Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
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For Donald Trump, America First is increasingly translating into America alone. He apparently believes the United States is so dominant that it needs no friends.
The reaction — shock, joy, disbelief, euphoria — revealed the importance of billionaire Robert F. Smith’s stunning gift, when he announced unexpectedly that he would pay off the college debts of Morehouse College students graduating this year. His gift literally changed the prospects and the lives of the vast majority of those 396 graduates.
May 17 marked the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision that outlawed apartheid in America by declaring segregated schools “inherently unequal” and unconstitutional.
We all have heard about WikiLeaks and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The report of special counsel Robert Mueller has once more put that on the front pages. Too often lost in the furor, however, is the far more damaging TrikiLeaks — the tricks and laws used to suppress the vote by partisans, largely Republicans, here at home.
As Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California convened a recent House Financial Services Committee hearing featuring the CEOs of Wall Street’s biggest banks, the financial watchdog group Better Markets released a stunning report on the banks’ criminal records: “Wall Street’s Six Biggest Bailed-Out Banks: Their RAP Sheets and Their Ongoing Crime Spree.”
Donald Trump’s madcap presidency is now seeking to strip 20 million Americans of their health care coverage. He has instructed the U.S. Justice Department to join the lawsuit seeking to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. He then proclaimed that Republicans would offer a far better alternative, tweeting they’ll become the “Party of Great Health Care.”
The United States is pushing for an overthrow of the government of Venezuela. The Trump administration has denounced Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro as a “dictator,” dismissing the 2018 election, which the opposition boycotted.
Political leaders from across the country gathered last weekend in Selma, Ala., to commemorate “Bloody Sunday,” the 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge where peaceful demonstrators, attempting to cross the bridge, were violently driven back by Alabama State Troopers, Dallas County sheriff’s deputies and a horse-mounted posse wielding billy clubs and water hoses to savage the crowd.
President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency in order to fund his border wall triggers a crisis for our Constitution and our democracy. This is no longer about the shameless lies, exaggerations and slanders that the president has trotted out to justify his silly campaign promise to build a wall that he promised Mexico would pay for.
When new U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was asked on “60 Minutes” whether she thinks President Trump is a racist, she responded with the candor that makes her a compelling force in Washington: “Yeah, yeah, no question.”
“Yes, if we don’t get what we want, one way or the other … I will shut down the government,” President Trump said to U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, referring to his demand for $5 billion to build his border wall.
In 2019, we will commemorate 400 years since the first 20 enslaved people were transported by ship from Africa by white slave traders and landed in Jamestown, Va.
Democrats have an enormous opportunity — and face a distinct peril — now that they will have majority control in the U.S. House of Representatives in January.
These are dark times. Thirteen pipe bombs were sent to two former presidents and other political and cultural leaders.
The media is now reporting on the debate among Democrats and activists about what the party should stand for and how it will win elections.
It is very clear that 45 is not capable to lead this country. Every time he opens his mouth or tweets, he speaks or writes foolish things that are no longer believable. What we have is shame and embar
Russian President Vladimir Putin came late to the Helsinki summit with President Trump last week and spoke first at the news conference afterward.
Around the world, our attention was riveted on the plight of the boys and the coach of the Wild Boars soccer team trapped in a cave in Northern Thailand. All 12 boys and their coach have been saved.
Prince Harry, sixth in the line of succession to the British throne, has married the American actress Meghan Markle with all of the ceremony and global hoopla that the British royalty inevitably attracts.
If we don’t know the whereas, the therefore doesn’t make sense. Witness the ovens in Auschwitz and Treblinka, and then you can understand the creation of Israel.
The 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination comes amid a fierce struggle for the soul of America. We will celebrate the progress th
President Trump keeps boasting about the low black unemployment rate, although African-Americans still suffer nearly twice the unemployment rate as white people do. What the president never mentions is the growing racial wealth gap — the economic disparity between white people and people of color that plagues this country.
As you may have heard, I have hard news to share. After a battery of tests, my physicians have informed me that I am suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the very disease that bested my father.
