Black Mothers are ‘Queens who Produce Champions,’ Says Rev. Jesse Jackson

Jackson refuted President Trump’s claim that NFL players who protest are “sons of bitches.”

At DiversityInc’s fall event in Newark, N.J. on Wednesday, civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. addressed President Donald Trump’s comments about NFL players’ protests during the national anthem, and explained the reason why Colin Kaepernick began his protest — police brutality.

During a rally in Alabama on Friday, Trump referred to NFL players and other professional athletes who kneel or sit during the national anthem prior to games as “sons of bitches.” It has been predominately Black athletes participating in the protests.

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More than 200 players joined in solidarity Sunday to protest Trump’s assault on their right to protest racial injustices. 

The players are following the example of Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49er quarterback, who began the protest during the national anthem last year to highlight injustices and police brutality against minorities, including Black men killed by police.

“In the national anthem, there’s a reference to slavery,” Jackson said to an audience of diversity and inclusion executives.

Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner,” known as the national anthem, in 1814. The first verse is played at sporting events. But, Key also wrote a third verse that gives a nod to slavery:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,

That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion

A home and a Country should leave us no more?

Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Key was a slaveholder who believed Blacks to be “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.”

Jackson also listed Black males who perished in police-related deaths including Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott, Amadou Diallo, and Michael Brown, and said Rodney King was “beaten nearly to death in California” and the officers involved “walked free.”

“Don’t Black lives matter? It’s not that other lives don’t matter. But, don’t Black lives matter?

“In a democracy, you’re supposed to pay a price for killing people.”

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“I think he’s getting a raw deal,” Aaron said.

Jackson said the reason the protests have “morphed into something bigger” than Kaepernick’s original protest, now including Black athletes across the NFL, is because “it represents a bunch of unstated grievances.”

“Almost all of these kids who are playing athletics come from some poor neighborhood,” he said. “They broke out and did well.”

But he said that “deep within their experiences“ they may have been affected by knowing of someone killed by a police officer, or someone who had been falsely arrested.

“So now Trump comes and says to ‘fire the son of a bitch,’ Jackson said. “Black mothers are not bitches, they’re queens who produce champions. They’re not bitches who produce thugs.”

Trump tweeted on Tuesday that NFL players should be required to stand for the national anthem.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions echoed Trump’s sentiment during an interview with “Fox and Friends” on Wednesday.

“I think it should be a formal rule of the league,” he said. “They should be able to say to the players, ‘If you’re on our field, in our game, paid by us, you should respect the flag and the national anthem.'”

Sessions wants the NFL to limit free speech, but, as CBS News points out, on Tuesday, he backed free speech, and said that government should not restrict it.

During an address at the Georgetown University Law Center, Sessions criticized college speech policies.

“Freedom of thought and speech on the American campus are under attack,” he said.

DiversityInc’s fall event, “New Ideas for Best Practices,” focused on new approaches to holding stakeholders accountable for D&I results, utilizing talent development as a revenue driver and infusing diversity in succession planning.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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15 comments


  • A message we need to hear more from other Black men. Crazy to think White people get this antsy over a pledge.

  • Shocking that all of us have been singing the National Anthem and this “nod” to slavery has been there the entire time without more of an uproar or objection before now! I know we don’t sing the third verse, but why is it still the National Anthem. Minorities clearly aren’t part of the home of the free.

    • Charity Dell

      LAJUANA–No one other than rich white males were part of the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”
      Women (of all ethnic groups); Native/Indigenous Americans; African-Americans; Asian-Americans and
      Latino Americans were NEVER a part of the equation. African-American MALES were considered but 3/5 of a man.

  • Sessions’ statement sounds like a modern-day Southern plantation slave master: “If we [white folKKKs who can afford tickets] payin’ y’all stubborn ni@@ers to pick OUR cotton, y’all betta do as we say or else we gon’ crack de white power whip!”

    Jesse is right! When you compare the poor Black males who some were reared by single Black mothers from impoverished ghettos, to tRUMP who comes from a rich, suburban two-parent household–look who turned out as a foul-mouthed, juvenile, misogynistic, p^ssy-grabbing SOB! The champions these Black mothers produced with their sons is miraculous in AmeriKKKa.

