In Black America; Reverend Jesse Jackson
END In Black America, reflections of the Black experience in American society. We are concerned that the nation must make room for those who have been locked out. September 3, 1983, the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson announced this candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president. In an attempt to lift those boats on the bottom, Reverend Jackson becomes the first major black leader to seek the presidency since former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm from Brooklyn, New York. Ran an unsuccessful campaign in 1972. In the past, Georgia State Senator Julian Bond and activist Dick Gregory and other lesser-known blacks have sought to hold the nation's highest elective office.
Reverend Jackson's candidacy is by far the most serious of the campaigns and is likely to have the greatest impact on the Democratic primaries. Recently, Reverend Jackson brought his presidential campaign to Texas. I'm John Hanson and this week, I focus on Democratic presidential candidate, the Reverend Jesse Lewis Jackson, in Black America. Repeat these words, I am somebody. I am somebody. Respect me. Protect me. Never neglect me. I am somebody, red and yellow. Black and white. We are all precious. In God's sight, our time has come. Our time has come. Our time has come. Our time has come. The Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, a popular 42-year-old founder of Operation Push, a Chicago-based organization, aimed at the young and the poor, to take advantage of education, government, and other self-help programs.
Reverend Jackson was a top deputy of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. pledging to lead a rainbow coalition in a quest for just society and a peaceful world. At the time of the production of this program, Reverend Jackson was the eighth candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Born on October 8, 1941 in Greenville, South Carolina, Jesse Jackson was raised under Jim Crow and educated in segregated schools. Life in the segregated red clay town of old textile mills was rough for blacks. Jackson can't remember being forced to work menial jobs to help out with the family. In senior high school, he excelled in sports and graduated with honors. Jackson first attended the University of Illinois, but went back to the South when he discovered that a black had no chance of playing quarterback. Back in the South, he transferred to North Carolina A&T in all black college. At North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, Jackson began two commitments that have shaped the rest of his life.
One was to Jacqueline Brown, who became his wife in 1962 and the other to political activities. At North Carolina A&T, Jackson joined the local chapter of the Congress on racial equality and helped to organize direct demonstrations against segregation. Impressed by the growing political activities of the black church, he enrolled in the Chicago Theological Seminary. With only a semester to go before graduation and after seeing news reports of black demonstrators being beaten by Selma Alabama police in 1965, Jackson headed back to the South. Within two years, Jackson joined the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. And shortly thereafter, he was interested by Dr. King with running the organization's economic arm Operation Red Basket. Three years after Dr. King's assassination, Reverend Jackson founded Operation Push, people united to serve humanity.
After he and Reverend Ralph D. Aberdathy could not resolve their differences over the direction of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. On December 25, 1971, Reverend Jackson broke with the organization and launched Operation Push. Reverend Jesse L. Jackson is no stranger to controversy. Throughout his 20 years of involvement in the civil rights movement, he has been frequently criticized as a maverick, a bad fly, and a manipulate of the media for personal gain. He has been defined as everything from a black Messiah leading the dispossessed to the Promised Land to a 20th century Brigadier Washington. Jackson has driven a workaholic and a perfectionist who recently brought his presidential campaign to Texas. While in Texas, Reverend Jackson visited Dallas, Houston, College Station, and Austin. The Jackson campaign got its start through the black church that provided most of the resources to fuel the civil rights movement during the 1960s. It was a group of 125 black ministers, meeting an in St. Louis, Illinois last July, who formed the draft Jesse Committee, which eventually secured one million signatures calling Jesse to run.
Reverend Jackson's flamboyant style has made it somewhat controversial, and black leaders are split over his candidacy. At a news conference held in Austin, I asked Reverend Jackson about the lack of national black support and the possibility of a third party candidacy. The issue at this point is not only that a man runs the presidency, but that 10,000 people run for share and legislator and tax successor, and judge and congressman and governor. Indeed, our concern is not that just a man gets across the finish line first, but that a wagon full of locked out people are included in this developmental process. Therefore, I am not concerned so much about personal brokering for a position. I am concerned about public negotiating for parity for those who are locked out.
I will not rest until we have equity for Indians, Hispanics, Asian, blacks, and women. So our movement is a bit more massive and a bit less selfish than a man and a position. At this point, I am not even considered that. The real question for me is, in my own development of this process, is to take it one station at a time, and I should not, at this time, engage in a lot of projection from a station that I have not yet reached. Well, number one, the NAACP does not endorse any candidate, just given its tax status. It does not endorse anybody else, of course. Of course, that is a tremendous body of support among NAACP leaders across the nation. Now that the announcement has been made, one sees a growth of support. For example, Dr. TJ Jemerson, president of the National Vaccines Convention, USA, endorsed our candidacy in Los Angeles last Monday. From church of God in Christ, likewise blessed this movement last Sunday.
