Jesse Jackson’s Selma, apartheid remarks denounced by Scott, GOP chairmanby George Bennett | July 31st, 2013
Florida Gov. Rick Scott hasn’t spent much time in his Capitol office or had a whole lot to say about the Trayvon Martin-inspired sit-in protest that’s been going on there for the past two weeks.
But words by Jesse Jackson while visiting the demonstration Tuesday led Scott to call for an apology and Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry to urge Democrats to denounce Jackson.
Jackson, who earlier called Florida an “apartheid state,” called the state the “Selma of our time” on Tuesday and compared Scott to former Alabama Gov. George Wallace during Wallace’s segregationist phase.
Jackson spent Tuesday night with the Dream Defenders, who have camped out in the Capitol to demand a special legislative session to change Florida’s “stand your ground” self-defense law after the shooting death of Martin and a jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman. Scott, who met with the protesters July 18, supports the law and says he won’t call a special session.
Scott’s office noted Jackson’s Selma and apartheid references in an e-mail today that included a statement from the governor calling on Jackson to apologize.
“Jesse Jackson owes every Floridian an apology for his reckless and divisive comments,” Scott’s statement 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. Floridians are a strong, resilient people. We are fortunate to live in a great state where all Floridians enjoy opportunities to get a great job and a world-class education.”
Curry followed up in the afternoon by bringing up Jackson’s infamous 1984 description of Jews as “Hymie” and New York City as “Hymietown.” Jackson, a Democratic candidate for president at the time, denied the remark at first but eventually apologized for it.
Said Curry: “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. Jesse Jackson’s attacks are offensive, inappropriate, divisive and ill-informed. We should be thankful to Governor Scott for his focus on uniting Florida during this time.”
Scott and Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, have opposed a special legislative session to address the stand your ground law. House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, told the Tampa Tribune editorial board he’d be open to changing the law if law enforcement officials are “uniform” about what is needed.
Tags: stand your ground