope, is the pressing civil rights issue of their day, but that voting remained their strongest ally.
“Your fight is not about ropes, it’s about hope,” Jackson said, blasting the flood of guns and violence he said permeates many black communities.
Civil rights, he said, has become the counterculture of the day rather than the prevailing culture. “You can’t call on the Justice Department anymore; it’s not there.”
Jackson, who became only the second major black candidate to run for president, won five primaries in his 1984 bid for the office, then 11 primaries and nearly 7 million votes in his 1988 run.
He said the 2008 presidential candidates must speak most directly to the pressing S.C. issues of housing, high tuition costs, health care and a plan to end the war in Iraq.
“The candidates have got to speak to South Carolina,” said Jackson, who was traveling also to S.C. State University in Orangeburg and to Charleston Tuesday evening before wrapping up his registration drive tonight in Aiken.
A Greenville native, Jackson said he hoped to register thousands of new voters during the statewide swing, which began Saturday in Rock Hill.
“Their votes must equal change,” he said, referring to residents in a state where only 1 in 4 eligible voters go to the polls. “I want to make sure the right agenda is being voted on in 2008.”
His approach worked for senior mass-communications major Darius Dior Porcher, 21, who graduated from famed Scotts Branch High School in Clarendon County, which produced the Briggs v. Elliott school desegregation case of 1954.
“The main thing when you speak to students is to get them to move,” Porcher said. “He moved students today. He got them to come down to the floor and register to vote.”