All Articles Tagged "Rev. Jesse Jackson"
Rev. Jesse Jackson, Wall Street Project Economic Summit To Address Financial Issues Facing the Black Community
The Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the Citizenship Education Fund are hosting the 16th Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit, a gathering that will bring together politicians, business leaders, academics, and others to discuss the economic issues facing the black community and how to overcome them.
Among the familiar names that will be in attendance are President Bill Clinton, Rev. Al Sharpton, New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and California Rep. Maxine Waters. Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, will be the special honoree at a fundraiser gala. And the topics up for discussion include career management, “the business of hip hip,” public contracts and procurement, advertising and minority media, and building minority businesses. The event is taking place Wednesday, January 30 to Friday, February 1. Madame Noire will be there, reporting back all the interesting info we gather.
Before that, Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, held a teleconference with the media today to talk about what we can expect from the event. Media outlets participating besides Madame Noire included The Huffington Post and The Grio.
“Our politics are up, but our economy is down,” Rev. Jackson said during his opening remarks. Some of the afflictions that ail minority businesses and neighborhoods are the lack of access to capital, credit, and investment, he continued.
“There’s a focus on the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling, but we’re still facing poverty,” he said. He also emphasized the devastating effect that personal financial ruin are having on black-owned businesses and black communities.
“When plants close… when homes are targeted and foreclosed on, and people driven to bankruptcy, there’s no market. The community dries up,” he said. He was responding to a question we asked about the need for black businesses to hire blacks as a way to lower the persistently high unemployment rate among African Americans.
In poverty-stricken areas, Rev. Jackson called for “day care, transportation, job training, and jobs.” He also highlighted the effect of “devastating redlining” and other practices at financial institutions that have been detrimental.
For more information about The Wall Street Project Economic Summit, click here.
Oscar Grant and Sean Bell are just two of the slain black men that the African American community has rallied around before Trayvon Martin became synonymous with the struggle of racism.
In each instance, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton used their presence to bring attention to the aforementioned plights. Some call these two race hustlers who only exist to have cameras in their faces. That seems to be the go to attack line when these two get ready to put someone on blast.
There is power when I say, “Don’t make me call the NAACP, Al and/or Jesse!” because some people just don’t want those kind of problems. Al and Jesse aren’t just bringing themselves; there are bringing the spotlight for people of color have gone missing or die before their time. They even motivate this current generation to join the fight. When these two start hustling to bring awareness, the media takes stock of what they’re saying—even if it is only momentary. And sometimes, momentary is all they need to fuel long-term momentum.
It took a month and President Obama publicly speaking about Trayvon’s death before he was afforded coverage in PEOPLE magazine and mainstream sites. Think about it. Some have already begun critiquing why there even needs to be such a national focus on Trayvon and why gun laws need to strengthened. Others have gone as far as claiming George Zimmerman has become a martyr to public opinion. In contrast, the death of Caylee Anthony prompted Caylee’s Law, and ironically, very few people complained about the rush judgment against the mother who was accused of killing her young daughter.
It should not be appropriate to question Trayvon’s character. Black boys and men are not the enemy of the state who should bear the brunt of stereotypes. I know wasn’t the only one who stood up to clap as Sharpton chastised the media for belaboring Trayvon’s indiscretions as though he was the culprit in his own death.
In the interest of full disclosure, I met Sharpton in 2008 at a church in Philadelphia. I’m quite sure he doesn’t remember being interviewed by a nervous young reporter. I stood before him in a bit of awe. I was jaded about him because he is not frozen in time like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. He has lived to make mistakes, much like Jesse. However, in that moment, it really hit me that if it had not been for his sacrifices and those of so many unsung heroes, my life would be so much different.
Trayvon’s death has exposed the underbelly of racism that was not hidden from view, but neither blatantly in our faces either. For some, the fourth wall has been broken down for a new generation to lay claim to a civil rights struggle which did not end in the 1960’s. We are not in a post racial society.
And, therein lies the rub. On the surface, the cultural landscape of 2012 seems different from a racially explosive 1964 if we were to measure the contrasts through a superficial spectrum. Blacks have amassed more wealth, degrees and prominence, but we’re still on unequal ground. We have borne great fruit from our labors, but the root of inequality is still as poisonous.
Trayvon’s death can’t be in vain or the cause du jour. He is arguably the Emmett Till of our generation. The dog whistles and criticisms that there’s been too much of a fuss validate why we need more of us on the front lines to push back. We need more ‘hustlers’.
Stephanie Guerilus is a writer and author. Follow her on Twitter at @qsteph.
More on Madame Noire!
- Didn’t You Think They’d Last? 7 Surprising Celebrity Breakups
- Where Are They Now? The Cast of “Good Times”
- You Remind Me Of My Jeep: 7 Songs That Make You Want To (Joy) Ride
- Ready For The Beach: Swimsuits For Every Body Type and Style
- Gabourey Sidibe and Kelly Ripa Stumble Over Afros, Normal Hair, and Being Americanized
- The Sweet Brown Viral Video: Embarrassed? Why You Shouldn’t Be
- NEW MN WEB SERIES: “Ask A Black Man” Episode 3: The SEX Episode
- How Old is Too Old? Mayim Bialik (aka Blossom) Still Breastfeeds her 3-Year-Old Son
By Charlotte Young
It appears Florida Gov. Rick Scott is a fan of the days when discriminatory voting practices were in place to discourage African Americans from voting because he recently signed into law a bill that blatantly disenfranchises those who are black and poor.
First, his new law has cut early voting days from 15 to eight. Those who move to another country are prohibited from changing their addresses at the polls—such a stipulation would affect college students and working poor people who move a lot. Thus, their ballots will be cast as provisional ballots, and studies show these ballots tend to be cast out. The worst part of Scott’s new law is that third party groups who register voters must turn in all new registration forms in only two days compared to the previously allowed 10 days.
Thank God for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires certain states (such as Florida) to get a pre-clearance from the Department of Justice before changing voting practices.
Besides Scott’s new law, Rev. Jesse Jackson is calling attention to how proposed state laws requiring photo identification for voters, along with Congressional reapportionment and state legislation that restricts the bargaining power of labor unions, will all weaken the black vote.
The requirement for state-issued photo IDs at the polls means that millions may not vote in the 2012 election because they don’t have licenses or birth certificates and cannot afford to get them, said Jackson. He added that there are 5.5 million blacks in America who are of legal driving age but do not have a driver’s license.
According to BlackAmericaWeb, there are several states considering photo IDs, including Ohio, Wisconsin, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Montana, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.
Now, it is true that congressional reapportionment and labor union bargaining power may create a setback to the black community and should be addressed quickly. But what’s so wrong with requiring a photo ID? There comes a time when we need to stop coddling people and tell them, for instance, to get a photo ID. How else could people make credit purchases, get on planes, file taxes and get into nightclubs without a valid ID?
Rev. Jesse Jackson, please take that issue up with your supporters.