    These are the hypocritical white Republicans who are devilish “Christians” advocating FAMILY VALUES. tRUMP is their mascot.

    • Charity Dell

      ZAZIJAMS–The Part-time Resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is a classic example of
      the “Pampered Prince of Daddy” syndrome, who did not bother to DISCIPLINE his
      son–the precious son who needed to have his LEARNING DISABILITY tested.

      The Dumpy Trump is just angry because the NFL did not permit him to buy a team.
      That’s what it is.

    • Sure it does, bigot.

      Many fine Black men and women are from Chicago. The violence going on there currently could be sharply curtailed with two steps:

      1. Make (the almost 100% white) gun and ammo manufacturers legally responsible for their sales chain. This will end straw purchases.

      2. Prosecute all gun violence with federal laws already on the books. Most smart hoodlums will not take a chance with the feds and if they do there’s far less chance that corrupt (white) lawyers and courts will circumvent the legal process (which has been going on in Chicago since white men stole it from the Indians).

      A third step would be to legislate all public schools have outcomes within one standard deviation. The “we can’t afford it” bullshit has to end. Looks like we can afford a tax cut for billionaires. Our military spends more than the next seven militaries added together and the federal government spends more on nuclear weapons than college.

      No more welfare for contractors and economically laggard red states.

    • Charity Dell

      Jphn–Why is anyone–especially the media–OBSESSED about Chicago?
      Chicago is just one more metropolis with a high crime rate in America,
      along with all the OTHER metropolitan areas in the United States.
      Americans–especially Euro-Americans–have ALWAYS WORSHIPED WEAPONRY–
      because it was through THE GUN that Europeans competed their rape and conquest
      of the New World, including the United States. “America” was built on VIOLENCE,
      and the technology of THE BULLET.

  • There is indeed a historical reference to America’s slavery institution in one of the verses of the National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner. Our version of the anthem omits the slave reference while hypocritically ending with “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. It is obvious that Francis Scott Key, like most Americans accepted slavery as their way of life irrespective of denying freedom to people of African descent. I recommend we sing the entire anthem and shout the word “slave ” from the top of our lungs.

    • The lines in consideration,
      “where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
      That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
      A home and a Country should leave us no more?
      Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
      No refuge could save the hireling and slave
      From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,”
      use “slave” to denigrate the British practice of impressing (kidnaping) men and forcing them to serve on British naval vessels. Key is taunting that the British hire mercenaries and force men to fight on their side, whilst the Americans were free citizens protecting home and Country.
      “Where is that band (staffed with mercenaries and the unwilling) whose leaders swore that the battle they bring will leave us homeless?
      Their footprints are washed away by their own blood, and no refuge can save them from terror or death.”
      Is that any easier to understand?
      Just trying to help.

      • “In the same year, shortly after a race riot in Washington, D.C. when an angry white mob set upon a well-known free black restaurant owner, Key likewise sought to crack down on the free speech of abolitionists he believed were riling things up in the city. Key prosecuted a New York doctor living in Georgetown for possessing abolitionist pamphlets.

        In the resulting case, U.S. v. Reuben Crandall, Key made national headlines by asking whether the property rights of slaveholders outweighed the free speech rights of those arguing for slavery’s abolishment. Key hoped to silence abolitionists, who, he charged, wished to “associate and amalgamate with the negro.”

        Though Crandall’s offense was nothing more than possessing abolitionist literature, Key felt that abolitionists’ free speech rights were so dangerous that he sought, unsuccessfully, to have Crandall hanged.”

        Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/wheres-debate-francis-scott-keys-slave-holding-legacy-180959550/#hs8hxX6sfGyRZS1k.99

        • Key a slave owner of not, what I’ve written is what those lines of that song mean, and the people who complain about the word “slave” in our anthem are the same kind of people who fight to get what was probably the most powerful and beautiful anti-slavery allegory ever written, Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn”, out of schools and libraries today because it contains the dreaded N-word.

          And, can’t help but notice, I put in a small comment on a week-ago article, and there’s Luke, flying to the rescue of those with whom I’m attempting to communicate. What would they do without you?

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