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Jesse Jackson Addresses Major Controversies -- and more

Saturday, August 4, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jovan Riley
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Jesse Jackson Addresses Major Controversies -- and more

-- The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. held a wide-ranging news conference Saturday, touching on everything from President Donald Trump’s tariffs to Korean peace talks to family separations to major sports, and ending with a surprise.

Appearing during the #NABJ18 convention, the civil rights leader and head of the Rainbow Push Coalition began by criticizing Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on foreign-made cars and to increase the tariff rates on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent.

“Because of the trade war with China,” America could lose thousands of production jobs, Jackson said. “There is a certain irrationality from this president, even with the trade war. There seems to be no sense of balance in what he does.”

Jackson gave an update on his recent trip to South Korea, where he urged the North, the South and the United States to continue peace talks and urged denuclearization.

He spoke about the president’s immigration policy, and compared the separation of families at the border to what what blacks endured when they were first brought to America as slaves.

“This is not the first time this has happened in this nation.Two hundred and forty-six years ago, black families were bought and sold at the border,” he said. “Every time I look at those children in cages on the border of our country today or the kidnapped families torn apart, I think of our struggle. Our goal should be to make America better and not bitter.”

Jackson also commented on the continuing controversy in the National Football League that began after quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the playing of the national anthem in an attempt to draw attention to police brutality against African Americans.

Jackson stressed that the issue is more about a right and the dignity of the young men protesting and not about what it has been turned into.

“We must allow these young men to express themselves. They deserve support,” he said.  “They should not be relegated to being treated as less than citizens. They are the best of the American promise.”

Jackson also mentioned the need to make lynching a federal crime, saying that there have been 200 failed attempts to get Congress to legislate against lynching. He noted  that the NAACP and Urban League were born in the 1800s, when lynching of blacks in the South was widespread. Current U.S. Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Tim Scott are pushing to pass the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2018, which would make lynching a federal hate crime.

Despite the significant problems he cited in his Saturday appearance, Jackson ended with optimism about where we are as a nation.

“There is a renewed sense of hope and vitality sweeping our country. I’m not going to give up on the best of America, because there is a tug-of-war for our soul and we must not give up,” he said. “If the rules are fair, we do well. When the rules are public and the goals are clear, we can win.”


About the National Association of Black Journalists: An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information, please visit

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