President Trump defines his administration as against all things Obama. Beneath his insults, outrages, lies and antics is a remarkably consistent attempt to undo his predecessor’s entire legacy. With Republicans in total control of the White House and Congress, President Trump can dismantle much of what former President Obama accomplished, but he ultimately will fail to overturn President Obama’s legacy. President Obama had the right moral compass; President Trump’s reaction will not be sustained. Consider the contrast: President Obama passed health care reform, enabling 20 million more people to afford health insurance. The centerpiece of his Affordable Care Act was the expansion of Medicaid to cover more than 10 million low-wage workers and their families.
Colin Kaepernick, the former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, is being blackballed — itself a revealing phrase — by the National Football League with the collusion of the all-white owners. He is being ostracized because a year ago he exercised his First Amendment right to free speech by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem.
Donald Trump often seems more shock jock than president. He likes to shock, say or tweet outrageous things, prove that he’s not just another politician. But now that he is president, his words have impact and his posturing can be dangerous. He essentially endorsed police brutality before a recent gathering of police officers in Long Island: “When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, and I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.’ ”
How devastating would the Republican health care legislation be if enacted?
After President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey because of, as the president admitted, the “Russian thing,” he struck a new blow to American democracy. The president created a commission on “election integrity,” stemming from his fantastical claims of voter fraud in the 2016 election.
Tuesday, April 4, was the 49th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Thousands of people planned to join Fight for $15 and the Movement for Black Lives to march in Memphis and in cities across the country on that day in the fight for decent pay and racial justice. Such demonstrations are more than a fitting tribute to Dr. King. They are taking up his unfinished agenda.
Tuesday, March 7, marked the 52nd anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the historic march and shocking police riot in Selma, Ala., that helped build public support for passage of the federal Voting Rights Act.
President Trump’s first three weeks in office have left Americans reeling from what Republican speech writer Peggy Noonan called his “cloud of crazy.”
President Trump’s most recent provocation — suddenly issuing an order banning the admission into the United States of refugees and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries — created chaos and fury that had to be expected. Airports across the world were engulfed with demonstrators. Judges issued emergency orders staying enforcement of parts of the order. Families found their children studying abroad unable to return home, or their loved ones attending a funeral stranded in an airport. Translators who had risked their lives for American soldiers in Iraq suddenly found their green cards useless and their lives at great risk. Both intelligence professionals and State Department diplomats have protested the order.
Surely, President Obama’s greatest legacy is the Affordable Care Act. More than 20 million people have received health care coverage under the act, largely from the extension of Medicaid to cover lower-wage workers and their families. Insurance companies have not only been required to deal fairly with those afflicted with ailments, they also have been forced by law to limit what they rake off in administration and profits. This is a big deal.
On Dec. 19, the Electoral College met to cast their ballots for the new president after a bitterly contested election in a deeply polarized nation. Last Sunday, the vast majority of Americans celebrated Christmas, literally the mass of Christ, marking the birth of Jesus.
The CIA conclusion that the Russians intervened in our elections in order to help elect Republican Donald Trump has sent Washington into one of its fabled tizzies.
On Sunday, a man armed with an assault weapon marched into a popular pizza place — Comet Ping Pong — in Washington. He said he had come to “self-investigate” false stories spread by hate sites that the restaurant was the center of a Hillary Clinton ring trafficking in children. He reportedly fired his rifle one or more times and was arrested. Luckily, no one was injured.
Fidel Castro, Cuba’s leader for almost six decades, has died at 90 in Havana. USAToday’s headline on Monday read, “No Mourning in Miami,” noting the continued bitterness of those who left Cuba. The Washington Post featured testimonies condemning Mr. Castro’s authoritarian government. A revolutionary, a brutal dictator who sided with the U.S.S.R. in the Cold War, a sponsor of guerilla wars, leader of a failed economy — Mr. Castro’s death has unleashed the full indictment against him.
America’s election system is a disgrace, as the 2016 presidential election once more demonstrates. This isn’t sour grapes. I’m disappointed that my candidate lost, but the election is over and the results are in. What every American ought to be outraged at, however, is that the United States is still not a democracy of one person, one vote. Our electoral system is suppressing the right to vote for millions.
“May you live in interesting times.” This adage, attributed tenuously to the Chinese, bespeaks a preference for order over change. We now live in interesting times and Americans are hungering for change. Yet, surprisingly, President Obama enjoys increasing popularity as he heads into the final days of his presidency.
