Goal to increase PUSH subscriptions
By Chinta Strausberg
The goal of having a 22-car caravan and four-hour birthday party last Saturday for Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. who turned 79 on October 8th, was to increase the Rainbow PUSH Coalition subscription base the “fuel” he says is needed to operate one of the nation’s largest civil rights organizations.
Accompanied by his son, Jonathan Jackson, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st) and Rev. Courtney Carson, Rev. Jackson said, “Subscriptions are the fuel that keep this organization running.” Rev. Jackson continues to urge everyone to take out a subscription and become a part of one of the oldest black civil rights organizations in the nation.
“I have never, ever encountered a leader like Rev. Jackson who on his birthday…celebrating our babies…to ensure babies have diapers…. Only Rev. Jackson have a heart…that he would surrender the celebration of his own birthday to celebrate babies in our community,” said Rep. Rush.
“He didn’t just begin this. He’s been giving this all the days of his life.” Calling Rev. Jackson “our hero,” Rush said, “We should be celebrating you but here you are giving to our babies.
The party was held on the corner of 50th and Drexel Boulevard—in front of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. There, Rev. Jackson held a press conference to announce his “Baby Diaper” drive needed to help struggling mothers some of whom are facing the choice of buying diapers or food.
“No mother should have to make this kind of choice,” Rev. Jackson said, “and no infant should have to endure wearing a diaper too long and develop rashes or infections. I am asking churches, organizations and anyone who cares about our babies to bring diapers, baby food, clothing and baby wipes to the Rainbow PUSH Coalition” headquarters, 930 E. 50th St. between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Jonathan Jackson said his father “has determined not to retire, not to rust out, but rather wear himself out…. Every day he starts on a mission, and I think all of us should take a note of that…. Do something for someone else…. He’s never stopped giving, never stopped trying. He is eternally hopeful,” said Jonathan Jackson. He said his father has touched a lot of lives.
Rev. Jackson and a number of volunteers, including a large contingent of the men of Omega Psi Phi including Brian McCoy were on hand to help pass out baby diapers, clothes, baby wipes and food. Adults were given large boxes of food as well. “This is what we do,” said Rev. Jackson who belongs to the sorority. “This is what the Rainbow PUSH Coalition is all about.”
Rev. Carson, who was one of the Decatur 7 students expelled from the Dwight D. Eisenhower for engaging in a 17-second “silly” fight at a football game that caused the Decatur School Board to expel the black students based on their zero tolerance of violence policy.
Rev. Carson thanked Rev. Jackson for never giving up on him and motivated him to become a minister who is now vice president of the same school board that expelled him in 1999.
When asked by this reporter what is his birthday wish, Rev. Jackson said, “I wish that we end the madness and polarization, the idea that vigilantes who seek to overthrow the Michigan government and kidnap the governor…the president gives comfort to the vigilantes” and for all to obey the COVID-19 protocols.
Wynona Redmond, who brought the mothers to the press conference, and Bertha McMorris, who came up with the birthday idea, helped to organize the press conference.
The new PUSH subscriptions have yet to be totalled.