Jesse Jackson and his civil rights group, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, have demanded a meeting with A&E and Cracker Barrel, the restaurant chain that briefly pulled their "Duck Dynasty" merchandise from shelves and then returned it after much public outcry. ABC News reported that Jackson issued the demand on December 23 and gave the two corporations 72 hours to fulfill it. As of 10:42 this morning, ABC says that they can find no evidence that A&E or Cracker Barrel had responded or had any meeting.
Though Rev. Jackson's Rainbow PUSH biography describes him as "the 'Conscience of the Nation' and 'the Great Unifier,'" saying he has spent the past 40 years "challenging America to be inclusive and to establish just and humane priorities for the benefit of all" and adding that "He is known for bringing people together on common ground across lines of race, culture, class, gender and belief," his actions are generally more dividing than unifying.
In a statement obtained by ABC News, Jackson spoke on Phil Robertson's comments during an interview with GQ Magazine, saying, "These statements uttered by Robertson are more offensive than the bus driver in Montgomery, Alabama, more than 59 years ago. At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law. Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was 'white privilege.'"
So much for "bringing people together."
The statements that Jackson finds so offensive are ...
"I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues." (from GQ Interview)
One has to wonder why Jackson finds a personal memory so offensive. Had the good Reverend been in Louisiana, hoeing cotton with Robertson and the black people he spoke of during that time, he might be able to offer a different memory, but no references in any of his biographies mention him being in Louisiana working on any farms.
I was born in 1967, so I never personally saw slavery in action. That does not mean that it didn't exist or that it isn't a shame of our nation. There are a lot of things that I have been blessed enough to have never witnessed with my own eyes ... the murder of another human being, the abuse of a child or animal, the horror of an abortion ... yet the headlines tell me without doubt that those things happen every single day.
How can someone saying, "I never saw (blank)" be offensive? Had Phil said that since he never saw it, it didn't exist, that would have been offensive but that is not what the man said.
Since many people in America, both black and white, find Jesse Jackson jumping into situations that have nothing to do with him and spinning them to suit his agenda, perhaps he is the one that is offensive here. I certainly find him attack on Phil Robertson to be offensive!
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