Sexual boasting, emails, tax returns, deplorables — the second presidential debate Sunday featured insults wrapped up in put-downs. This debate was held within miles of Ferguson, Mo., but it was never mentioned. The citizens offered questions about issues — health care, the U.S. Supreme Court, energy. The moderators peddled scandals — and elicited insults.
Donald Trump made a pitch for black votes in his own inimitable fashion. Speaking recently in a virtually all-white suburb of Detroit, he suggested that African-American communities are “suffering from Democratic control.”
Now it is Milwaukee. On Aug. 13, a car with two African-American men was stopped for “suspicion.” The men fled, the policeman pursued, and driver Sylville Smith, reportedly armed, was shot and killed.
As the Republican Party holds its national convention in Cleveland, Americans remain shaken by the shootings of police in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., following the police shootings of black men in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights, Minn. I spoke at the funeral of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, weeping with his family and friends as they remembered and mourned their loved one who was slain on July 5 by police officers.
On May 27, President Obama became the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, where, at the end of World War II, the United States became the first and only country to drop an atomic bomb. The president used the occasion to revive attention on the need to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
America is literally falling apart. In Flint, children were poisoned by the lead contamination of the water. In Washington, the subway system is plagued by fires and delays. Arlington Memorial Bridge, which connects the North to the South, the Capitol to Arlington National Cemetery, may have to be closed soon. President Kennedy’s eternal flame may burn forever, but the bridge is on its last legs.
The Flint water crisis is now two years old — and the water still isn’t safe to drink. There have been civil and criminal investigations, two congressional hearings and extensive reporting, particularly during the presidential primary in Michigan. Gov. Rick Snyder appointed a special task force. Yet only 33 pipes — 3 of every thousand — have been replaced.
This year’s presidential primaries have highlighted the importance of people of color to the Democratic Party coalition. Hillary Clinton’s lead in the party’s nomination race comes almost entirely from her strength among African-American and Latino voters. When people of color favor one candidate by large margins, they make the difference.
As President Obama counts down his last month in office amid the raucous babble of the Republican presidential debate, people are beginning to realize how much we will miss his leadership. He has served with dignity and grace, increasingly rare attributes in American politics. His family has exhibited the values that Americans embrace. He has brought the economy back from the freefall he inherited.
Presidential campaigns often turn raw. Politicians reach for sound bites that bite. Often they gain by playing on fears, winning by division, not by addition. In 2016, insult has become the coin of the campaign, particularly in the Republican primaries. And too often the enemy singled out has been Mexico and Mexicans.
For the residents of Flint, Mich., the water crisis continues. Their governor and President Obama have declared states of emergency. Congress is holding hearings. Presidential candidates are doing tours and debates. Free filters are being handed out. Residents can pick up bottled water. The city has gone back to water coming out of Lake Huron rather than the Flint River. But for parents, the fears remain — and almost nothing has been done. They will join in a March on Flint on Friday, Feb. 19, to demand action at the national and state level.
Flint, Mich., is impoverished. The auto plants have closed. Forty percent of the city’s 100,000 residents live below the poverty level. It is majority minority. It has been in fiscal crisis since 2011, with the state taking over budgetary control and a state-appointed “emergency manager” driving policy focused on cutting spending.
Leaders provide vision. They help people understand where they are, how they got there and what they must do to go forward. They help calm nerves and strengthen courage. They are steady in times of trouble, inspiring in times of demoralization.
Across the country, parents have been in revolt against high-stakes standardized testing, with kids tested over and over again while creativ ity is cut out of classroom curricula. Parents — particularly in targeted urban schools from Chicago to Boston — also are marching against the forced closing of neighborhood schools, displacing kids and shutting down needed neighborhood centers. Now there is more and more evidence that the parents have it right — and the deep-pocket “reformers” are simply wrong.
In Alabama, 50 years after Selma, voting rights are once more under assault. Even as Alabama finally took down its Confederate flags this year, it has raised new obstacles to voting. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder to gut the Voting Rights Act, supported by the five conservative justices alone, opened the floodgates to legislation in more than 21 states erecting new obstacles to make voting more difficult. These obstacles have included limiting the days for early voting, eliminating Sunday voting, requiring various forms of ID, shutting down voting sites and more. Alabama — the home of Selma and the Bloody Sunday police riot that spurred the passage of the original federal Voting Rights Act 50 years ago — is one of the leaders in the new forms of voter suppression.