September 19th, 2007
06:10 PM ET
12 years ago

Jesse Jackson: Obama's 'acting like he's white'

Jackson was sharply critical of Obama's reaction to the case in Jena, Louisiana Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Rev. Jesse Jackson sharply criticized Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Tuesday over his reaction to the arrest of six black juveniles in Jena, Louisiana on murder charges, accusing the Illinois senator of "acting like he's white," according to a South Carolina newspaper.

The comments reportedly came after a speech at Columbia’s historically black Benedict College.

The State newspaper reports Jackson later said he did not recall saying Obama is "acting like he's white," but continued to condemn the Illinois Democrat as well as the other presidential candidates for not bringing more attention to this issue. (Related: Residents: Nooses spark school violence, divide town)

He also said Obama needs to be "bolder" in his stances if he wants to make inroads in South Carolina. Obama currently trails rival Hillary Clinton, a senator from New York, in the Palmetto State by 18 points, according to a recent LA Times/Bloomberg poll.

Jackson, who ran for president twice in the 1980's, endorsed Obama's White House bid earlier in the year. Jackson won the South Carolina Democratic primary, where African American voters play an influential role, in both presidential bids.

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- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (828 Responses)
  1. Oscar, New Orleans, LA

    As an African American man, Mr. Jackson offends me on many different levels. Yes sir Mr. Jackson..I am sure you would have "been all over Jena". You are everywhere a camera is. You are an icon in your own mind. You have never been a part of a single piece of legislation in this country. You have never held an office. You are a "reverend" that has never had a church. It is sad that when an educated, humble, energetic, african american "difference maker" steps into the lime light..the "good Dr. Reverend" feels the need to express his inadequacies and jealousy in his 2007 version of "I have a dream". I shouldnt have to tell a "foremost expert on racial equality" this...but black is something you are, not something you "try to achieve". Stop kicking your leg out to "trip up" a man who has fought the same struggles that you claim to fight. Maybe if Mr. Obama got on a private helicopter to the Hugo Chavez compound for Mojitos...he would be "black enough"...?

    September 23, 2007 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  2. Janice

    I want you to look at and go to Oxnard and there is a story of a Black Man named Allen. He was bruttaly beaten by the PHPD for no reason, he was singled out by 2 officers who where harrassing him as he was walking into his home, the police then ordered him to go to his vehicle to get his drivers lisence, when he reached into the car to get his liscence two other cops arrived at the scene and began brutally beating him, the other two cops that where there first ran and joined the beating. All of this was done infront of witnesses and his very own MOTHER. The officers and sargent stated that the reason they stopped him was because his registration was expired. His whole family went down to the station with the witnesses and told the sargent what the officers had done. He questioned his officers on why they confronted Mr. Allen, in the first place, and they stated "the tags where bad on the car". The family told the sargent that this was not true and they could even call the tow yard where they towed his vehicle on the grounds of expired registration. So the sargent called the tow yard, the employees there gave the sargent the bad news that he did not want to hear. The tags where just renewed a month ago for an entire year. The officer ordered the tow yard to release the car to a family member and that they where on there way to come get it and there would be no fees charged for this at all. The sargent then stated to the family members that he had nothing else to say to them in the defense of his officers. Mr. Allen is a great guy. He went to school for many years for occupational tharapy. He is now lisenced and certified. I am just torn by the comments people have made from just reading the story in the paper. This is a recial profile case. He is not in a gang and hasnt ever been. Since then he has had an attorney, they've gone to court and the DA dropped the case. On top of that his injuries have been treated throughout the year. He has been going to appointment after appointment. Mr. Allen was a true victim of racial profile, harrassement, and police brutality. He has been fighting this for a while, little do people know. A case againts the police isnt solved over night when they are doing everything in there power to sweep what happened under the rug. And the sargent also stated that he didn't know about the case which is not true, because he issued the car back to the family, when he found out about the tags being good. I really wanted you to know about this issue. It is just unbeleivable, and breaks my heart to know that police brutality is in my own backyard, and racial profiling. Put your self in his mothers shoes. How would you like to sit and be forced to watch your son be beaten by four police officers and you cant do anything to deffend him?

    October 5, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. John Losier

    I would just like to point out how racist Jesse Jackson is saying someone is "acting white". As a "white person" I find it insulting to stereotype someone to get on the news. Shame on Jesse Jackson. Why we give this adulter who already insulted Japanese people with his earlier statements news coverage I will never know.

    November 28, 2007 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
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