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Rev. Al Sharpton Keynotes Rainbow PUSH Saturday Morning Forum Stressing a Continued Focus

June 13, 2009

Rev. Al Sharpton, president and founder of the National Action Network, keynoted this week's broadcast of the Rainbow PUSH Saturday Morning Forum and strongly urged the audience to attend the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Education Fund's 38th Annual Conference.

The annual conference will take place June 27- July 1 at the Hyatt McCormick Place in Chicago. During the five-day conference, political leaders, business leaders, ministers, educators, journalists, students and supporters from all over the country will engage in dialogue on solving America's dilemmas and and the need to continue to keep civil rights issues in the forefront in spite of the false claims that we're living in a post-racial America.

Rev. Sharpton went on to explain that, despite the many challenges the black community has overcome, society as a whole has still not overcome the issues of racial discrimination.

"Some of those in the media have told us that, since Barack is in office, we are beyond the discussion of race," he said. "But what that really means is they don't want to talk about it anymore."

He noted blacks are almost three times more likely than Hispanics and five times more likely than whites to be in jail. Blacks are 2-3 times more likely to get high-cost loans than whites and blacks are losing their jobs twice as fast as whites.

Rev. Sharpton also announced that this week on his syndicated radio program, he will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Rev. Jackson's 1984 run for the presidency. In ‘84, Rev. Jackson won 5 primaries and caucuses, 3.5 million votes and 18.2% of the primary vote.

Later in the broadcast Rev. Jackson addressed the rising number of violent crimes involving guns and called on President Obama to revive the ban on assault weapons.

"On Thursday we had a security guard shot and killed at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C." he said. "Sick views towards Jews and African-Americans, plus economic despair, are a lethal combination."

Also on Thursday, a black child was shot in front of DuSable High School in Chicago.

Earlier in the year, the Sun-Times reported that 508 Chicago Public School children were shot in an 18 month period. This school year alone 36 Chicago school aged children died due to gun violence.

Rev. Jackson announced that next Saturday, June 20th, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition will host Chicago Defender Day at the organization's headquarters to honor the historic newspaper.

"If we leverage subscriptions and if we leverage advertisers, the Chicago Defender can become daily again," he said. "There should be no reason why almost a million of us can show up for the Bud Billiken Parade but we cannot sustain a daily paper."

Saturday Morning Forum airs at 10 a.m. CST on the Word Network, CAN-TV and WJYS