Rev. Jesse Jackson Applauds Obama’s Statement on Trayvon, Now Calls for Policy to Back it Up

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by Rev. Jesse Jackson

President Barack Obama eloquently described the agony experienced among African-Americans from the slaying of Trayvon Martin. He called for a more thoughtful “conversation” on race, convened not by politicians, but among families, in churches and workplaces. He suggested modest steps to provide greater training on racial profiling with police, greater efforts to figure out how to do a “better job helping young African-American men feel that they’re a full part of this society and that they’ve got pathways and avenues to succeed.”

The president’s courageous comments merit praise and consideration. But we’ve had a long conversation about race in America. No small part of American history has been devoted to that “conversation” and that struggle. And as the president said, great progress has been made.

What we need now is action. The president’s personal narrative must translate into policy. His sentiments must be turned into meaningful solutions.

Young African-American boys need positive reinforcement, but they also need adequate nutrition as infants, good education as children, and jobs once they get out of school. Unemployment among black teenagers not in school hit a staggering 42.6 percent in June (up from a miserable 36.4 percent a year ago).

Blacks and Hispanics are clustered into low-wage, unstable jobs, and physically concentrated in impoverished ghettos and barrios, mostly in our nation’s cities. According to the census, in 31 cities, the unemployment rate is above 40 percent. In six of them, the unemployment rate is above 50 percent, which makes these young men fodder for the prison industrial complex. This is a global disgrace.

These men need more than a conversation about them from those who already have jobs. They need a plan. Lift them up where they belong. This is good policy for Americans. Lifting them is cheaper and much more wholesome than talking about them and leaving them in the margins.

Yet, the last time we had any major effort targeted at the concentrated areas of poverty and joblessness was Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty in the 1960s. In fact, Johnson’s war was remarkably successful, reducing childhood poverty and providing work or training to millions. But its programs fell victim to the costs of the Vietnam War.

Now, instead of concerted programs to provide hope and opportunity, African-Americans witness concerted attacks on the poor. North Carolina, for example, has become one of six southern states to introduce new voter ID laws since the Supreme Court’s conservative justices dismembered the Voting Rights Act. The Senate version requires a state issued ID, disqualifies student IDs for voting. The House version cuts early voting, same day registration and more. Of the 316,000 registered voters without a state-issued ID, 34 percent are African-American and 55 percent registered Democrats.

Since Republicans took control in North Carolina in 2012, the state has taken a hard shift to the right. So far this year, bills passed or pending by Republicans would eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit for 900,000 low wage workers, reduce Medicaid benefits for 500,000 and federal unemployment benefits for 170,000, cut 30,000 kids out of pre-K, and transferred $90 million from public to voucher schools.

In North Carolina, people of conscience realized that a conversation about the situation wasn’t enough. The Rev. William Barber III, president of the North Carolina NAACP, helped create “Moral Mondays,” weekly protests at the state capitol to “dramatize the shameful condition of our state.” These protests have grown dramatically, with thousands getting arrested in peaceful civil disobedience to challenge the assault on voting rights and on the poor.

This week, President Obama will travel to Knox College in Illinois to outline out his agenda on jobs and the economy once more. He will contrast “middle-out” economics, a focus on the strengthening the middle class, with the trickle-down economics of Republicans. If we are to provide hope for young African-American boys, we need a bottom up economics, as well, targeted to provide jobs in communities scarred by high levels of unemployment and poverty.

Whatever the president’s agenda, Rev. Barber is right. Nothing will get through the obstructionists in Congress unless citizens of conscience mobilize across the nation and demand action. That will create the conversation we need to make progress once more.


Keep up with Rev. Jackson and the work of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition at www.rainbowpush.org.

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  1. On topic, Our POTUS has made many statements that ease the minds of his audience yet has failed to produce the actions. In other words, he has not kept his word. So I would be very surprised to see any policy changes.

    He said, in fact he ensured he would see that foods got labeled which is more detrimental to the population than guns laws, jobs, racism and any other issue. Why?

    The foods in the United States are 98% GMO’s, in your grocery stores, fast foods, your drinks, your meats, everything. The GMO’s are the reason for the increase in diseases, the need for increased medical care, medical cost, and medications.

    After the GMO’s cause your kidney’s , pancreas and liver to fail, or cause cancers, and mental disorders (which is the reason there is increased violence by everyone to include the police) then you seek medical attention, where all they do is prescribe drugs they know will cause you more diseases and don’t help, then you are burdened with the cost of medications which are outrageous. So outrageous most can’t buy food because they are paying for medications. And Obamacare is just a way to fund the problem.

