Updated with new video at 2:55 p.m.: We told you last night about the radio ads put out by an anti-Amendment One group, declaring that Tuesday’s ballot issue on charter schools was an effort to recreate an educational system that separates black and white students.
Several of the 60-second spots featured the Rev. Joseph Lowery, the 91-year-old civil rights figure. “Don’t let them resegregate our schools,” Lowery says in the ads.
As it turns out, the sharp-tongued Lowery was already an Internet topic on Wednesday – but not for dipping into the charter school debate. Rather, it was for comments made over the weekend in Monroe County, as part of a Southern Christian Leadership Conference trek across the state to encourage support for President Barack Obama.
Former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young was there, too. But it was Lowery — the same fellow who gave the benediction at Obama’s 2009 inauguration — who raised eyebrows. Lowery says he’s being pilloried for a joke about white folk that he’s told hundreds of times from the stump — which the reporter apparently didn’t recognize for its humor.
Here’s the report from Diane Glidewell and the Monroe County Reporter, the local weekly:
Lowery said Obama lost Georgia by 200,000 votes in 2008 while 390,000 black folks in Georgia did not vote.
“I don’t know what kind of a n—– wouldn’t vote with a black man running,” said Lowery. “All that he did with the stimulus was genius. Nobody intelligent would risk this country with Romney.”
Lowery praised Obama’s commitment to the poor and said politicians should quit saying ‘middle class’ and go ahead and say ‘poor.’ Then he urged individuals to look at their own character and conduct.
“We’ve turned our backs on the faith,” said Lowery. “America is going to hell in a hand basket. We need to straighten up so God can use us.”
Lowery said that when he was a young militant, he used to say all white folks were going to hell. Then he mellowed and just said most of them were. Now, he said, he is back to where he was.
“I’m frightened by the level of hatred and bitterness coming out in this election,” said Lowery.
Forsyth Mayor John Howard, a member of St. James who opened Saturday’s program, said he was “pretty shocked” by Lowery’s comments. He said if a speaker had made the same comments about black people, he would have gotten up and left.
Immediately after their joint appearance in Forsyth, Ga., Lowery and Young headed over to Macon. Lowery didn’t say exactly the same thing, but poke through this video of the Macon event sent over by Maynard Eaton, national communications director for the SCLC.
The speech before the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, founded by state Rep. Tyrone Brooks, was recorded by videographer Clyde Bradley, and might leave you with a different impression. Lowery’s every bit as hard on black folk as he is white folk:
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider