Jesse Jackson Accidentally Says “Al Capone would be Jealous” of his Business Model

Jesse Jackson held an extremely disastrous interview on Reddit, which hosts events in which its users ask celebrities questions. These are called “AMAs,” or “Ask Me Anything.”

Jackson no doubts regrets the entire AMA, which was met with derision from Reddit’s users. However, he might regret the answer to one of the questions the most.
At one point in the AMA, Jackson was asked (emphasis mine):
Mr. Jackson,

You are an immoral, hate-filled race baiter that has figured out how to manipulate the political system for your own gain. You’ve personally set back race relations year after year and continue to do more harm than good. Extorting money from companies to line your pockets and threatening to bus in protestors and create a fake racial controversy if they don’t agree to pay you off is NOT civil rights activism. My question is simple; how is your relationship with the illegitimate child you fathered in 1998 while cheating on your wife? Bonus question: How much money have you extorted from various people and companies over the years of practicing your shakedown scheme? Do you think Al Capone would be jealous of your business model if he were still alive?
His inexplicable response? “I do.” It is unclear what Jackson was thinking, but the rest of his answer shows that he utterly did not understand the question or, more likely, he responded to the wrong one:
I do. But I was jailed in 1960. For trying to use a public library. And that caused more good than harm. I marched to end segregation. The day Dr. King spoke on Washington, in 1963, I was there for that speech. That day, from Texas to Florida, you couldn’t use a single public toilet. We could not buy ice cream at Howard Johnson’s, or stay in Holiday Inns. We fought to bring those barriers down. And because those walls are down, all the new interstate construction across the South – the new bridges and ports, and seaports – that’s progress. You couldn’t have teams behind the Cotton Curtain. You couldn’t have had Olympics in Atlanta behind the Cotton Curtain. You couldn’t have Toyota, and Michelin, behind the Cotton Curtain, so we pulled those walls down.

So our work has been beneficial. And it seems to me that people who benefit from that work ascribe it to the wrong reasons. 
When the laws change to make the South more civil, that brought in more investment. So we’ve made America better.

All these changes have come from our work. Our work has bene good for the South, and good for America.

My goal is to expand our consciousness, to create as big a tent as possible, as we fight for justice and world peace. I was able to bring Americans home from jail, from prison, and gaining those freedom of those Americans was the highest and best use of my talents and time.
Among Jackson’s other stunningly terrible answers:
  • He claimed “America’s history has been a continuous chasm of violence.”
  • He said that the decriminalization of “crack” might be a good thing
  • For some reason he talked about how he likes his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • When asked if he felt bad for rushing to judgement after condemning the “perpetrators” of the Duke lacrosse rape scandal, Jackson said bluntly, “No.”
The AMA went so disastrously that Jackson has since deleted every single answer that he gave during it.


Founder and editor of the Social Memo

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  1. not sure why he is being villified here, at least not sure why he is being villified on the basis of his answers.

    as to the decriminalisation of crack – is this really such a radical concept? has the current system of throwing people in prison for crack reduced drug addiction? i think not. rather it has made the drug trade more violent, it has destroyed countless lives and consumed lord knows how many millions upon millions of tax payer dollars in (for profit?) prisons.

    a very disingenuous headline followed by a wholly vacuous article. time to up your game folks – a third grader could've written this.

    1. Did you read the AMA?

      He never addressed any criticisms, nearly all of them valid. This article filters out some of the more troubling responses he gave, such as 1) Acknowledging to a certain extent he's an extortionist 2) Creating race issues is needed to show there are race issues 3) Ambulance chasing high profile cases are acceptable: no justification, but he deemed that paiting people as racist criminals without due process isn't immoral (even [or especially] if they were proven innocent) and 4) Implies that the work he did in the past justifies his right to monetize off national tragedies or personal gain.

      So weather or not this whole thing is a giant misunderstanding, Rev J.J. messing up and online interview, or he was sincere in his replies: the article remains true. This AMA was a disaster for him.