    The to top that off your can’t sue the doctors for malpractice anymore because when they prescribe that first drug that has over 70 side effects some to include death, they know they are causing you more harm. You also can’t sue the drug companies now for making drugs they know will cause you more diseases and eventually kill you, after you have racked up medical bills that your children inherit.

    Let’ s add to the fact that the people poisoning our food chain own our government. They have people positioned in the head positions of most of the government agencies: FDA, EPA, USDA, Dept of Agriculture, Supreme Court, Dept. of Defense and more. So anytime something comes up about the food issue it is shot down. And know that the POTUS appointed many of these people to their positions knowing their allegiance to the GMO company (not mentioning a name because unlike Oprah I have not achieved the money to fight them in a legal battle yet). The same company that has legislated bills that have now been made into law that secure the free realm of GMO’s without approval from anyone.

    Technically speaking there is a legal Genocide going on which trumps all the other issues. Dead and dying people don’t need jobs, their race don’t matter, guns don’t matter when your fork and spoon are now weapons of mass destruction. 1 in 5 people’s kidneys are failing, kidneys were not meant to fail. There are more Dialysis Centers than there are hospitals and they are building 50,000 more around the USA as we speak to, thanks to this GMO company who is paying for them, to accommodate the Kidney’s they know are going to fail. Heck, call your family members and see how many are failing.

    All the other countries are banning GMO’s because this company could not stop them from researching and proving GMO’s cause cancer, tumors, diabetes, kidney failure, and a host of other diseases to include birth defects, miscarriages and impotence for those on the blue pill.

    It’s time to wake up people and fight for your life. If we all first took care of our health, that would greatly reduce many problems, and if we did that in such a way as to create finances, that would answer the poverty gap and economics and if we obtained enough money we could fight back and take our country back.

    I say IF because there is a way, there is an answer to all of those problems, to include race without changing or writing a policy, waiting for a bill to pass etc. And no one can stop it and everyone can participate.

    Right now, the Tree of Life as stated in Rev 22:2, for those Bible readers, is being processed for 21st century consumption, the tree stated that would heal, and it has documented 321 diseases already and the NIH stated it can cure or prevent over 300, and restore the people. Restore what? You health, your finances, your dreams, your relationships and your lifestyle. Zija International has brought this tree to market and people are getting health benefits that most would call miracles (it is also called the Miracle Tree, get the book by Dr. Monica Marcu). Losing weight, have energy, no more pain, beauty restored, and more, and lots of people are making money…yes making money getting healthy and helping others do the same. I am not talking about a little bit of money either, 5 & 6 figures a month without trading time for dollars…Residual Income. And to top that off these people are growing their minds and becoming mentally mature, personally developed and that’s a benefit.

    My suggestion would be to stop waiting on our government to make a change, because no one is going to save us from this crisis, but be proactive and help yourself and your family by getting the information that will give you your life back. Financially free, Time freedom, business owners, great relationships feeling great in your bodies, and able to live the lifestyle of your choice for a business that has unlimited income potential on the strength of a credit card that can be in profit before the statement comes due.

    You want change, start with you. Check out my website on this link or reply so i will get and email.

    You can stay sick and broke, blaming race, no jobs, etc or you can make a change. There is a 30 day 100% guarantee, and get this, then there is a YEAR 90% guarantee. This is a no risk situation and a WIN/WIN for everyone. Money talks but you have to have it first before it can speak for you.

    As for the GMO’s that are on blast, you also get educated and will be able to afford good food.

    So are you ready to take your life back? Are you ready to live the good life? Are ready to live Life Unlimited? It’s all about taking action, get the information and LIVE!

    Enough people with money

  2. AS JESSE Jackson indicated, Pres Obama’s statement speaks on the issues that address the AA community… (My words) But he’s not campaigning anymore, he’s the President again… Supported by the primary constituency which are having the most problems regardless their campaign donations, votes, or democrat party participation…

    Even at the very seconds of ANY Obama speech or statement, It is disabled, shredded or falls to pieces by any CRITICISM from the conservative party or media.. The results of all these FAILED speeches is that the African American community, supporters, constituency fails and suffers from poor representation …

  3. We also have to add, While this current administration DRAGS around Obama Care for two terms.., The republican party and this Obama administration progress & projected the “conservative agenda” by leaps & bounds… And the GOP still intend to “defund” Obama’s health care law the same way the budget cuts & government downsizing has defunded the AA community…

    School closings, police-state stop & frisk, mass incarcerating, predatory lending, profile killings, lumpsided representative Investigations, these issues & more., the democrat party AND the Obama admin have DETOURED /IGNORED their most dedicated constituency’s issues … for vote pandering for immigration, gay marriages, gay military policies… JUST like Bush installed ” Nation Building” after being elected… The Obama administration & democrat party put the “sequestering” in effect AFTER the reelection… With NO public or media opposition from within the party the “conservative agenda” is being implemented by the very political party who campaigns against the GOP… BOTH the Obama admin & Conservative agenda have the same affect on AA community…. JESSE JACKSON’s correct Obama speech has no weight, No policies or law….

