Jesse Jackson Q&A session gets ugly: ‘How much money have you extorted?’

The Rev. Jesse Jackson hosted an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit website Wednesday, but the questions for the “civil rights leader” got uncomfortable fast.

Users began the session by asking Jackson about the Black Lives Matter movement, civil rights, and even his favorite way to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (He likes jelly and peanut butter equally, but prefers them separated. Insert “separate but equal” joke here.)

Then came the tough ones.

Calling Jackson an “immoral, hate-filled race baiter,” one user started grilling him on his history of shaking down corporations and cronyism, and even quizzed him about his illegitimate child.

“You’ve personally set back race relations year after year and continue to do more harm than good,” the user wrote. “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?” the user asked.

The user even compared Jackson to Al Capone in a “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?”

Jackson’s response was lengthy, incoherent, and seemingly unrelated to the user’s curiosity about his history of infidelity and shakedowns, leading many users to wonder if he had even read the question.

“Did you read the same questions as I did?” asked one user.

“Hey Rev, thanks for the laugh,” wrote another. “Follow up question, did you understand the question?”

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Jackson was also grilled by users who wanted to know if he regretted rushing to judgement in the 2006-2007 Duke lacrosse rape scandal.

“No, the pattern is consistent,” Jackson responded. “We never want injustice to occur. But the pattern is fairly obvious, and a very obvious pattern that must be ended.”

He also faced a slew of questions – which he failed to answer – about gun rights, his derogatory remarks about Jews, and his apparent animosity toward Barack Obama.

“Do you still want to cut Obama’s nuts off?”

“Mr. Jackson, you should fire the publicist who told you to do a Reddit AMA. Also, how much did it hurt that Obama left you off the stage and in the crowd at his inaugurations?”

“You cite “too much access to guns” As part of your argument. Would you care to elaborate why Dr. King was pro gun rights? Along with the black panthers who asserted they would not be pushed around? Furthermore, how diminishing another civil right will help you accomplish anything?”

“Hymie Town…what was up with that?”


Twitter users weren’t much nicer to Jackson after the Reddit session had ended.

This probably explains why Jackson doesn’t do too many highly publicized Q&A sessions.

Michael Schaus


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