Rev. Jesse Jackson Warns of the Dangers of Disrespecting Obama

Jackson thinks politicians should attack important issues, not each other.

Posted: 02/02/2012 02:44 PM EST

The steady stream of digs and disses aimed at President Obama are starting to make Rev. Jesse Jackson nervous. The civil rights activist, who vividly recalls the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, said in an interview on MSNBC Wednesday that “ignorance and hatred leads to violence.”


Later, at a press conference at New Covenant Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla., Jackson pointed to what he considers efforts to “demonize” Obama, ticking off incidents involving pubic figures who ought to know better.


“The name calling, a governor putting a finger in his face — ultimate, ultimate contempt. Gingrich calling him a food stamp president, name calling, when in fact, 50 percent of all food stamp recipients are white, 24 percent are Black and 20 percent are Latino,” Jackson said, adding that such remarks are “coded racial expressions.”


He also reacted to GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney’s comment that he’s not concerned about the very poor.


“That’s the way rich, young rulers think. They’re so distant from the pain of the poor, they’re out of sight, out of mind,” he said.


Although he applauds the president’s efforts to prevent job losses, increasing federal student financial aid and saving the auto industry, Jackson wants to see all of the White House contenders, Obama included, focus more attention on issues like veterans’ rights, homelessness and foreclosures.


“Not one super PAC ad was on wiping out homelessness,” Jackson said.


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(Photo:  Frank Polich/Getty Images)

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