    -

    • It’s telling that this is only the 2nd time since Obama’s been POTUS & the 3rd time since he’s been on the national presidential stage that he’s even addressed the race-issue [except for when he’s made a point of publicly ridiculing Black men for alleged irresponsibility]- twice he’s mentioned it RE Trayvon’s killing [last yr & now] & once RE Rev Wright hype.

      While Pres Obama ‘wowed’ his supporters w tales of he himself having been followed in stores, white-folk locking their car-doors & white women clutching their purses when he got on elevations [acts of personal bigotry that though annoying- are generally innocuous]- He said nothing about Systemic Institutionalized Racism- especially RE the US’ Criminalized {in}Justice System, Prison Industrial Complex & Police Policies & Practices.

      Case in point- Just 3 day before Pres Obama gave his Trayvon speech he announced NYPD chief Ray Kelly as his new pick for Homeland Security Chief. Kelly aka Chief ‘Stop & Frisk’ has for over a decade ran the biggest most notorious legalized racial-profiling prog in the US. He’s also presided over / sanctioned some notorious incidents of NYPD cops gunning-down unarmed Blacks w near impunity [IE: Kimani Gray, Ramarley Graham, Sean Bell, Ousmane Zongo, etc]. Kelly & NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg even had the gall to say that Blacks & Hispanics [nearly 90% of those Stopped & Frisked] are NOT stopped enough, while insisting that whites [barely 9% of those stopped] are stopped too often- even though the stats show that whites when stopped are at-least twice as likely to be carrying illegal weapons &/or contraband.
      And Kelly’s over-seen the NYPD’s mass-surveillance of Muslims in NYC & even Newark NJ [= ethnic-profiling] in combo w the CIA [FYI: the CIA legally ain’t even supposed to operate inside of the US]- RE: the phony ‘War on Terror’ [= war on Muslims]. Many of those entrapped in phony FBI rigged terror plots are US Black or African Muslims.

      This shows a troubling disconnect between Pres Obama words & actions- that 3 days before giving his Trayvon speech he picks NYPD Chief Ray ['Stop & Frisk'] Kelly to head DHS w fawning praise. So what’s Kelly going to do as Obama’s DHS chief, roll-out ‘Stop & Frisk’ across the USA as standard operating procedure???

      What Obama did NOT say- while ‘wowing’ folk w tales of once being followed in stores, & white-women clutching their purses when he used to get on elevators:
      – That His & AG Holder’s DoJ would seek to roll-back / eliminate ‘Stop & Frisk’ progs across the US. But then of-course Obama would have to first dump Chief ‘Stop & Frisk’ Kelly from consideration for any FED post- not even as an informal adviser.
      – Their DoJ would investigate any cases where official US cops gun-down unarmed, non-criminal &/or non-violent individuals- if the local courts refuse to prosecute or convict – In such cases the DoJ would seek to bring civil-rights violations charges [ala the Rodney King case] against those involved including even against their particular police-depts- if need-be.
      – Their DoJ would seek to freeze, over-turn or at-least review & rewrite all SYG laws in the US
      – Their DoJ & DEA would seek to de-criminalize simple possession of small amounts of marijuana.
      – Their DoJ & DEA would seek to equalize the penalties for crack vs powered cocaine [going from (100 - 1) disparity to (20 – 1) ain’t good enough].
      – Their DoJ & DEA would seek to roll back the phony Wars on Crime & Drugs [mainly pot – which has targeted mainly Black & Brown Communities]- & take a more health & sociological based approach to drug addiction- rather a more penal / criminal approach.

      Nor did Obama even call to task the stupitainment industry [TV, movie, music, radio, video-games, etc] for popularizing & projecting the stereotyped image of young Black & Brown men as thugs, gang-bangers, etc. The music industry’s made a cynically calculated conscious choice [for BIG $$$] to hype gangsta rap / hip-hop over more positive rap & hip-hop.

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