Friday, July 18, 2008
The View: The gals were chatting about Jesse Jackson’s use of the “N”
Sharpton 'Very Disappointed' With Jesse Jackson
Civil Rights Leader: Public Figures Need To Be 'Consistent'
NEW YORK (CBS) ― Rev. Al Sharpton spoke out Thursday against Rev. Jesse Jackson's use of the N-word that was caught on tape while preparing for an interview for Fox News.
Sharpton, who has joined Jackson in opposition of the word, said on CBS News' The Early Show on Thursday that he was "very disappointed" by this latest revelation.
"I think this certainly does not reflect the Reverend Jackson that we all know and love," Sharpton said. "I think that we have to be consistent. We have denounced the N-word at National Action Network and other groups. Those of us and many of us who have used it privately said we must refrain from it if we're going to challenge people using it publicly."
Sharpton agreed that public figures especially need to be role models for others in expunging the word from today's culture.
"Once we take this public position we have that responsibility. I've said and many of those in other groups, NAACP and others, that we've all used it in the past. And we've got to stop it as we challenge this nation," he said.
"We can't challenge others without challenging ourselves. I still hold the Rev. Jackson in high esteem, but I certainly don't condone the use of the word used by Rev. Jackson or myself or anyone else."
In the past, Jackson himself said the word is an ethnic slur that he has asked others not to use because it is offensive and degrading.
CBS station WBBM-TV in Chicago's Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports that, although Jackson did not directly address the slur he used in a conversation he believed was private, he apologized Wednesday "...for the pain and sorrow that I have caused as a result of my hurtful words."
The words, leaked to and posted Wednesday on the TVNewser blog, were from the same hot-mike conversation in a Fox News Channel studio that got him into hot water last week.
While waiting for an interview on the "Fox & Friends" news show earlier this month, Jackson said "see Barack been um, talkin' down to black people, on this faith based … I want to cut his n**s out."
Those comments first aired on Bill O'Reilly's program on Fox News, but the network decided not to air another portion of the same conversation, when Jackson used a more controversial n-word, completing the sentence: "Barack...he's talking down to black people ... telling 'n-words' how to behave."
On Wednesday's broadcast, O'Reilly defended the decision not to air the rest of that sentence. "We're in business to bring you important information and we did that. We tried to spare Jesse Jackson further embarrassment, but somebody obviously wants to hurt him," O'Reilly said.
But it was Jackson himself who was out front in the movement for a voluntary ban on the N-word that took flight nearly two years ago after a racial rant by comedian Michael Richards.
Richards, who played the wacky neighbor on the popular Seinfeld show, was captured on a video cell phone using the N-word after two African Americans heckled him during his comedy routine.
After that incident, Jackson said, "We will challenge and urge all artists and comics to stop using this word. … What other group is subjected to such a degrading terminology?"
Jackson, traveling in Spain on Wednesday, was apparently told the transcript had been released, or soon would be; his apology nearly beat the reporting of what he was apologizing for. As he said last week, "I'm quick to say if I've done any harm or hurt, for that I have deep regrets because I want my pluses to be stronger than my minuses."
Rev. Al Sharpton, who joined Jackson in 2006 to push for a voluntary ban on the N-word, declined to discuss Jackson specifically on Wednesday, but said, "I am against the use of the N-word by anyone."
While its use is still common in many situations, in conversations between African-Americans about African-Americans, many believe that it's wrong for someone of Rev. Jackson's stature to use it.
The question is whether the use of the N-word by an African-American to another