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Jesse Jackson Joins Debate Over 'Duck Dynasty' Patriarch's Comments -- Invokes Landmark Civil Rights Incident TMZ, Yahoo TV

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said comments made by “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson in a GQ interview were more offensive than the actions of the bus driver who tried to make Rosa Parks move to the back of the bus in 1955, reports TMZ.com.

"These statements uttered by Robertson are more offensive than the bus driver in Montgomery, Alabama, more than 59 years ago,” Jackson said. "At least the bus driver, who ordered Rosa Parks to surrender her seat to a white person, was following state law. Robertson’s statements were uttered freely and openly without cover of the law, within a context of what he seemed to believe was 'white privilege.'"

Jackson is asking to meet with A&E and Cracker Barrel. The restaurant chain briefly pulled “Duck Dynasty” merchandise from its shelves but then reversed its decision after a customer outcry, as previously reported.

Robertson was suspended by A&E over anti-gay remarks he made in the GQ article, and was also called out for racist views, notes Yahoo TV. He reportedly implied that blacks were happier when they lived under Jim Crow laws, telling the magazine that when he grew up black people were “singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people' -- not a word!"

He added, "Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."

jesse jackson.jpgJesse Jackson