Hateful Rhetoric

Rev. Jesse Jackson says GOP Gov. Walker is segregating Wisconsin

June 4, 2012

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Speaking at two rallies Sunday and Monday, Rev. Jesse Jackson compared Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker to segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace and said Walker is perpetuating segregation in Milwaukee.

Jackson is a supporter of Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, who is challenging Walker in Tuesday’s special recall election. He made several visits to the state to protest Walker’s collective bargaining reforms last year.

"Why is Milwaukee so segregated and so-locked out? Because of a lack of access to transportation," Jackson told the press alongside a group of local church leaders. "If you are in fact on welfare, you can’t own a car. Without public transportation, you can’t get to the job, and the job can’t get to you."

That is why, Jackson said, Milwaukee has become the "poorest and most segregated city in the state."

"The governor of this state refused to accept $800 million from President Obama," Jackson said, drawing boos from the small audience outside a downtown municipal building. "He turned down the jobs creator. That was money for Americans who can make the steel, lay the rails, build the trains, unite Milwaukee and Madison and Chicago, and put Wisconsin and Illinois and America back to work."

Speaking Sunday night at another rally, Jackson compared Walker to segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace for his support of voter ID laws.

"So now you have a governor—Wallace did it in Alabama and now Walker in Wisconsin—trying to take back access to vote," Jackson said.

Monday’s event was billed as non-partisan. Jackson made no mention of Walker’s opponent, Democratic Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett.

Under Barrett’s leadership, African American joblessness rose by 150 percent in Milwaukee.

Jackson appeared at both events in a Mercedes Benz S550 and was escorted by a Cadillac Escalade ESV. The starting price of the S550 is about $100,000; the Escalade retails for almost $70,000.