Rev. Jesse Jackson slipped a somewhat shocking statement into his running commentary to a national newspaper on Selma and the state of racism in America, suggesting that the way to change the power structures to the point of actually putting a dent in minority poverty statistics is to regulate white businesses.
Jackson was in Selma for the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday’s famously violent civil rights march. Chatting with a Los Angeles Times reporter at the headquarters’ building of the commemorative march’s organizers, Jackson commented that those coming into town for the event “should be in a protest mood,” rather than celebratory mood.
Rose Sanders, one of the leading forces of the Sunday anniversary rally, agreed and said: “Sixty percent of Selma’s children live in poverty,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Jackson then nodded and referred to the all-black make-up of Selma’s political leadership as a major change from 1965 – but one that didn’t go far enough.
“People assume there is a correlation between political power and economic power. But a black power structure – mayor, city, council, police force – is not enough. You change the political power, and the white business owners just move outside the city. So you have power over a doughnut hole. We need help to climb out of the doughnut hole.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that he recommended a plan for the government to step in and devise regulations so that these businesses couldn’t lawfully relocate.
“It’s the only way,” he said, the newspaper reported.
The notion, at least in principle, isn’t alien to the existing White House.
Months ago, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew penned a letter that described those corporations that sought to reincorporate overseas to avoid the high taxation rate ushered in under President Obama as “unpatriotic.” Lew also pressed Congress to create laws to keep the businesses from relocating. President Obama and his Democratic supporters, meanwhile, carried that mantra further.
He said at a July 2014 speech at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, that those firms that sought to relocate their headquarters overseas – a tax practice known as inversion – were “cherry-picking the rules” and dinging America’s economy.
“My attitude is I don’t care if it’s legal, it’s wrong,” he said then, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Obama administration has also gone after Boeing. In 2011, the National Labor Relations Board filed a lawsuit against Boeing after the aircraft maker decided to open a plant in South Carolina to construct its 787 Dreamliner model absent union pressure. The NLRB argued that Boeing’s refusal to build the plant in Washington state, where union workers wanted it, was tantamount to union busting, and was an illegal practice.