Race baiting, with Florida being the target, got a reaction from Florida’s chief executive. It appears he believes that enough is enough.
Today, Governor Rick Scott released the following statement in response to remarks from Jesse Jackson who yesterday called Florida “the Selma of our time.” Jackson has also referred to Florida as the “Apartheid State.”
Governor Scott said, “Jesse Jackson owes every Floridian an apology for his reckless and divisive comments. It is unfortunate that he would come to Florida to insult Floridians and divide our state at a time when we are striving for unity and healing. Floridians are a strong, resilient people. We are fortunate to live in a great state where all Floridians enjoy opportunities to get a great job and a world-class education.”
A group calling itself Dream Defenders is conducting a sit in or “occupation” of the governors office. Their intent is to have the governor call a special legislative session to repeal Florida’s stand your ground law, the first and most comprehensive in the nation.
The Tampa Bay Times looked at all the cases where stand your ground law has been used in Florida. The Times analysis found no obvious bias in how black defendants have been treated. Whites who invoked the law were charged at the same rate as blacks.
Dream Defenders quote Malcom X on its website. Malcom X was a criminal and radical black Muslim activist. Born Malcolm Little at 21 years old he was arrested and convicted on burglary charges, sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was paroled after serving seven years.
While in prison Malcolm began to study the teachings of Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Elijah Muhammad. Muhammad taught that white society actively worked to keep African-Americans from empowering themselves and achieving political, economic and social success. Muhammad’s pro-separation views were compatible with some white supremacist organizations in the 1960s.
Among other goals, the NOI fought for a state of their own, separate from one inhabited by white people. By the time he was paroled in 1952, Malcolm was a devoted follower with the new surname “X.” He considered “Little” a slave name and chose the “X” to signify his lost tribal name.
In 1964 Malcolm X went on a pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia and founded his own organization the Muslim Mosque, Inc. Regarding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Malcolm stated, “[Kennedy] never foresaw that the chickens would come home to roost so soon.”
At a speaking engagement in the Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965 three black gunmen rushed Malcolm onstage. They shot him 15 times at close range. In 2010 Thomas Hagan, the only man to admit shooting Malcolm X, was freed on parole 45 years after he assassinated the black leader.
Malcolm X, after becoming a Sunni Muslim, he rejected the racism that had previously characterized his views of white people. It appears Jesse Jackson could learn something from Malcolm?
UPDATE, AUGUST 1, 2013:
Governor Rick Scott: Jesse Jackson’s Refusal to Apologize to Floridians Doubles Down on Irresponsible Insults
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott released a statement following Jesse Jackson’s refusal to apologize to Floridians after visiting the state earlier in the week and calling Florida the “Selma of our time.” Yesterday, Jackson stood by his remarks and said he would like to have a private conversation with the Governor instead of apologizing. Jackson has also previously referred to Florida as an “Apartheid State” and encouraged a “boycott” on the state.
Governor Rick Scott said, “It’s disappointing that Jesse Jackson refused to apologize yesterday for his insulting and inflammatory comments about Floridians. Instead, he doubled down on his divisive and reckless remarks. Without an official, public apology from Jesse Jackson to the people of Florida, any conversation would only reward him for making – and then doubling down – on his irresponsible insults.”