You can write to the Rev. Jesse Jackson care of this newspaper or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Donald Trump's ignorance and incompetence have cost American lives in the pandemic. Now his failure of leadership will add to the misery of millions of Americans force onto unemployment, the hunger of children at risk, the homelessness of families facing eviction. At a time when bold action is imperative, the president offers posturing and gestures. Having failed to produce a deal on a much needed rescue program, he issues a showtime executive order and series of memoranda that will do more to foster confusion than to aid those in distress.
August 6 is the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. If the constitutional amendments passed after the Civil War -- the 13, 14 and 15th Amendments -- were the "second founding" of democracy in America, the Voting Rights Act, which after nearly a century of segregation gave legal effect to the 15th Amendment that outlawed discrimination in the right to vote, should be considered the "third founding."
"Hitler had his Brown shirts and Mussolini had his Black shirts, now Donald Trump has his camouflage shirts." Thus began a statement signed by 15 distinguished interdenominational religious leaders in Chicago that I joined, including ministers, priests, and rabbis.
When John Lewis left us, editorials and columns paid tribute to his leadership, his courage, his moral example. The praise was well deserved. A broader context helps understand his true contribution.
The inspiring rise of a new generation protesting against racial injustice is driving a new era of change in America, like the generation that emerged 60 years ago to build the civil rights movement of that time. July 16, 1960 is marked in my memory: that is the day I joined seven other friends to walk into the whites-only Greenville Library, and be arrested for violating the segregation laws.
Covid-19 isn't "disappearing," as President Donald Trump suggests; it is surging, setting new records in daily cases. The states that rushed to "reopen" the economy now are reversing course. Yet the NCAA still assumes that the college football season will begin at the end of August, and that mandatory practices will begin this month.
How many lives of young men and women should be sacrificed for entertainment - and for billions in profit? That question can't be ducked as the NCAA allows colleges to begin "voluntary" football practices, and other college teams begin to practice.
As the worldwide demonstrations continue two weeks after the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman, the question is whether outrage will lead to real reforms? Fundamental reforms would begin with ending the "qualified immunity" of police, curbing the militarization of police forces, transferring funds and functions to social agencies, imposing residency requirements and finally making lynching a hate crime.
The murder of George Floyd was a lynching in broad daylight. Three police officers stood and watched as a fourth, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd's neck. They watched for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, with Floyd unresponsive for 2 minutes and 53 seconds of that, according to the criminal complaint against Chauvin. They did nothing to stop the murder. Their silence was as much an act of violence as Cauvin's knee. And if there were no video recording of the murder, they likely would have upheld the Code Blue loyalty, and lied about what happened.
We live in a time of bitter divisions. Today, even the wearing of masks has become a partisan question. Yet, as Memorial Day reminds us, this country has united before to meet external threats. The calamity that has been wrought by the coronavirus is the result of an external attack - this time by a virus rather than an armed enemy. It too should be a time of national unity, of rallying together to share the sacrifices, to help one another through the crisis, and to rebuild the country afterwards.