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A word from Jesse Jackson: Obama’s Success Reflects America’s Growth

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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 07:34 AM
Original message
A word from Jesse Jackson: Obama’s Success Reflects America’s Growth
Edited on Sun May-25-08 07:50 AM by Catherina
Obama’s Success Reflects America’s Growth




On Aug. 28, 45 years from the day of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s historic speech at the March on Washington, Barack Obama will receive the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party in Denver.

Obama’s impending victory reflects not simply the triumph of hope or the desire for change. It reveals an America that keeps growing, keeps renewing itself, keeps getting better.

Obama has special gifts. He has run a remarkable campaign against the odds. But he has stood on the shoulders of giants. This has been a long campaign, but the journey to this day has been far longer.

King’s speech in 1963 was but one step in an ongoing movement. After the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education ruled that segregation was illegal, people remained skeptical that anything would change. But many started to move.



Then on Aug. 28, 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was murdered for the “crime” of whistling at the white wife of a shopkeeper in Money, Miss. Till, raised in Chicago, was spending the summer with his uncle. His murderers gouged out his eyes, shot him in the head, used barbed wire to tie a cotton gin around his neck and threw him into the Tallahatchie River. Outraged, his mother, Mamie Till, brought his remains back to Chicago and demanded a funeral with an open casket. It was reported that 50,000 people viewed the body. Jet magazine sold record numbers of magazines. The protest of Mamie Till electrified African Americans, even as the murderers were acquitted by a white jury in Mississippi.

Three months later, Rosa Parks refused to get up from that seat on the bus. When I asked her how she dared face the threats that would follow, she said she was thinking about Emmett Till. She had seen a picture of his body and was having trouble sleeping from the pain.



She decided it was time to act. King, a young minister, came to her aid. The Montgomery bus boycott moved the civil rights movement to the nation’s attention.

On Aug. 28, 1963, when King delivered his dream, the South was still segregated. Neither the Civil Rights Bill nor the Voting Rights Act had passed. The March on Washington took place at a time of struggle, of beatings and arrests, of innocents sacrificed and heroes struck down. But King chose to look beyond the agony of the moment to envision a new day, the hope of what might be.



Now, 45 years later, Obama’s victory is a testament not simply to his singular skills, but to the struggle and the sacrifice over many decades of many ordinary heroes, too often forgotten.

America is not a perfect nation. Race still divides us. The gulf between rich and poor grows wider. We squander our wealth in misbegotten wars and misplaced priorities.

But America’s glory is not that it is perfect, but that it continues to grow. This takes courageous leaders and independent struggle, leadership not from the top down, but from the bottom up. King galvanized a nation, but his movement depended on the courage and sacrifice of unsung American citizens, white and black, deciding to stand up against great odds, to remain disciplined in the face of brutal reaction, to keep on keeping on even when the dark seemed to shut out the light.

We’ve had a hotly contested primary. We’re headed to what will be a fierce general election, already featuring ugly efforts to divide us. But let us not forget to appreciate just how far we have come. And how many sacrificed to help us get here.



–Jesse Jackson

http://www.suntimes.com/news/jackson/958828,CST-EDT-jes...



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBsGQ_c6x7w

"Twas down in Mississippi no so long ago,
When a young boy from Chicago town stepped through a Southern door.
This boy's dreadful tragedy I can still remember well,
The color of his skin was black and his name was Emmett Till.

Some men they dragged him to a barn and there they beat him up.
They said they had a reason, but I can't remember what.
They tortured him and did some evil things too evil to repeat.
There was screaming sounds inside the barn, there was laughing sounds out on the street.

Then they rolled his body down a gulf amidst a bloody red rain
And they threw him in the waters wide to cease his screaming pain.
The reason that they killed him there, and I'm sure it ain't no lie,
Was just for the fun of killin' him and to watch him slowly die.

And then to stop the United States of yelling for a trial,
Two brothers they confessed that they had killed poor Emmett Till.
But on the jury there were men who helped the brothers commit this awful crime,
And so this trial was a mockery, but nobody seemed to mind.

I saw the morning papers but I could not bear to see
The smiling brothers walkin' down the courthouse stairs.
For the jury found them innocent and the brothers they went free,
While Emmett's body floats the foam of a Jim Crow southern sea.

If you can't speak out against this kind of thing, a crime that's so unjust,
Your eyes are filled with dead men's dirt, your mind is filled with dust.
Your arms and legs they must be in shackles and chains, and your blood it must refuse to flow,
For you let this human race fall down so God-awful low!

This song is just a reminder to remind your fellow man
That this kind of thing still lives today in that ghost-robed Ku Klux Klan.
But if all of us folks that thinks alike, if we gave all we could give,
We could make this great land of ours a greater place to live.



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Cnote1 Donating Member (17 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 07:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. Excellent
Great Post Cheers to you
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks for reading it.
Edited on Sun May-25-08 07:50 AM by Catherina
Emmet Till was before my time but to this day, I weep from rage and pain about what happened to him and thousands of others.

:toast: to a new way of doing things where we walk hand in hand taking our country back!
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Hillary should read this thread.
she might learn something.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
4. Thank you.
Nominated.
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ruby slippers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
5. thanks for posting...I just love that picture of Michelle and the elderly
lady....
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mamalone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 08:01 AM
Response to Original message
6. Wonderful post... but I do think you should have a graphic photo warning in your title.
Edited on Sun May-25-08 08:01 AM by mamalone
I'll be seeing that picture in my mind for days :(


These types of visuals affect me in a horrible way, and I suspect I am not alone. Otherwise this was an absolutely stellar post. Thanks so much for sharing it.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Good point. I'm sorry
I'm so used to it, that didn't cross my mind. I'll remember that next time.
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mamalone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Thanks for receiving my thoughts so graciously:)
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. It was easy because you're right. I never knew Rosa Parks was thinking of Emmet Till photos
when she refused to give up her seat. It's powerfully, graphically sad. It's nice to meet you :hi:
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Tatiana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
8. Beautiful. May we continue to progress, but never forget.
:cry:

Recommended.
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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. That;s how I felt last night
:cry:

All human beings have the right to a natural, dignified death. What is wrong with this world that we slaughter at will, destroying what we can't create?
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1776Forever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
9. Very enlightening and poignant! Jesse Jackson is a great orator in his own right. Thank you Jesse!
And thank you Catherina for posting.

May I add that February 12, 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. What a celebration that will be when President Barack Obama speaks at this memorable occasion! I only hope I win the lottery so I can be there to hear it!

C-Span is going to have programming starting on Saturday, June 7, 2008 if anyone is interested:

Lincoln: 200 Years Programming
On C-SPAN at 8pm ET

http://www.c-span.org/lincoln200years /

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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. Thank you. I just taped a little note to my TV so I don't miss it n/t
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
10. Thank you
:hug:

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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
11. Indeed it does! Thanks Jesse Jackson and
thanks, Catherina, for posting this poignant history in America.
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