The media tends to tell us what to think about our black leaders. This saddens me, because I hate the idea that we are taught to attack those who speak on our behalf (just take a look at the comments below to see how many people truly believe that these people have done nothing. Imagine if you worked 40 hours per week for 20 years and someone said you’ve done nothing at all). One man to whom our country owes a tremendous debt of gratitude is Rev. Jesse Jackson. Rev. Jackson is one of a small number of civil rights leaders who actually stood by the side of Martin Luther King Jr. many years ago.
Similar to Dr. King, Rev. Jackson speaks out on behalf of the poor, for worker’s rights, against mass incarceration and on many other issues that tend to slip under the radar of the Democratic party. As our community has been politically hijacked by the liberal agenda, Jesse Jackson has been as consistent as the day is long in providing a message that empowers black people and not individual people.
Unfortunately, much of this message is missed because we’ve been taught to remain fixated on one unfortunate comment Rev. Jackson made about President Obama five years ago. We forget about the fact that, at the age of 71, Rev. Jackson travels more than most of us, and consistently uses his voice to bring attention to issues that are being ignored by our so-called friends in Washington. Also, many of those who feel that Jackson does nothing are effectively “Armchair activists,” who give their comments on Facebook but would never put their jobs or lives on the line for any issue that affects the black community. Rather than focus on his imperfections, perhaps we should remember that when Rev. Jackson is gone, there will be NO ONE with a voice as large as his who will be willing or able to take his place. Think about that the next time you’re tempted to write him off as worthless.
Someone sent me this note about their personal meeting with Jesse Jackson. I thought I’d share -it’s for those who’ve allowed white media to tell them what to think about black public figures. Someone sent this message to me through my Facebook page:
Thank you Dr. Watkins. I want to share a quick story about the one and only time I ever met Reverend Jackson. He came to Columbus about a couple of years ago and I was inform by my mother that he would be meeting with some people at a church. So I decided to go. Wasn’t much of a fan of his then but went because it’s hard for me to shy away from anything Black related. When I got there it was only a group of maybe 25 people. I was expecting him to speak to a whole congregation.
I believed he was suppose to arrive at 7:00 and was more than on time. He walked around and shook the hands of every individual before starting. He began to talk to us about voting rights discrimination and some of the stuff that was going on right here in Ohio that was violating people’s rights. After he finished up he left for a conference call and it appeared he was right on time for that. What those small things told me was how organized he was. I tend to pay attention to the little things people do before I buy into the big picture of them.
The next day he held a press conference. What’s funny is that it was scheduled for I think 3:00 and at 2:57 he was nowhere to be found. Then we saw a vehicle pull up at about 2:58, Jesse got out of it & started walking at 2:59, and then at 3:00 he was ready to go. Again – Organized! Couldn’t ask for more perfect timing than that. Again, wasn’t many people there. So where is this myth that he always want the big stage? I don’t believed he ever announced he was coming to Ohio and when he did come, he was hands on with the people that he did talk to. Right before he left I nervously asked if I could take a picture with him. He said ‘no’ and then laughed, grabbed my hand (handshake), and started posing at the camera with me which means he has a sense of humor. After that experience with Jesse I started to look at him in a whole different light.
Didn’t’ want to write too much but I thought I put it out there since you seem to be the only one these days coming to the Reverend’s defense. It’s almost sad how people love to tear him down, especially our own kind. I believe he is the type of man who won’t be appreciated until he’s dead and gone. We have to remember that Dr. King wasn’t the lovable figure alive as he is now. Hope I didn’t write too much lol.