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Scott Blasts Jesse Jackson For Capitol Protest Remarks; Jackson Responds

Jackson photo-Biography.com/AP Scott Photo by Phil Sears

Florida Governor Rick Scott is criticizing Reverend Jesse Jackson over remarks he made while joining a Capitol protest Tuesday. Jackson made his remarks while calling for a repeal of the state’s Stand Your Ground law.

Jackson says he believes Governor Rick Scott will change his views on Florida’s Stand Your Ground law just as former Alabama Governor George Wallace changed his mind about segregation following the many civil rights protests in Alabama in the 1960s.

“We intend to around the state and around the country…bring in more adults, ministers, bishops, more students around the state to begin to mobilize to come to Tallahassee. This is the Selma of our time. This is the transformative moment for this time,” said Jackson.

But, in a statement Wednesday, Scott blasted Jackson’s comments as “reckless,” adding that he also took issue with Jackson for, “referring to Florida as an Apartheid State.”

“And, we can effectively use our nonviolent forces to end apartheid in South Africa and walls. We’re going to end walls in Florida the same way, and we hope people of goodwill will join us," Jackson added.

Scott says Jackson should apologize to Floridians for his “insulting” remarks at a time when the state is trying to heal. Meanwhile, Jackson, in an interview with The Associated Press, defended his remarks. He cited the state's voter laws and incarceration rates of blacks versus the general population as examples of "apartheid like conditions."

He adds demonstrators will continue to protest as long as Scott refuses to call a special session to address the state’s self-defense laws.


Other Republicans also weighed in Wednesday, including RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry and State Representative Mike Hill, the second black Republican elected to the House since the end of the Civil War.

Statement by Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry:

"With Jesse Jackson having a history of making offensive remarks, like calling New York City 'Hymietown,' it's surprising to see that Democrats are not denouncing Jackson for what he said about Florida and Governor Rick Scott. Jesse Jackson's attacks are offensive, inappropriate, divisive and ill-informed. We should be thankful to Governor Scott for his focus on uniting Florida during this time." - RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry

Statement by new Republican State Representative Mike Hill:

“As a father, a husband and a business-owner in Florida, I find the attacks on our state and our leaders by Jesse Jackson ridiculous. As a black man who has been able to live my dreams in this great state, Jackson’s comments are dangerously divisive and offensive."

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.