FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
BOTH THE DREAM & NIGHTMARE ARE STILL ALIVE
A statement by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
August 28 is a historic date in American history.
On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his most famous speech, “I Have A Dream,” before more than 250,000 people in front of the Lincoln Memorial in the nation’s capital. It laid the groundwork for the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964 that brought down the cotton curtain and an end to segregated public accommodations in America.
On August 28, 1955, Emmett Till, an unarmed, African-American 14-year-old was viciously murdered by two white men who claimed he had flirted with one of the men’s wives in the Mississippi Delta. A few days later they kidnapped Emmett Till, shot him, mutilated his body, tied a large fan around his neck and sunk his body to the bottom of the Tallahatchie River. His mother insisted on an open casket at his funeral in Chicago so the whole world could see the horror done to her son. He became a civil rights martyr for the ages.
So, on August 28 both the dream and the nightmare became evident.
On August 28, 2018, we have the dream of electing the first African American female governor in the history of the United States in Georgia – Stacey Abrams. We also have the possibility of electing Ben Jealous Governor of Maryland, Mike Espy U.S. Senator from Mississippi and Andrew Gillum Governor of Florida three prominent African Americans.
On the other hand, on August 28, 2018, we are also reminded that so many of our young unarmed people – e.g., Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Tanisha Anderson, Eric Garner, John Crawford III, Sandra Bland, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray - were being murdered by law enforcement officials and others that a new organization was needed and formed, Black Lives Matter.
On August 28, 2018, several African Americans are being looked at as possible serious Democratic presidential candidates in 2020 – e.g., Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Eric Holder, Deval Patrick – while at the same time a white supremacist President Donald Trump is trying and succeeding in some cases of undoing all that the first African American President Barack Obama accomplished, and undermining the advances achieved by the modern civil rights movement.
A battle is being waged for the soul of America. One side is fighting to advance the dream. The other side is fighting to bring back the nightmare. The dream side is being driven by hope. The nightmare side is being driven by fear. Yes, to be sure, this battle is a social, economic and political struggle. But at a deeper level it’s a moral and spiritual battle of right versus wrong and a struggle of love over hatred.
Dr. King reminded us that no man or woman is an island. We’re all woven together in a mutual garment of destiny and we will either learn to live together as brothers and sisters or die apart as fools.
Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.