A Fall From Grace – Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson was one of the most prominent activists in the Civil Rights Movement with the exception of Martin Luther King Jr. and others. The government selected him to be the leader for minorities and he did his job well. In 1984 and 1988 Jesse Jackson ran for the most powerful office in the world, President of the United States. Prior to this Jackson’s influence extended to international matters in the 1980s and 1990s.
Jesse Jackson could do no wrong; the public loved him and rightfully so. He was the new Moses. He was going to take us to the Promised Land but like Moses unfortunately God allowed Jesse to see the Promised Land but he wasn’t selected to take us into the Promise Land – instead it was President Obama. Every time I would listen to one of Jesse’s many charismatic speeches I was convinced he should be the leader of the free world. He spoke with confidence and he convinced many that he was for the people.
I’m a firm believer when God gives you the anointing and the power to make positive change and you misuse your power for selfish gain he would expose you.
I can’t recall everything Jesse spoke about but I do recall him speaking about the overwhelming number of minorities incarcerated under the mandatory minimum sentencing laws especially when it comes to the crack/powder cocaine. After Jesse Jackson spoke he stated he had to attend to another obligation. Jesse is known for this; he doesn’t stay around and listen to others speak. Jackson and I met in the Lobby and I congratulated him on his speech and thanked him for taking leadership and informing the citizens about the alarming rate of minorities’ incarcerated rate.
I informed him that Congressman Danny Davis introduced a bill H.R. 3072 to reinstate federal parole to release prisoners. Jackson said he was interested but he had to leave. On August 06, 2005 I would meet Jackson again in Atlanta and join in on the march he organized for the renewal of the Voting Rights Acts. I asked Jackson was he planning on attending the Journey for Justice March on Washington for Incarcerated Family and Friends titled Over Two Million Imprisoned — Too Many! He assured me he would be in Washington the next week to join us on August 13, 2005.
The next week I would drive to Washington and speak at the event and I asked several people was Jesse Jackson in town or is he sending a representative from the Rainbow Coalition. I was told that Jesse said he was sending a bus load of people from Chicago to join the march, however; it didn’t pan out. Jesse Jackson was another no show, even though he gave me his word, he went back on it. The leader of the march was told Jesse was also sending a member of the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Rainbow Coalition to attend the march. I was beginning to see a different side of Jesse Jackson a man that seeks media attention and always asking for donations to fund his organization.
Later on in August in 2005 I would receive a letter from Jesse Jackson’s brother Noah Robinson who is incarcerated in the Federal Bureau of Prison. He said he had heard a lot about me and he wanted me to speak at the Congressional Black Caucus Conference In September 2005. Noah stated he would make sure I sit on the panel with Jesse Jackson, I informed Noah that I wasn’t a big fan of Jesse, Noah informed me that Jesse was his brother and I informed Noah that I’m still not a big fan of Jackson.
Noah and I put that issue to the side and got back to the business at hand. Noah had a plan, he had already spoken with his brother Jesse to sit on the panel and the plan was to allow Jesse to speak last because the cameras would stay in the room and this would give us a chance to speak on the mandatory sentencing and the overcrowded prisons. When the panel was setup we were allowed two minutes to speak.
Congressman David Scott was sitting on my left and Jesse Jackson was sitting on my right. Another activist was sitting behind me and before the show was to commenced, she said, “Garry the man sitting on your right isn’t worth a damn, he only want you to donate to his organization and never does the work he promises.”
Jesse looked at me and said, “Brother you can’t let her talk to us like this.”
I informed him that she was referring to him not me. When the session began Jesse stated he needed to go first because he had another event to attend and in the Jesse Jackson fashion he went first took most of the time out of the 45 minute session and left the room and the cameras left with him. I was disappointed and I had a conversation with my grandmother about what happened and what Jesse Jackson had done. She looked at me and was noticeably disgusted, she said “You can’t speak before Jesse Jackson.” My grandmother loved Jesse Jackson and I quickly changed that conversation. That was a battle I wasn’t going to win.
Jesse Jackson fall from grace began in 2000 and been downhill ever since. Jesse Jackson was in Tallahassee, Florida protesting the Presidency of Bush vs. Gore scandal. A new scandal was brewing and Jesse Jackson was the main actor in the scandal. News broke; Jackson was likely having an affair with Karin Stanford, a 39-year-old worker at his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition office in Washington, even as he counseled President Clinton after public revelations of an affair with Monica Lewinsky, an intern at the White House. What a hypocrisy!!!
He also was scheduled to speak at a protest march in Tallahassee on Saturday to correspond with Bush’s inauguration. Jackson and many other blacks were angry about what they claim was the disenfranchisement of black voters in Florida, where the alleged disenfranchisement may have cost Democrat Al Gore the election.
Jesse Jackson would fall out of the spotlight for several years until he was caught on tape making the statement about a Senator from Chicago who was a Presidential nominee, his name was Barack Obama, he stated that Barack Obama was talking down to black people and telling them how to behave. Jesse Jackson also says something about how the senator was “going to get his (twin objects of male anatomy) cut off.” Jackson will always regret what he said about President Obama.
In conclusion when Jesse Jackson was at his prime he could command respect and people would listen. He had the ability to promote change in the Criminal Justice System, he always spoke about it but he did nothing to change it. I’m a firm believer when God gives you the anointing and the power to make positive change and you misuse your power for selfish gain he would expose you.
Jesse ran for President in 1984 and 1988 and lost. Barack Obama would hold that office and God would allow Jesse Jackson to look at a man who had integrity take the oath of the President of the United States, something Jesse always wanted to do and this was being the First Black President of the United States. The irony to this story is the same mandatory sentencing laws that Jesse had the power to change and didn’t is the same mandatory minimum sentencing laws that put his son Jesse Jr. behind bars.
For more on Garry Jones visit: http://garryjones.info/