“Rev.” Jess Jackson (in quotes because he is not ordained, does not pastor a church, and as far as I am aware does not preach the gospel of Christ), is not shy to play the race card. That’s not particularly surprising.
What is raising eyebrows, however, is his racially charged attack on a Congressional Black Caucus member, Rep. Artur Davis (D-Alabama) for the latter’s opposition to health care nationalization plans. According to several published reports, Jackson said at a recent CBC function:
“We even have blacks voting against the health-care bill. You can’t vote against health care and call yourself a black man.”
While Jackson pointed out later that he had not mentioned any names, it was obvious to everybody that he was targeting Davis, the only CBC member to vote against the bill in the House.
Here’s the Wall Street Journal in an editorial on the matter.
Who’s the backwards-thinking individual in this situation? It is not Davis, but Jackson, who believes – or wants to intimidate others into believing – that every black member must, by definition, think and act the exact same way. Congressional Black Caucus leadership should speak out against Jackson. I doubt they’ll have the guts to do so.
NOTE: This has been corrected from an earlier version, which incorrectly identified Jackson as Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. I regret the error and thank the commenter for bringing it to my attention. (11/23/09)
UPDATE: Jackson has walked back his remarks…kind of. He offers a word of support for Davis, but does not explicity rescind his earlier-stated notion that there is a “correct,” “black” viewpoint on the healthcare policy issue.