In the interview with GQ, Robertson said blacks were happier during the Jim Crow era in which he was raised.
"I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person," Robertson told the magazine. "Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. We're going across the field. ... They're singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, 'I tell you what: These doggone white people' -- not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues."
Rev. Jackson isn't the first to invoke Rosa Parks in the debate surrounding Robertson's remarks. A Republican congressional candidate in Illinois, Ian Bayne, called Robertson the "Rosa Parks of our generation," thinking the comparison was complimentary. Bayne later told TPM that the comparison wasn't "literal" and that he wasn't referring to skin color.