Mr. Jemerson will have a major press conference endorsing us in Atlanta on Wednesday. Thus, Maria Alpom, New Orleans, likewise endorsing this candidacy. So one assesses a growth right here in Texas, Tony Benelio, who now has the National Hispanic Coalition, supporting this candidacy, Barra Commando, Ramza Klopp, and so we see students coming together, and peace activists, and environmentalists, and anti-nuclear forces. And so the rainbow is getting broader. In his first public appearance after announcing his candidacy, Reverend Jackson told more than 2,000 people in Flint, Michigan, his running third behind Walter Mondale and John Glenn. He hopes that a byproduct of this candidacy will be to inspire 10,000 people to run for office at every level, and to affirm its belief that leadership is colorless and genderless. Reverend Jesse L. Jackson is not running as a black candidate, but forging a rainbow coalition of the rejected that would include whites, blacks, Hispanics, Indians, Asian, women,
poor people, and young people, senior citizens, farmers, laborers, business persons, peace activists, and gay people. We affirm the human rights and the civil liberties of people who are gay, and I submit to you that that gays will be a part of this coalition. I think that we as an American people, leadership must abide by the law, and the civil liberties allow people to make sex preference. The law allows people to choose the use of their body. Now, the fact is, we must live with the constant questions about choices, and there are movements that I do not embrace, but I do support all American citizens to have equal protection under the law and within the law. And people should not be punished because of the choice they make, whether it is a sex choice, in terms of preference, whether it is a woman choosing how she will use her body.
Whether because someone is black, Hispanic, or a female, we should not, in and longer, have measures of punishment based upon race, religion, sex, or sex preference. During Reverend Jackson's stay in Texas, he spoke to students at Southern Methodist University, Bishop College, Texas A&M, and the University of Texas at Austin. While in Austin, he stopped to speak with former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan's class at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. I asked Reverend Jackson why he spoke with Miss Jordan and his views on U.S. foreign policy and South Africa. Well, we have the chance to share with Barbara Jordan and Ray Marshall in a combined class. She has a class in political ethics. And now we're concerned about leadership that will mold opinion and not just fall opinion polls. Leadership that will have the strength to challenge the nation to afford equal protection under the law.
When women with 53 percent of the population are not afforded, are they equal rights? It's unethical. And it must become illegal. And in fact, women must be afforded equal protection under the law. And blacks, Hispanics, and Asians, and Indians, we must make room for the people. We're also talking some measure in that class about students becoming more active. You know, 29 million students between ages or young people between ages 18 and 24 can now register the vote. Only about 40 percent are registered. When you consider the numbers of votes that Reagan won by, that he won by a margin that is less than the number of unregistered students. So the revival of student interests in the political process is a great source of inspiration. I would think that the present policy of gun vote diplomacy, big stick diplomacy, manifest destiny, nuclear threat, and choosing deployment over negotiations is a way of progressive, isolating America from the world community and making the world more a more dangerous place in which to live. I think a sense of mutual respect and reciprocity and human rights and democratic principles must be the guiding line that determines how we engage in foreign policy.
For example, Latin America is not our back door. It's next door. They are our neighbors. Indeed, Latin Americans are our good neighbors. And for our nation to engage and attempt to overthrow the government of Nicaragua and violated sovereignty is illegal. But it's also unethical and it is shortsighted. And as identifying with the wrong side of history after all, it was our investment in and cooperation with Samoza across the years that created the tyranny of that in the first place. And finally, to embrace the tyranny of El Salvador is identifying with the wrong side of history. Our nation loses its credibility, its moral authority, its legitimacy when it will invade and occupy a nation the size of Renata. And then lock out the American press that the people might not have adequate information. The fact of the Mountiers, the fact of the Mountiers, six small nations to which we are not signatory should not have priority over OAS to which we are signatory.
The fact of the Mountiers that that invasion was planned for almost two years. Right now, information is coming out in bits and pieces as to how many people were killed. The American soldiers that kind of is now up to four to two. For Canadians, it is beyond that. But perhaps even beyond the numbers themselves, if in fact we cannot at once reconcile being an occupying force without democratic principles, it gives us less ability to challenge South Africa or the challenge Russia invading Afghanistan. On a South African question specifically, lastly, before Reagan came in using a human rights approach and not expanding economic ties with South Africa, South Africa was about to sign a cease-fire agreement with Swapu in the pre-Juneva conference. Once Mr. Reagan came into office, the first foreign visitor was from South Africa. That was a signal that this relationship between the America and South Africa was about to take on and knew the mention.
Result was many people were killed. South Africa backed away from the agreement. And then America, South Africa's number one trading partner, which is a source of shame, a source of disgrace for a democracy. I submit to you that when America boycotts Poland because of its brick and solidarity union and because of its martial law that is consistent with American ideals. But then to do that with and fall people in Poland and then become South Africa's number one trading partner, while it breaks the solidarity with the union, imposes martial law is inconsistent. One thing that we must have in foreign policy is a measure of consistency in the world arena. After about a two and a half hour delay, presidential candidate, the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, spoke to about 1200 people jammed inside the Texas Union ballroom while nestimated 600 others watched and listened from the interest into the ballroom. Reverend Jackson's performance was part, showbiz, part gospel meeting and part politics, but all Jesse Jackson. He reminded students that every student generation must assume the responsibility to serve its present age.
