Jesse Jackson Jr.: Obama's Like Jackie Robinson

Candidate has to endure jeers with a smile, can't strike back
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2008 3:34 PM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., waves as he enters a rally in front of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama is like Jackie Robinson: he’s got to perform despite racist taunts, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., son of the civil-rights leader, said during a Politico-sponsored panel discussion today ahead of the Democratic convention. Like the baseball pioneer, Obama “has to keep smiling,” in the face of vicious rumors “because no one wants an angry African American in the White House,” Jackson said.

“Barack Obama has the capacity to hit," Jackson said. "But he is in the situation where he can’t hit back, which Jackie Robinson could not do. He had to be able to run the bases, even though the crowd was jeering the first African American on the field.”