/PRNewswire/ -- Members of the Project 21 black leadership network have risen to condemn Jesse Jackson for saying of Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), "You can't vote against health care and call yourself a black man," calling Jackson's statement divisive and likening it to the mental tactics of a antebellum slaveowner.
Declining to respond in kind, Rep. Davis told The Hill newspaper, "The best way to honor Reverend Jackson's legacy is to decline to engage in an argument with him that begins and ends with race."
Project 21 members were less retrained.
"Shame on Jesse Jackson for using the race card in an attempt to influence the views of another black politician," said Project 21 Fellow Deneen Borelli.
"Ironically, Jackson is acting like a slaveowner trying to keep blacks on his ideological plantation, where they are required to support government programs that increase public dependency on a bureaucracy," Borelli added. "In Jackson's world, it appears a black man cannot have independent thought. They must follow Jackson blindly or face lashes from his tongue."
"What makes Jesse Jackson an authority on being black in America more than anyone else? Why is he able to determine how we must think?" asked Project 21 member Kevin L. Martin. "It's no mystery why Jackson consistently failed to win broad appeal for his goals and must instead resort to ugly racial politics."
Martin added: "Blacks who have sought to exercise their free will are well aware of the disdain, disrespect and derision that comes with straying from the liberal plantation. Welcome to the club, Congressman Davis."
Jackson's smear was made during a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation reception held on November 18 to mark the 25th anniversary of his presidential campaign. Rep. Davis (D-AL), a black congressman, voted against the House version of ObamaCare.
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