Tuesday, July 29, 2003
JOE SCARBOROUGH, host
You know, Jesse Jackson's built a career out of moralizing. And
he never misses a chance to proclaim the leader of the civil rights
movement. My next guest is Kenneth Timmerman. He is the author of "Shakedown, Exposing
The Real Jesse Jackson." He is here to explain why Jesse Jackson and NASCAR went
their separate ways and how Jackson, like Pat Robertson, has embraced
Liberia's bloody dictator, Charles Taylor.
Thank you so much for being with us tonight. And let's begin today with the
news that NASCAR would not be giving Rainbow Push money this year. So for
the record, Rainbow Push says they have not officially been told of the split.
Why has that happened? Why has the divorce come along at a time such as now?
KENNETH TIMMERMAN, AUTHOR, "SHAKEDOWN": Well, there's been a tremendous
amount of pressure from the public and from the NASCAR public, from the
National Policy and Legal Center here in Washington, D.C. NASCAR is a
tremendously patriotic group of people.
And you have them giving money to Jesse Jackson, at the same time that Jesse
Jackson is criticizing our troops in Iraq. He's saying that President Bush
is a war criminal. And he's criticizing basically the patriotism of our
national leadership. I think this grated tremendously with the NASCAR fans.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, I got to tell you the fans in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY were
not very happy either. I mean, we've been getting e-mails nonstop. Every
time we have you on. Every time we talk about the NASCAR shakedown, we have been
getting e-mails. They have been calling NASCAR.
I got to tell you, they just can't believe it. And when you have somebody
like football legend Reggie White, who's actively promoting black drivers
for NASCAR, blasting Jesse Jackson, that's a problem. And this is what he
said. He said: "It is really disappointing to me that Jesse and his
organization would take a quarter of a million dollars from NASCAR and not
do anything with it to try to get black drivers into the sport. It seems as
though Jackson is using his status and his organization to raise money for
I got to tell you, that is tough talk. Reggie White, who is a leader in the
African-American community and a hero to many Americans, has just accused
Jesse Jackson of stealing $250,000.
TIMMERMAN: Well, gee, Joe, it sounds like Reggie has been reading my book
"Shakedown." I mean, that's what I reported on in my analysis of Jackson's
35 years of political life. He began this kind of shakedown of black businesses
in Chicago in the 1960's and 1970's. Today he's just doing it for six
figures and seven figures on Wall Street. So.
SCARBOROUGH: But Kenneth, there are not an awful lot of African-American
leaders like Reggie White who have come out in the past and said, hey, you
just stole $250K and did nothing to advance the cause of African-Americans.
That's unusual, isn't it?
TIMMERMAN: No, you are absolutely right. And there's one case that I
reported to in "Shakedown" that is similar, a little bit less high-profile,
but involved black farmers, and black farmers who had been ripped off by
Jesse Jackson, ripped off by the Department of Agriculture. They asked for
his help. Jesse asked them, poor dirt farm farmers in South Carolina and
Virginian and North Carolina, he asked them for $100,000 just to give a
SCARBOROUGH: Now, Kenneth, it's shocking. And I got to tell you something
else that really is disturbing. In your book, you catalog Jesse Jackson's
role supporting Charles Taylor saying: "Without Jackson's active
intervention, Liberia's Charles Taylor and Sierra Leone's Foday Sankoh were
headed towards international isolation and sanction. Thanks to Jackson, both
retained power to murder another day." Now, what evidence do you have that
Jesse Jackson embraced and helped lift up a bloodthirsty dictator like
Charles Taylor? What evidence do you have?
TIMMERMAN: Well, among other things, I have got a box about this high of
documents that have just been released to me by the State Department. All of
the briefing documents given to Jesse Jackson, when he was President
Clinton's special envoy for Africa between 1997 and 2000, and all of the
transcripts of Mr. Jackson's discussions.
SCARBOROUGH: And what does it say, specifically what does it say about him
supporting Charles Taylor?
TIMMERMAN: Well, what's very clear is that Jackson went out of his way to
legitimize Charles Taylor as president of Liberia at a time when the
international community had branded him a virtual war criminal. They had put
sanctions on Liberia. They had prohibited companies from doing business with
Liberia. They had accused him of trafficking war diamonds from neighboring
Sierra Leone, and supporting Foday Sankoh, the murderer in Sierra Leone, who
was chopping the hands and the feet off children with machetes.
SCARBOROUGH: And so, Kenneth, we got to go, but yes or no, without Jesse
Jackson, Charles Taylor would already be out? Yes or no.
TIMMERMAN: Yes, he would be out without Jesse Jackson. We owe this to Jesse
Jackson to a great extent, I believe.
SCARBOROUGH: Well, that's awful. Thank you once again, Kenneth, for coming
on our show, and that is costing lives right now in Liberia and it may end up
costing American lives.