The Hill fumbled Jesse Jackson Jr.'s "racialized" comment

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

It was made in the context of the unfolding Blago/Burris controversy. Jackson, who had been considered by Blago as a possible candidate to fill Barack Obama's senate seat, told CNN that it would be unfortunate if the issue of whether to seat Burris or not became "racialized."

The Hill reported it this way:

"The longer this process takes the more racialized this seat becomes and the more difficult it becomes for Democrats to hold it in 2010," Jackson, a onetime candidate for the seat, told CNN.

From that, The Hill made this rather sweeping, and damning, generalization about Democrats [emphasis added]:

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D) warned Tuesday that Senate Democrats risk alienating black voters by refusing to seat Roland Burris, creating racial tension that could result in the party losing the Illinois Senate seat in 2010.

Is that really what Jackson claimed, that Democrats would alienate black voters? That's not how I read Jackson's somewhat amorphous CNN quote and I'm not sure how The Hill came to that conclusion. Because that same day Jackson also spoke to Politico about the Burris situation and seemed to making the opposite point from what The Hill claimed:

But [Jackson] said that use of the race card by Burris' supporters hurts Democrats' chances for holding the seat in 2010. "A racialized Senate seat is not something that the people of Illinois want," Jackson said. "They want people to speak to their concerns and the genuine economic hardships they confront. So the racialization of Senate seat is going to be a profound problem for Democrats," he said.

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity
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