“States rights” is the left’s new code word for racism.

(Politico) — The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he wants to hear the candidates at the Republican presidential debate tonight — Martin Luther King Jr. Day — discuss racial issues, which the civil rights activist says the GOP hopefuls have avoided throughout the campaign.

“I want to hear from them — do they support Dr. King and the New South movement? Do they appreciate Dr. King’s legacy?” Jackson told POLITICO. “These candidates talk about free enterprise, but do they understand that there would be no Boeing plant in South Carolina if blacks and whites couldn’t work together? That you couldn’t have CNN with a segregated Atlanta, or a Disney World in a segregated Florida?”

“I’ve not seen one of them with African-Americans in their ads or going to an African-American church,” Jackson said of the 2012 hopefuls. “It is an irony that they are having a debate on Martin Luther King Day, when all of them are running on state’s rights.”

According to Jackson, by embracing states’ rights, all of the GOP candidates are running campaigns whose platforms run counter to the very reasons Dr. King is hailed a national hero. “The Tenth Amendment was a rationale for southern segregation,” he said. “All of [the candidates] are running on states’ rights, when precisely the cause to defeat states’ rights chose the Thirteenth Amendment.”