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Jesse Jackson Calls Capitol Sit-In “The Selma of Our Time.” Scott Calls It an “Insult” to Floridians.

| July 31, 2013

Jesse Jackson visiting the Dream Defenders at Tallahassee's Capitol early today. (Facebook)

Jesse Jackson visiting the Dream Defenders at Tallahassee’s Capitol early today. (Facebook)

Gov. Rick Scott and other Republican leaders slammed the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday after the civil-rights veteran called a sit-in protest at Scott’s office “the Selma of our time” while implicitly comparing the state to South Africa and Scott to George Wallace.

In a statement issued by his office, Scott took Jackson to task for the Selma comments made Tuesday and an earlier reported comment labeling Florida an “apartheid state.”

“Jesse Jackson owes every Floridian an apology for his reckless and divisive comments,” Scott said. “It is unfortunate that he would come to Florida to insult Floridians and divide our state at a time when we are striving for unity and healing.”

Appearing on the Rick Sanchez Radio Show a few hours later, Jackson dismissed the call for him to apologize as “absurd.”

Jackson also drew scorn from some Republicans for apparently comparing Scott to Wallace, an infamous, segregationist governor of Alabama, during remarks Tuesday.

Jackson spoke ahead of an overnight visit with the Dream Defenders, a group that has staged a sit-in at Scott’s office to demand a special legislative session to consider changes to the state’s self-defense laws, initiatives to end racial profiling and an end to zero-tolerance discipline policies in schools.

“We’ve seen Southern governors before have to change their minds,” Jackson said when asked about Scott’s insistence that he wouldn’t call a special session. Jackson mentioned Wallace as an example of someone who had to change his mind.

That drew the ire of other Republicans.

“With Jesse Jackson having a history of making offensive remarks, like calling New York City ‘Hymietown,’ it’s surprising to see that Democrats are not denouncing Jackson for what he said about Florida and Governor Rick Scott,” Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry said in a statement. “Jesse Jackson’s attacks are offensive, inappropriate, divisive and ill-informed.”

Pensacola Rep. Mike Hill, the only black Republican in the Legislature, also blasted Jackson’s comments as “a disgrace” in a sharply-worded statement.

“When Jackson uses language that describes us as an apartheid state and compares our governor to one of history’s most notorious bigots, he is either hopelessly out of touch or purposefully dishonest,” Hill said.

The multipronged attack on Jackson came as the protests wore through a 16th day at the Capitol. Protesters have called their own “People’s Session,” and held a committee meeting in Scott’s office to take testimony on zero-tolerance policies in schools.


During that meeting, officials from local chapters of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida delivered a letter to Scott endorsing the protests. After being told Scott wasn’t at the Capitol and chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth was in a meeting, the group read the letter from Henry Crespo Sr., the organization’s president, before handing it to Scott’s receptionist.

“As governor of Florida, you have the power to calm the fears of thousands of Florida families, especially blacks and Latinos, who are questioning the ability of this state to protect their children from the gross deficiencies of the aforementioned laws,” the letter said.

Also Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, unveiled a new website — FloridaStandYourGround.org — to help push for changes to the “stand your ground” self-defense law that has spurred a large amount of the debate.

“The website is a one-stop information center for anyone who wants to know more about the law, what it does, how it’s being misused, and the proposed changes to fix its dangerous flaws,” Smith said.

–Brandon Larrabee, News Service of Florida

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18 Responses for “Jesse Jackson Calls Capitol Sit-In “The Selma of Our Time.” Scott Calls It an “Insult” to Floridians.”

  1. Tim says:

    If Jesse thinks we are so bad, tell him to stay out of Forida and ban him from entering!

  2. Ben Dover says:

    Scott is a dirt bag , but not for the reasons Jackson and his lost cause are crying about , Martins parents sat in the court room through the whole trial , their lawyer was just outside the court room doors, Zimmerman did not use the Stand Your Ground defense , why in the hell are they making this big stink over Stand Your Ground, its ignorance, it had nothing to do with their sons case , yes Zimmerman was going to use it , but then he saw the judges were siding with the prosecution , who let him GO……and only arrested him after Jackson and Sharpton came to town with a deck full of race cards they were playing 52 card pick up with, they dealt the race cards out to anyone stupid enough to listen, and all they accomplished is setting racial ties between whites and blacks back ten yrs ,there wasn t even a white person there that night Trayvon was shot , but this is what Al Sharpton does , just look up his arrest record, as for Jessie Jackson ,I used to respect the things he did , now he`s lowered himself down to Sharptons tactics ………….Shame on both of them

  3. Ayn Rand's Spleen says:

    Jackson has it wrong. The legislature and laws in this state aren’t inherently racist, they are classist. The people being discriminated against in this state aren’t black, they just aren’t wealthy elites that can attract the attention of legislature with campaign donations or bribes. Education cuts, gutting the mental health system, doing nothing about the pathetic state of retirement homes, passing on federal money that would directly assist lower-income people with health insurance – these are all circumstances that the wealthy elite can pay their way out of.

