Jesse Jackson on A&E Returning Phil Robertson to Duck Dynasty: 'I Do Not Feel Good About It'

In his first interview following Friday's announcement by A&E that it was ending the suspension of Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson, Jesse Jackson said, "I do not feel good about it."

Speaking with Newsmax TV's Steve Malzberg, Jackson not surprisingly misrepresented Robertson's words falsely claiming, "[H]e talked about how happy blacks were under segregation, how the Civil Rights movement interfered with their happiness" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

JESSE JACKSON: Well, I do not feel good about it. Mr. Robertson’s language was hurtful, and pained within many people. We should not do that to each other at a time when we’re trying to find common ground and ways to live together. This is a very divisive statement he has made, and he’s been rather unrepentant. When people make mistakes – and people do make mistakes – you should be repentant and contrite and then seek forgiveness. He stands by his, he stands by his position. I hope that we would be sensitive to the incendiary race and gay remarks and keep working continuously on learning how to live together and with real mutual respect one for the other.

For the record as it pertains to race, this is what Robertson told GQ that Jackson and media race-baiters found so offensive:

“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

So, Robertson “with the blacks, because we’re white trash,” said the blacks he worked with in the fields were “singing and happy.”

If this was his experience as a “white trash” Southerner growing up and working with blacks, who is anyone – including Jackson – to deny that this is what Robertson saw?

But Jackson doesn’t agree:


JACKSON: When he talked about how happy blacks were under segregation, how the Civil Rights movement interfered with their happiness, the fact is Rosa Parks was not happy and was arrested. Dr. King was not happy and was bombed and stabbed on this journey. When I went to jail at nineteen, I was not happy, trying to use a public library…This is a very painful statement.

But that’s not what Robertson said. He didn’t say “the Civil Rights movement interfered with” the happiness of black people or the blacks were happy with segregation.

In fact, he wasn’t talking about black people generally. He was specifically talking about blacks he worked with in the fields when he was young “white trash” growing up in the south.

As such, and not surprisingly, Jackson was – and has been – completely misrepresenting Robertson’s words:

JACKSON: I hope that he will work diligently, make it clear to people, that he did not, that he does not embrace these views. These views are not acceptable, and they’re not true.

Exactly how does anyone including Jackson know that the blacks Robertson worked with in the fields when he was young weren’t happy when he was in their presence?

JACKSON: I think many of the groups that feel offended by what has been said will continuously express their disgust and to express their pain. I would like to think that Mr. Robinson ought to be more repentant and contrite if he seeks to convince people these statements are not his own.

Not his own? But they are his own because they either accurately express his experience growing up in the south or are what he currently recollects of that experience years later.

Why should anyone be offended by that unless they can prove the blacks he worked with in his youth weren’t happy when he was in their presence and that he’s therefore lying?


JACKSON: The period of racial segregation legally was so painful and so oppressive and so dangerous and so violent and so hurtful. So many people denied their basic American rights…It was not a happy time, and it was a very dangerous and bloody time. So I think the protest’s about people saying, “Be sensitive to other people’s pain.” That’s, no more, no less: be sensitive. And this statement’s caused lots of pain to lots of people.

Frankly, this statement has "caused lots of pain to lots of people" because hucksters such as Jackson and race-baiters in the media have totally misrepresented what Robertson said.

Jackson concluded the interview saying, “I would hope that Mr. Robinson and A&E would just realize that they’re using they’re power in this instance to misread just how painful the statements are and what they represent. I hope he’ll learn from the reaction of people.”

I can’t speak for Robertson, but what we should all learn from the reaction of people such as Jackson and all the race-baiters in the media is that any comments made by folks they don’t agree with can and will be misconstrued and misrepresented in order to diminish the voices of Americans not adhering to liberal dogma.

It’s truly sad that such a condition exists in America in 2013.

Even sadder is that despite liberal media assurances that racism would end if Barack Obama was elected president, racial tensions and media race-baiting have dramatically risen since January 20, 2009…and their appears no way to halt this increase.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.