The election is now over 8 months in the rear view mirror, but for the Democrats, it is still staring them in the face.
Thursday, before introducing the Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez, Jesse Jackson addressed the crowd at the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition convention on his feelings regarding the November presidential election. Like most Democrats, Jackson is still not over the election loss, but he went even further and said the election was stolen from the Democrat nominee, Hillary Clinton. According to the reverend the thief is President Donald Trump himself.
Jackson said, “To have a head of our party [Hillary] who is sensitive to the plight of working people is the order of this day. Don’t forget when you lose; you tend to amplify ‘would’ve, could’ve, should’ve.’ When you win, you cover up your sins. Let nobody fool you. We worked last year; we won the election. It was stolen.”
Not stopping there, Jackson added, “From John F. Kennedy to Nixon to Carter to Ford to Clinton to Barack if any of them had to face the impact A: of Russian interference in such a bold way— had to face the foolishness of the electoral college and the interference of the FBI, none of them— Hillary won in spite of having a three million vote lead. So we are not going to let anybody break our spirit. We are going to keep fighting back.”
For months, Americans ignored the temper tantrums of millennials as they destroyed cities, downtowns and stores, supposedly in protest to the “election being stolen.” Lack of understanding of the rules does not constitute thievery, but that did not stop the violence.
Jackson’s partisan diatribe is a good sound bite, and excites still angry Democrats, but it does nothing to help the blacks in his community. Such a prominent figure espousing such baseless, factually incorrect rhetoric makes it harder for those seeking representation to move on.
The community in Chicago has long looked to Jackson to be their representation, but it has yielded little. Bitterness and disinformation does not fix, or address, all of the problems in Chicago, where Jackson’s non-profit Rainbow/PUSH organization is headquartered.
By Jackson placing the focus on mythical stolen elections, he is ignoring all the good that he can do for those around him. The city of Chicago is nothing short of a war zone and the ideas of it’s city leaders, predominantly black and/or Democrat, are not working.
Being one of those community leaders, the famed, controversial, outspoken Democrat reverend has benefited from his influence, but the life of blacks in Chicago has not. In fact, life has for black Chicago residents is more dangerous, and bleak, than ever.
The south side is also where many of the Windy City’s shooting deaths occur. The community is being destroyed by drugs, gang violence, shootings and poor schools. All of this suffering, and Jackson is right there, yet not giving frustrated tirades on a daily basis.
Over the past long July 4th weekend, at least 8 people were killed in just 10 hours. From June 30th, through Wednesday morning, July 5, at least 12 people were murdered and 87 others were wounded. Last Independence Day, with one less day, resulted in 66 people shot.
“I am sick about reporting on murders every weekend.” said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
Jackson’s organization claims to pursue social justice, civil rights and political activism, but is not making a change in its own community. As Jackson pushes the message that the Democrats won the 2016 presidential election, and that black votes were ignored, he foments anger and dangerous memories of a time where blacks were disenfranchised. With radical activists like Black Lives Matter running around the country demanding the murder of cops, and white people, this message from an iconic figure only adds fuel to the frustration, and pain, some black Americans feel.
Starting any debate with an outlandish premise never helps bridge the divide and help people discuss legitimate issues. As a black leader, Jackson knows this, and so do some Chicagoans.
During last years campaign, and after then-candidate Trump spoke out about the violence in Chicago, South Side resident and Grammy-winning rap artist Rhymefest, invited Trump to come visit. Rhymefest, told CNN, “I will walk you down a block Mr. Trump.” He even went of guaranteeing his safety, which is bold in such a violent city. “I guarantee you won’t get shot.”
Not agreeing with everything Trump said, Rhymefest said “Chicago is in a fragile state, however it’s not what Donald Trump is saying it is.” He then expanded on some of the issues, as he sees it. “I live in a South Side community. I can walk down my block without getting shot. I can walk down many blocks without getting shot. But it is the decades of disinvestment in the community that makes us not able to really come together.”
Jackson could take some lessons from the much younger, positive, unifying, reach across the aisle tone of Rhymefest. The fiery rhetoric of lies has done nothing to help his community, so let’s try a new approach Reverend.