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Dark times

Jesse L. Jackson Sr. | 11/8/2018, 6 a.m.
These are dark times. Thirteen pipe bombs were sent to two former presidents and other political and cultural leaders.

This is the test of leadership. It is now that leaders must appeal to the better angels of our nature. It is now that leaders must bring us together and remind us of our common bonds. Clearly as president, Mr. Trump has neither the intention nor the capacity to do that. He has profited from division and has no reason to change course. This is a time for others to lead, for citizens to act to bring us together.

Captive in Egypt, Israelis were asked to make brick without straw, a cruel impossibility. Under slavery and segregation, black people were asked to embrace democracy without the vote, a cruel impossibility.

Now, however, we can vote. We can speak. We can act. We can choose to build walls or to build bridges with our voices, our votes and our marching feet. Today we feel the darkness, the hard cold of hatred and division.

Will we be a thermometer and simply record this environment or act like a thermostat and alter these conditions? Will we choose to descend further toward midnight, or choose to force the dawn? Ultimately, we will decide, by what we do and what we choose not to do, by how we vote or whether we choose not to vote, by whether we come together or whether we allow our fears to drive us apart.

The writer is founder and president of the national Rainbow PUSH Coalition.