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Rev. Sharpton at PUSH event
by Tracy Baim, Windy City Times
2011-12-21

This article shared 6 times since Wed Dec 21, 2011
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Rev. Al Sharpton, a longtime activist who now hosts a show on MSNBC, was the featured guest at Operation PUSH's Saturday morning broadcast from Chicago Dec. 17. The sermon he gave was part of a month-long series of events marking PUSH's 40th anniversary.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. also addressed the crowd, speaking about the importance of re-electing Barack Obama president of the U.S., even if there are differences of opinion with how he governs. The alternative, he said, would push back civil rights and other forms of progress more than 50 years.

The Supreme Court will take away affirmative action and other things, Jackson said, adding that the right wing has "one play" and that is to destroy the ship to sink the captain. They are laser-focused on defeating the president, Jackson said, and that would mean many setbacks.

Sharpton was glowing in his remarks about the work Jackson and PUSH have done in 40 years. He said that Jackson helped nationalize the civil-rights movement, staying in the north to work on change here. He noted that Jackson and Martin Luther King, Jr. were often the outsiders, with even some Black leaders not supporting their efforts. But Jackson persevered, and Sharpton said, "The face of Black America changed because of Jesse Jackson's contributions."

Sharpton's rhetoric was in fine form as he attacked Newt Gingrich and other Republicans in their attempts to destroy the social safety net, including social security. "It's not about Obama, it's about your mama," Sharpton said, adding that the right wing wants a weak federal government so they can go back to a state-by-state limitation of civil and voting rights, "and put a ceiling on our children's ambitions."

"It's not about a personality, it's about a principle," Sharpton said when discussing his support for Obama. "We must continue to struggle beyond our differences."

Also at the event was Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who gave Jackson and PUSH and proclamation marking the 40th anniversary.

In the audience was Rev. Willie T. Barrow, who received loud applause for her lifelong work on civil-rights issues.

Earlier this month, also part of the 40th anniversary, Rev. Jackson hosted a special World AIDS Day program.

The theme of PUSH's Martin Luther King Day breakfast event Jan. 16 is "Dr. King the Occupier." As Jackson said, "We've been occupying for a long time."


This article shared 6 times since Wed Dec 21, 2011
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