Civil rights activist and Baptist minister Jesse Jackson Sr. has jumped into the controversy surrounding anti-gay comments made by Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson.
Jesse Jackson Sr. compared Phil Robertson’s recent comments about African-Americans, gay people and women to comments made by the driver of Rosa Parks’ bus.
“At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law,” he said in a press release.
“Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was <<white privilege>>.”
Jesse Jackson’s human rights group, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, has demanded meetings with A&E and with Cracker Barrel regarding the two companies’ treatment of Phil Robertson.
His group, along with LGBT group GLAAD and the National Organization for Women, urged A&E to keep Phil Robertson on an indefinite hiatus from the show, which the network started following the star’s comments in GQ magazine.
Cracker Barrel removed Duck Dynasty items from its shelves and then put them back Sunday after customers protested, according to a Cracker Barrel news release.
Jesse Jackson Sr. and the leaders of the other groups are demanding a sit-down meeting with Cracker Barrel and A&E in the next couple of days.
“It is unacceptable that a personality who has been given such a large platform would benefit from racist and anti-gay comments,” Jesse Jackson Sr. said in the release.