The Tea Party has more than a few critics in Washington and outside it, but Jesse Jackson leveled a very specific criticism at the GOP offshoot — that their sole objection to President Obama is that he his black.
It’s not a new Tea Party criticism, that the President is targeted by the caucus for the color of his skin and not the content of his character. But in a larger reflection on race, politics, and Obama’s presidency in Politico, Jesse Jackson said the Tea Party is more like a resurgence of confederate thinking.
In the piece titled “Obama, Race And Class,” Jackson charged:
“The tea party is the resurrection of the Confederacy, it’s the Fort Sumter tea party.”
Race is a touchy issue for the Obama administration, Tea Party notwithstanding. The President has a hard time even saying things related to race or racial disparity without invoking the ire of many white Americans, and his comments recently about the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin trial sparked ire and vitriol from the right-wing press.
Speaking under the condition of anonymity, the adviser refuted Jackson’s Tea Party observation, saying Bill Clinton faced the same challenges trying to govern during his administration:
“Bill Clinton was a white guy from the country, and they were just as vituperative… But I don’t know what the president thinks about it.”
As America marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, the President recently reminded his constituents that King’s March on Washington focused not on race alone, but social justice.
“When you think about the coalition that brought about civil rights, it wasn’t just folks who believed in racial equality; it was people who believed in working folks having a fair shot.”
David Axelrod also spoke to Jesse Jackson’s Tea Party remarks, noting that Jackson himself had once opined that if the “factory lights go out we are all the same color in the dark.”