Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson on Sunday said Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump helped “seed these clouds” that led to the violence seen across the country last week.
Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Mr. Jackson said the “deep divide” between whites and blacks in America is only getting worse because of Mr. Trump’s rhetoric, though he applauded the subdued tone the billionaire real estate mogul took in the aftermath of last week’s shootings.
“When you do the birther movement with the president, which is a dog whistle for a kind of anti-black [attack], the anti-Mexican, the deportation of 15 million people, of families, disruption, anti-Muslim, that kind of rhetoric has helped to seed these clouds,” Mr. Jackson said. “I hope Mr. Trump will maintain the level of rhetoric” he used in his statement last Friday.
In that statement, Mr. Trump both condemned the massacre of Dallas police officers Thursday night and the deaths of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota at the hands of law enforcement, urging the country to come together and heal.
Moments later, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican and a top Trump surrogate, said that Mr. Trump is the candidate to address employment in the African-American community and bring about economic growth.
“Does it help poor African-Americans to bring in more labor than we have, and bring down wages as we’ve been seeing in this country? Does it help them to have bad trade deals so manufacturing plants are closed and wages aren’t there?” Mr. Sessions told Fox News.