Rev. Jesse Jackson deserves our respect

MSR Editorial

By Alvin Brown

Guest Commentator

I recently saw a video where an unseen person was heard telling Rev. Jackson that he wasn’t needed in St. Louis, and where had Jackson been before all this took place. Granted any person has a right to voice their opinion on any subject, but why all the frustration and distrust aimed at Mr. Jackson?

Despite all the ”accusations” that Jackson and others ”sold out the Black community,” I ask where is the proof. Sure, he got caught cheating on his wife, but I also recall an ex-president having oral sex in the Oval Office and was received as a rock star in the last election. Is Mr. Jackson less deserving of forgiveness for the same offense? The Bible instructs us not to stand in judgment unless we expect the same.

Here is what we do know. Mr. Jackson has been dealing with the setback of his son, who is now serving time. Many of you reading this know exactly what that is like and the toll it takes on a parent. So, I can excuse this man while he saves some of his strength for his own family for a change.

I do know he marched with Dr. King and was also there the day he died. I know he has worked for racial and economic justice, international peace, and for the disenfranchised. He has been awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, a nonviolent peace prize, the Spirgram Medal for his Civil Rights and political achievements. And he is still one of our more insightful intellectuals when speaking on issues affecting the African American and international community.

Let’s not forget he founded Operation Push, a Chicago-based organization, to try and help young African Americans succeed. He ran for president of the United States. Jesse Jackson has dedicated the majority of his life to serving the cause of the underdog, mainly Black America. Before you label this man, have the proof in hand to support it.

Now let us talk facts about selling out. When a Black man pulls a trigger on another Black man, that’s selling out the Black community. When Black men abandon their kids and women, that’s selling out the Black community. When Black kids are recruited from schools by older Black men to sell drugs, that’s selling out the Black community. When violence and degradation of women is delivered through the lyrics of popular Black singers and rappers, that’s selling out the Black community.

So before we continue tarnishing the reputation and publicly demeaning someone such as a Rev. Jackson, clarify the term sellout and look around, you may already know a few.


Alvin Brown is a former news editor of the Houston Defender and Deputy Managing Editor of the Juneau Empire, Alaska’s Capital City daily newspaper. He is publisher of Dallas-based Exalt Publishing Group. He welcomes reader responses to