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Jesse Jackson Says Obama "Acting White"

The Rev. Jesse Jackson leads a group of protesters demonstrating in front of the manufacturing facilities of D. S. Arms in August 2007. Scott Olson, Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Olson, Getty Images

Expect to hear more about this in the coming days: "The Rev. Jesse Jackson called Tuesday on Democrats seeking the 2008 nomination for president to give S.C. voters 'something to vote for' when they go to the polls in January.

Jackson sharply criticized presidential hopeful and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for 'acting like he's white' in what Jackson said has been a tepid response to six black juveniles' arrest on attempted-murder charges in Jena, La. Jackson, who also lives in Illinois, endorsed Obama in March, according to The Associated Press."

Here's what bloggers have to say:

From Politopics:

"Just from my viewpoint, at my law school, some of the angriest people about this issue are white students, so he is insulting white people by equating their skin color with their values. Also, 'acting like he's white' is a bunch of high school BS. I was accused of 'acting like I think I'm white' by other black students in high school for trying to excel academically. Grow up."

From Hot Air:

"What's more obnoxious — equating Obama's refusal to behave exactly as Jackson wants him to with racial inauthenticity, the fact that Jackson would make that rhetorical move so casually as not even to remember it afterwards, the offhand insult to whites who are interested in the Jena case and support the defendants, or the fact that he's conveniently overlooking the fact that Obama is white on his mother's side? Or is that the point, to remind black voters that his blood isn't 100% 'authentic'?"

From RedState:

"I think there's more at play here than meets the eye. The last thing Jesse wants, regardless of how the 2008 campaign plays out, is the end of racial politics. And Barack Obama is a black man running a non-racial campaign ... Of course, Jesse wants Jena to become the new Selma — what doesn't he want to become the new Selma? It's good business for him. If there's no Selma, there's no Jesse."

From Marc Ambinder:

"Jackson doesn't seem to understand Barack Obama or his candidacy, which is surprising, because Jackson is a supporter, albeit one who Obama has not seen fit to draw into his inner circle. (The reporter David Mendell, in his new book about Obama, has a great anecdote about how Jackson, spying Obama's daughter Sasha at an inauguration event, lifted her up and put her on a small pedestal to pose for pictures. When the cameras stop flashing, Jackson stepped away, leaving his three-year-old girl teetering on a tall block of concrete.) Barack Obama, while acknowledging that he owes a significant debt to Jesse Jackson, is not running as the candidate of the Democratic urban machine, or as the candidate of African Americans, or as the candidate of the African American political establishment. His run, its assumptions and the way Obama interacts with the establishment is predicated on difference ... Obama is literally a generation away from Jesse Jackson and would therefore not be expected to share his outlook, worldview, predispositions or habits."

From Moderate Voice:

"He's like Bill O'Reilly who decides that anyone who doesn't agree with him is somehow of questionable character. Likewise Reverend Baby Daddy, as he has done in the past, is assuming that any black public figure who doesn't act in the way he thinks they should isn't 'authentically black' because somehow he is the barometer of whatever 'authentically black' is."

I'm reminded of what former Virginia governor Douglas Wilder said: "So many people have made a living off of the pimping of race. I told [Obama] when he runs, one of his big problems he would have is with the African-American leadership, as such. He didn't question it. He said, 'I think I know what you mean.' "

What say you?

UPDATE (9/20): Jackson Does Not Recall Saying Obama is "Acting Like He's White."

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