Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Lt. Gov. Candidate E.W. Jackson, Back When He Was Pat Robertson's Minority Outreach Coordinator (May 16, 1997)

If you've been following campaign politics this year, you've probably come across the Reverend E. W. Jackson, the semi-obscure minister who became the surprise choice of the Virginia Republican Party to be their nominee for Lieutenant Governor in this year's election. And then it turned out Jackson had a documented history of totally crazy statements, the kind of politico-religio-socio-nutballery that you don't want to have dogging you when you're running for office—in other words, exactly what you'd expect from a Republican candidate in the 2010s.  Stuff like:
“Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was.  And the Democrat Party and their black civil rights allies are partners in this genocide.”
“[Homosexuals'] minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally, and emotionally and they see everything through the lens of homosexuality.  When they talk about love they’re not talking about love, they’re talking about homosexual sex.”
“[President Obama] knows the Koran and so he seems to have a lot of sympathy for even radical Islam, unwilling to call it terrorism, unwilling to deal with it. I think had he been white I think people would’ve said, ‘no I can’t, we can’t trust this guy.’ ”
This is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg; Right Wing Watch responded to his nomination with a whole treasure trove of fascinating awfulness that the Reverend had been spewing out in only his fairly recent years.  And he's only added to the pile of wingnut mouthings since, but my favorite just has to be this, his response to the original kerfuffle over his past statements:
“Every one of those comments has a context and were spoken in my role as a minister, not as a candidate.”
Don't judge me by the things I said when I wasn't running for office!  They don't count!  Plus the bit about context—always the fallback for people who don't want to face up to their embarrassing utterances: If you read the whole transcript, what I said about the President and the First Lady being Communistic doesn't sound as bad as you're making it out to be. (Oh, yeah, he said that too.)

So…sixteen years ago, before Jackson had a political career or a ministry of his own, he signed on with Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition as head of its minority outreach program, dubbed "The Samaritan Project," and here he is with Pat on The 700 Club to talk about it.  Actually, the interview followed up a segment covering the People for the American Way's campaign against the Christian Coalition over Robertson's positions on civil rights, public education, and the like—or as The 700 Club decided to put it: "The Christian Coalition has come under attack for their plan to achieve racial reconciliation."  You might want to watch the full clip, because in this instance, you really do need to know the context:

Unfortunately, if you're looking for another, yet-to-be-reported wingnut statement emanating from Jackson's mouth, I think I'm going to have to disappoint you, because I didn't hear anything that rises to the level of what we've already been treated to.  Well…
  • Jackson: “The American way is a way of faith… [People for the American Way] are frightened, I think, by the idea of people who love Jesus Christ, white and black, coming together to deal with the social problems confronting this country.”
  • Jackson eagerly agrees when Pat lays this down: “There's just no reconciliation—you're not going to get some government mandate to get black people to love white people and vice versa, it's only going to come about in Jesus! Jesus is the reconciler.”
  • Jackson: “Teen pregnancy, gangs, violence, school dropouts, poor education—[we're] trying to find faith-based groups and churches that are addressing these problems, support them…and say to the country, 'Folks, government can't solve these problems.  But faith in Jesus Christ can.”  Did you catch that?  Government can't do anything to improve poor education.  This from the guy who wants to be a heartbeat away from overseeing the Commonwealth of Virginia's school systems.  (Um, if government can't solve these problems, why are you running for office?)
So I don't know if anyone can make any new hay out of this, but at the very least, now there's some footage I don't think we had before of E.W. Jackson chatting and laughing with and fawning over Pat Robertson.

Oh, one last thing.  The Samaritan Project originated as a program to assist black churches during the wave of seemingly racially motivated church arsons that grabbed national attention in 1996, and its official purpose was "to build bridges between the races."  Yet here's CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) News anchor Lee Webb on The 700 Club reporting its launch and describing it as "intended to combat poverty," and the story prompts Pat Robertson to remind viewers of how much assistance CBN's Operation Blessing provides to the poor every year.  Uh…is the sum total of minority outreach in their minds antipoverty measures?  Because that's how it reads.


  1. This article is telling you a lie. I listened the inteview where the "homosexuals" quote supposedly comes from and he did not say homosexuals. He was dicussing out of control activists that spit on people, deface churces and engage in that kind of horrible behavior.
    The truth here would have been nice, but what can you expect when someone has an agenda other than honesty.

  2. Ohhh, so he didn't say that about all homosexuals, just "homosexual activists"—on a radio show devoted to bashing homosexuality? It's just the activists who are perverted and sick, and not your everyday gays and lesbians? Well, that makes all the difference in the world! It's not like he's ever said anything bad about gays otherwise, not here or here. No, sir!

    Anyway, I just listened to the interview and the quote in question comes after a discussion of how George Washington Carver is on a list of gay historical figures, and it's not quite clear whether his "they" refers to activists, or homosexuals in general. But even i you're right, Scott, you'll have to explain to me how it is that the "sickness" and "perversion" Jackson speaks of only applies to homosexual activists and manages not to infect the rest of the gay and lesbian community.

    If anyone wants to torture themselves and listen to the whole interview, you can listen to it here.