Florida Gov. Rick Scott has asked civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson to apologize for reckless comments concerning the Zimmerman trial verdict, after Jackson called Florida the “Selma” of modern times.
Jackson also described Florida as an “apartheid state” directly after Zimmerman’s acquittal.
The references referred to the Selma, Alabama protests over black voting rights in 1965 and the racial segregation in South Africa that the United Nations declared a crime in 1970.
Jackson even compared Scott to the former Alabama Gov. George Wallace who stood in front of the doors of the University of Alabama and blocked the entrance of two black students.
“Jesse Jackson owes every Floridian an apology for his reckless and divisive comments,” Scott said. “It is unfortunate that he would come to Florida to insult Floridians and divide our state at a time when we are striving for unity and healing.”
The former presidential candidate made the comments during a visit to Tallahassee, speaking to a group called the Dream Defenders and protesting the Stand Your Ground law, which Zimmerman’s lawyer never used in his defense.
Jackson and the group have decided to camp out at the Capitol until Scott calls a special session to overhaul self-defense laws, though the governor has refused to comply with their demands. The group also seeks to end racial profiling and zero tolerance policies in public schools.