Interview with Jesse Jackson
QUESTION 31
HENRY HAMPTON:

We began this series with the death of Emmett Till, which was my personal memory of the beginning of the movement and we carried it through Selma, Birmingham, Albany, up into Chicago and the great runs of the late '60s, the tragedy of the death. What do you think it's all meant? What do you think it's done to the people who have made that move, African Americans? REV.

JESSE JACKSON:

We've come full circle from coming here as slaves descendants of African people to the point that an African American is now a number three Democrat in the House of Representatives. An African American now heads the Democratic party. We now have 305 urban mayors who are African American. We are the centerpiece of progressive, coalition politics, the workers and women and youth and peace activists in this country. We are now the central focus in American politics to free South Africa, for peace in the Middle East, for peace in Central America, to end the arms race. So, we are bigger than, than our race or as a moral force. So, we do not really represent left wing or right wing. We represent the moral center and that's a coveted position. That's why we must resist the drugs and the killing and the fratricide and the immoral and decadent behavior because what we have is really what the world wants. It does not really want more weapons, ah, and more, ah, materials that have no function. What we have is enviable moral authority and when we speak, people all over the world listen, even when we don't have office. We have the position. And I would say to young America, Malcolm had moral authority and Medgar Evers had moral authority and, ah, Martin Luther King had moral authority. Rosa Parks had moral authority, that is that one authority, we may or may not get our place in the military hierarchy, in the economic hierarchy, in the political hierarchy. We should fight to get our share and help fashion it in humane ways. The one thing that we have that must never lose and that's moral authority as we fight for the moral center. After all hope and love and sharing and family and peace and justice are all moral center concepts. We must hold on to them with an obsession, with a sense of joy and a sense of responsibility.

HENRY HAMPTON:

What has this movement done to the--