There is a sense that this moment is pregnant with possibility. We would not, we would dare not abort this moment. This opportunity for change. There is a sense in which I'm looking at the rainbow, blacks and whites and Hispanics and Asians and male and female and seniors and juniors the people making a decision. Addouish in the corner. Addouish in the corners. Fighting to be involved, fighting to be free. A decision has been made to turn to each other and not only each other. Our time has come. Adrian, student generation must assume the responsibility to serve your present age, to assume your duty.
And don't you all take that baby out here. Any time a preacher can't out haul a baby he is disqualified. Get a baby a big hand. The baby is the whole point. Where's when that baby is the next year we're going to save it from Reagan to be quiet right now. East generation had this challenge to serve its age in 1955 when the laws of apartheid existed in this country. Black, Hispanics, in many instances Jews did not have the right to use public accommodations. Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus.
Martin King, a 26 year old student, came to a rescue. Students in Alabama state responded to his plea. That student generation was great. They served their present age. In 1960, because not used will work. Could not use hotels and motels. The rigid laws of apartheid were still there and students risked their careers and their lives to make America America for everybody. No, that was a lot of trauma. That generation was great. It served this day. And then we could not sit in integrated ways in the buses, greyhound and trail weight. And that was a freedom of rise and the buses were set afire, claiming buses. Students, black, white, brown and Jewish, came south together to end the discrimination in public transportation.
That generation served its day. 1965, we found ourselves obligated to pay taxes. obligated to serve our tour of military duty. And yet, did not have the right to vote. It was taxation without representation. It was tiering it. And so students marched. The rainbow came together again. Goodman, sworn in training lost their lives, killed and put in the bottom of the Mississippi River. By all of the way, so a white woman in the trot had her brains blown out.
Reverend James R. Reeve, you deterred minister from Boston, was killed, clubbed to death. Jimilee Jackson, a young black boy, was shot in cold blood in the back. Young students, men and women, died, came together across racial lives to the free out nation of shame and contradiction. That generation was great because they served their present age. So there's now another generation who came along and said, we should not be trapped in a godless war in Vietnam. God it missiles and misguided leadership. Bring the boys back home. And thus that was a drive. Desperate nation of the Tate, a trying to reconcile of democracy with invasion and occupation.
That generation was great. It served its present age. And just as you cannot grow strong off of last much meal. This generation cannot grow strong off of the laurels of the last generation of students. You must serve your present age. After the rally at the University of Texas at Austin, Reverend Jackson attended a private dinner in his honor. There's something in the air and we need to capture it and take it to its highs and to its best level. A generation ago they exploded through riots. Others in despair imploded through drugs. But now we have a generation that's willing to try this political system again. Well, perhaps with some justification.
Because the system has made a marvelous accommodation to people who were locked out and did not require blood or revolution. 20 years ago blacks didn't have the right to vote. And Hispanics didn't have the right to vote. Teenagers didn't have the right to vote. The women felt they had real little for which to vote 20 years ago. And now we're talking about the convention in San Francisco. There will be 50% female, 30% black and Hispanic, plus Asians. It means the old minorities in coalition are the new majority. And the fatal mistake that the party leaders are about to make is trying to go into 84 with the majority of the army locked out the convention and left back home. The Democratic aristocracy cannot defeat Reagan. But if the party makes room for the locked out, if it makes room for the blacks, Hispanics and the women and the teenagers who now constitute the majority of the party, we will win. And I reluctant to make this decision to soon this role of very hard and sacrificial work. If all of us assume our responsibility, it is worth it.
Because we can lift the boats off the bottom. We registered students at every stop along the way and ministers and their members. We're registering new people. We are reviving the interests of those who registered and dropped out. People are running again, think they can win again. They in fact can win again. We have upon us a new day. Now, my people is basically this. We have several things that take into account every time we go to a given area. We need the masses. We need the machinery or the leadership. We need money. We need media and we need a message. We are reviving Jesse Lewis Jackson, founder of Operation Push and candidate for the Democratic nomination for president. If you have a comment of like to purchase a cassette copy of this program, write us the address is in Black America, Longhorn Radio Network, Austin, Texas, 787-12. For in Black America's technical producer Walter Morgan, I'm John Hanson. Join us next week.
You've been listening to in Black America, reflections of the Black experience in American society. In Black America is produced and distributed by the Center for Telecommunication Services at UT Austin, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Texas at Austin or the station. This is the Longhorn Radio Network.
- In Black America
- Reverend Jesse Jackson
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- KUT Radio (Austin, Texas)
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- an interview with the founder of Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity) and a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president
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Copyright Holder: KUT
Guest: Rev. Jesse Jackson
Host: John L. Hanson
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Identifier: IBA04-84 (KUT Radio)
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- Chicago: “In Black America; Reverend Jesse Jackson,” 1984-12-01, KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 4, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-529-cc0tq5sj2p.
- MLA: “In Black America; Reverend Jesse Jackson.” 1984-12-01. KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 4, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-529-cc0tq5sj2p>.
- APA: In Black America; Reverend Jesse Jackson. Boston, MA: KUT Radio, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-529-cc0tq5sj2p