Lott Becomes Newest Target for Jackson

By Donald V. Adderton
Biloxi Sun Herald, January 23, 1999
© The Sun Herald

The mean-spirited mantra of intolerance appears to be picking up steam across America as the Senate ponders what to do with a badly soiled president.

Just the other day a South Carolina-born country preacher turned cable-TV-talk-show-host, known to many as the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., hurled down from his media pulpit that he would personally seek to oust Senate Majority Trent Lott at the polls in 2000.

A noble attempt from a man who has skeletons in his own political closet.

Jackson wants to unseat one of the most popular elected officials in the state's history, one that an overwhelming number of blacks voted for in 1994.

Here's the deal, folks.

The Pascagoula native and GOP leader had the audacity to speak before the Council of Conservative Citizens in 1992 and allegedly accepted an "honorary" membership in the ultra-conservative organization. In the CCC speech, Lott talked lower taxes and less government waste.

Why is it that the zealots - on both sides - elide free speech when the message does not squarely meet their agenda? Protected free speech doesn't matter when you're on a political mission.

Jackson and liberals like him often overlook the opportunity to reach the masses by continuing to send the same one-dimensional message to the choir.

Lott has vigorously denied the membership allegation and reiterated his opposition to all forms of racial prejudice.

"I condemn the white supremacist, racist views espoused by this or any group," Lott said last week.

Forget it, Jackson has found a target

Apparently Jackson was not mollified by the Lott denials. Lott must pay, politically.

It's interesting that the home folk in Mississippi don't see it that way. Because they just love their Trent Lott. Perhaps it's because Lott brings home the pork, which translates into jobs and economic opportunity.

No matter.

Jackson and his Chicago-based Rainbow/PUSH Coalition are coming to the Coast on Sunday to kick off a massive voter registration campaign to make sure Lott doesn't get another six years in the Senate representing the Magnolia State.

Jackson said he aims to "change the face" of politics in the South. The Country Preacher wants to register 2 million blacks in an effort to alter the color of the political landscape.

Nevertheless, transmuting the hue doesn't necessarily mean things are going to get better.

But the ultra left wants to spank Lott politically because they view him as the linchpin responsible for keeping the wheels of impeachment turning toward removing President Bill Clinton from office on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Blacks in Mississippi could do better than Lott, Jackson harangued this week in Chicago during festivities honoring the 70th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

"He's not representing their interests," Jackson said. "The meanness and the hostility is not in the best interest of the country."

Whose best interests?

Lott represents Mississippi's interests, not Jesse's

Politicos targeted by the Jackson machine are those who do not embrace his liberal views of more government spending for entitlements and continued affirmative action.

Perhaps Jackson is setting the stage for yet another run for the Democratic nomination - he lost in 1984 and 1988.

But nothing Jackson does - no matter how politically outlandish - ever surprises me. In the 27 years that I have known him, whatever he executes is done exclusively to benefit Jesse Jackson. Keeping hope alive is merely a smoke screen.

This is the same man who embraced the ultra-bigoted Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam. This is also the same man who referred to Jews as "hymies" and New York City as "hymie town" when he was running for president.

It is interesting to note how many blacks rushed to defend Jackson's anti-Semitic slur - as they have done with President Clinton - as being an off-the-cuff remark that shouldn't have been made public.

What Jackson is doing now is exposing himself as the political hypocrite he has always been. In Jackson's zeal to become The Black Leader, he shamelessly blows so much hot air.

When it comes to so-called leaders, do you really need someone to do your thinking? So Lott is not really the issue, it is Jackson's mega-sized ego. He wants to be the next civil rights Messiah, and that will never be.