  4. Anon says:

    Is he protesting Illinois’ SYG law?

  5. Marissa says:

    Exactly, why aren’t they up there in Chicago trying to talk sense to young black men killing black on black in inner city neighborhoods. I guess they’re afraid someone might put a cap in their ass.

  6. Charles Gardner says:

    Jesse Jackson doesn’t deserve the attention we are giving him.

  7. Forest G says:

    Jesse Jackson the only real spokesman for the defunct Black Panthers. A legend in his own mind. Martain Luther King would put him in his place if he was still here. Another wanna be celiberty visiting Florida .
    Kock Knock whos there . Jesse Jesse Who?

  8. Merrill Shapiro says:

    If the shoe fits, our governmental leaders should wear it! The list of ways you, our so-called leaders continue to embarrass us just keeps on growing! Our voting laws and the inability to count votes, your blocking us from getting our fair share of Federal funds, stand your ground, education policies from the dark ages…..the list goes on and on! We should run you out of Tallahassee on a rail, but your opposition to mass transit makes them hard to find!

  9. Sherry Epley says:

    This new incident from a Pensacola news report:

    Middleton, 60, of the 200 block of Shadow Lawn Lane in Warrington, was shot in the leg about 2:42 a.m. Saturday while trying to retrieve a cigarette from his mother’s car in the driveway of their home.

    A neighbor saw someone reaching into the car and called 911. While he was looking into the vehicle, deputies arrived in response to the burglary call.

    Middleton said he was bent over in the car searching the interior for a loose cigarette when he heard a voice order him to, “Get your hands where I can see them.”

    He said he initially thought it was a neighbor joking with him, but when he turned his head he saw deputies standing halfway down his driveway.

    He said he backed out of the vehicle with his hands raised, but when he turned to face the deputies, they immediately opened fire.

    “It was like a firing squad,” he said. “Bullets were flying everywhere.”

    The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the incident Saturday.

    Just guess the skin color of this latest victim.

    It seems to me that it is impossible to separate out the individual characteristics the huge divide in our country has citizens at odds and discriminating against one another. I believe it is about “all of the above”. . . Meaning:

    Race or skin color- white vs black vs brown vs red vs yellow. . . in ANY combination.

    Financial status- The greedy ulta wealthy vs the disappearing middle class vs the working poor vs those trying to survive on social benefits vs those abusing social benefits. . . in ANY combination.

    Religious Beliefs- Christians vs Jewish vs Buddhists vs Atheists vs Muslims, etc. . .. in ANY combination.

    Political/Social Beliefs- Ultra Conservative vs Ultra Liberal vs Moderates. . . in ANY combination.

    Age, gender, sexual preference. . . unfortunately the list goes on and on!

    Our media outlets do not help to bring us together in peace. . . and some blast out twisted versions of the facts, to bring in the “lemmings” and “vombies” for their own agendas. Peace, heros, prosperity unfortunately is not defined as NEWS.

    Unfortunately, some of our well meaning leaders exacerbate these divisions among us. They are humans with their own perspectives, and some come with their own agendas.

    Therefore, it is up to US to educate ourselves as much as possible, try to walk around in our “brother and sister’s” shoes, do or own research and fact checking, live and react with unarmed compassion, understanding and forgiveness. Each of us are blessings on this planet.

  10. m&m says:

    Jackson and Sharten both belong in prison for inciting riots.. They keep stirring the pot until one day the whites are going to start standing their ground..

  11. RHWeir says:

    While I’m not real fond of Governor Scott, Jesse is way off base and his parallels lack any logic. It just doesn’t make sense. The jury has spoken, the findings are being reviewed by AG Holder, the DOJ and the FBI. Let’s all just wait and see. No, this is not Selma or South Africa and Scott is no George Wallace. What Scott is, is a wealthy man playing politician for the moment but that’s another matter.

  12. jack stewart says:

    I wonder what would happen if I camped out in front of the state capital and refuse to leave..I bet I would be in handcuffs real fast..

  13. Citizen says:

    If you listen to the police video on Zimmerman being stopped for speeding in Texas the cop described him as a black male. Why is he Black in Texas but White in Florida when he is more Hispanic. These protesters helped by the media bias just wanted a front page story and started all these problems.

  14. A.S.F. says:

    Governor Scott is, himself, an insult to Floridians but one that we brought on ourselves.

  15. truth monitor says:

    The only insult to Floridians is Scott filling his pockets from big money interest groups. Gov. Scott s a pawn for the rich and well connected. This is a man who help defraud the US government. How could a scumbag like him ever get elected. MONEY! MONEY! MONEY! His election is an example of how low the standards are for politicians and carpet baggers. What a poor excuse for a man! Politicians are the new class of prostitutes in all levels of government.

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