Jesse Jackson, the former presidential candidate and President/Founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, has an interesting column in the Chicago Sun-Times entitled, “Most Democratic Candidates are Ignoring African Americans.”
Jackson thinks the candidates are ignoring the important votes of the African-American community because the contenders assume that black voters will cast their ballots for the Democratic candidate over a Republican.
But as I was reading, I had to raise my eyebrows in surprise, because he saved some praise for one candidate and not the one I would have guessed. There is only one Democratic candidate who is the exception, in Jackson’s mind, and that candidate is John Edwards.
“… [T]he Democratic candidates — with the exception of John Edwards,
who opened his campaign in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward and has made
addressing poverty central to his campaign — have virtually ignored
the plight of African Americans in this country. The catastrophic
crisis that engulfs the African-American community goes without
mention. No urban agenda is given priority.”
Jackson’s commentary is a grim reminder of the challenges many in the African-American community in our country face — historic and institutionalized patterns of discrimination, discrepancies between inner city schools and those in the suburbs, and inequities in the criminal justice system, just to name a few.
While Jackson is not giving any of the Democrats a pass, John Edwards is the only Democratic candidate he mentions by name as having made issues important to African-Americans central to his presidential campaign. The absence of the names of any other Democrats is, quite frankly, shocking to me, since Jackson is on the record as endorsing Barack Obama and his son, Jesse Jackson, Jr., has recorded radio spots for Obama.
So one has to ask — where do the others stand on these issues? And if they haven’t been answered to the satisfaction of one of the leaders of the civil rights movement, isn’t it time they got started?
You can also find Joanne thinking about politics over at her place, PunditMom.read more