By Chinta Strausberg, Chicago Crusader
The ex-slave states have the numbers to win if they have the will to fight back because there are 4 million unregistered Blacks in the South and 2.2 million who are registered but did not vote in 2016, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. warned.
“If they vote their interests, they could change the political landscape of this nation,” Jackson stated. The power of the Black vote has been diminished due to Republican voter suppression schemes along with 5.2 million Blacks, who are on probation or parole in the South which precludes them from voting due to felon laws.
“If we vote our numbers in the South, we can change the culture of this country in a big way. With the little Latino vote plus the Black and progressive whites, that’s enough to win,” Jackson said.
For those Blacks running in Southern states for governor and senatorial races, Rev. Jackson said they could win “If we believe it, if you run, you may lose, but if you don’t run, you’re guaranteed to lose.”
Referring to the Republican political ploys of gerrymandering and voter suppression he says continues in this nation, Rev. Jackson warned, “Tricky Leaks are more devastating than WikiLeaks and the Republicans are more dangerous than the Russians,” referring to the voter suppression schemes that have diluted the black and brown votes.
Jackson said Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Stacey Abrams, who hopes to turn Georgia’s red state to blue, could win. “She’s breaking through not just a psychological barrier, but also a political barrier.
“She has put together a kind of rainbow coalition, registered about 400,000 new Black voters and high school seniors can vote…, if that happens it will be a great victory in Georgia election night,” Jackson told WVON’s Cliff Kelley.
When asked about Illinois’ voter registration, Jackson said, “It could be much higher. There is no George Wallace, no Bull Connor to stop us here…. We can send Governor Bruce Rauner back to the gambling charts and I hope that we do.”
Reverend Jackson said it is the Black vote that can also pull Democratic U. S. Senate candidate Mike Espy of Mississippi over the victory line but, “only if we vote our numbers.”
“If we use the impact of the August 28, 1963 March on Washington, the 1964 Voting Rights Act” and the 1965 Civil Rights Movement that grew out of Selma, Rev. Jackson stated, “We can make major impact upon changing the political culture of our country.”
Referring to August 28, 1963 when Dr. King gave his iconic speech, “I Have A Dream,” at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Reverend Jackson said 55 years ago “the day Dr. King gave that speech we could not use a single public toilet. Black soldiers had to sit behind Nazi prisoners on American military bases.
“From the degradation we were in, the August 28th March led to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It was a huge march,” recalled Rev. Jackson.
“They said there would be riots, but the only riot was the military locking Washington down. There were military checkpoints. Every government worker had to be on leave that day. It was amazing how they reacted to that march,” Jackson said.
According to Jackson, President Kennedy tried to stop the march but Dr. King and his supporters held a successful march that Jackson said, “led the groundwork for 1964 Civil Rights Act.”