Jesse Jackson inspired generations with his mantra: “I am somebody.”
But these days, as he spouts misleading statistics and over-the-top rhetoric about Florida and gun violence, three alternatives to his famous slogan come to mind:
I am misleading.
I am inflammatory.
I am counterproductive.
While his call to fight racial injustice is righteous, Jackson’s tactics haven’t done much to help the Dream Defenders protestors, who have occupied a part of the Florida Capitol outside Gov. Rick Scott’s office in opposition to Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law.
Jackson, one of those celebrities, dropped by Tuesday in Tallahassee and referred to the protests and Florida as “the Selma of our time.”
Huh? Let’s review and compare:
On March 7, 1965, more than 500 peaceful demonstrators were savagely beaten by law enforcement as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., during a march to Montgomery.
As of Aug. 5, 2013, the Dream Defenders entered their 20th day of peacefully occupying the Capitol, an occupation that began three days after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin of Miami Gardens. None has been billy-clubbed, tear-gassed or manhandled.