Syracuse, NY – Dr. Boyce Watkins, a professor at Syracuse University, is calling for President Barack Obama to cease the marginalization of Rev. Jesse Jackson. His remarks, set to be featured on MSNBC’s TheGrio.com Tuesday, were released in light of the meeting that President Obama had with Rev. Al Sharpton, Marc Morial and Ben Jealous. Dr. Watkins shared his comments on the Al Sharpton Radio Show and also during a recent public conversation with Rev. Jackson.
“I feel that with the powerful legacy that Rev. Jackson has when it comes to civil rights, he should not be left out in the cold,” says Dr. Watkins, who is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition, which has 60,000 members nation-wide.
Dr. Watkins spoke with both Sharpton and Jackson privately and stated his concerns about Rev. Jackson not being a part of the outreach of the Obama administration. Jackson has remained out of Obama’s political circle since being accidentally recorded on Fox News making disrespectful remarks. After the incident, Dr. Watkins spoke with Rev. Jackson, who issued apologies to the nation for his comments. Dr. Watkins accepted his apology.
“Jesse Jackson was one of the first people to support President Obama when he was running for the Senate,” said Dr. Watkins. “I am hopeful that President Obama can forgive him for his mistakes.”
Dr. Watkins also argues that a public reconciliation with Jackson is long overdue in light of the fact that Obama has forgiven other politicians who’ve been accused of making racist remarks. Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton have all made degrading remarks about Obama in the past and President Obama promptly forgave them.
“The difference here appears to be power,” said Dr. Watkins. “If Jesse had the same power as Hillary Clinton and others, he’d be forgiven very quickly. But beyond analyzing power and making politically correct choices, I encourage the president to do what is right.”
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Syracuse University Professor and founder of the Your Black World Coalition. For interviews, please call 901-413-0203 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.