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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rev. Jackson: You're Not Black If You Vote Against Healthcare Reform

At the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Foundation, the outspoken preacher, Jesse Jackson, caused a stir by what he said in his speech as part of a series of events revolving around the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s run for president:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday night criticized Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) for voting against the Democrats’ signature healthcare bill.

“We even have blacks voting against the healthcare bill,” Jackson said at a reception Wednesday night. “You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.”

The Democratic representative from Alabama who is, also, running for governor had this to say in response:

Davis referred to Jackson’s 1988 run for president in a statement, issued through his office, that said he would not engage Jackson on his criticism.

“One of the reasons that I like and admire Rev. Jesse Jackson is that 21 years ago he inspired the idea that a black politician would not be judged simply as a black leader,” Davis’s statement said. “The best way to honor Rev. Jackson’s legacy is to decline to engage in an argument with him that begins and ends with race.”

Jackson said later that he didn't call anybody by name and I won't.

No, he didn't name Davis by name, but he was the only one there to vote against it. So, who else could he have been talking about?

He added that he wasn't saying that black lawmakers must vote a certain way.

Of course not, they can vote any way they want. He just won't consider them black anymore, if they don't vote the way that he feels that they should vote.

Other members of the CBC found no fault in Jackson's words. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) was in the audience. He called Jackson's criticism of Davis accurate, but said he did not hear Jackson say You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.

This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard, in a while. Hear no evil; see no evil. I guess.

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