Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson has seen his share of civil unrest.
The 75-year-old minister has spent the majority of his life working within civil rights movements, starting when he was a college student in the 1960s. Jackson, who worked closely with Martin Luther King, Jr., has gained fame speaking for those he believes to be disadvantaged.
Now, Jackson is concerned that those who are disadvantaged are in danger of losing major rights. Jackson talked on Saturday about his fears, according to People.
“50 years of civil rights have been threatened. The right to vote is threatened. Trump’s first act is to attempt to stop healthcare for 30 million poor people and the thousands of workers who service them.”
On Saturday, millions of women across the globe joined in a march for solidarity. The lead march was planned in Washington D.C., just one day after Donald Trump was sworn in as president of the United States, and according to reports, sister marches took place in each of the 50 U.S. states. Additional marches took place in London, Berlin, Paris and Rome. Worldwide, 670 marches were expected to take place, according to Reuters.
During the march, Jackson addressed the idea that the rallies were planned to protest Trump’s presidency.
“My sense is that people here are not so much anti-Trump — they’re pro-American,” Jackson said, according to People. “We’re not going back. Women aren’t going back to the back alley to make their health choices. We’re not going back to having our right to vote denied.”
On Saturday, Jackson was critical of Trump’s administration, but just one day earlier, Jackson praised Trump’s inaugural address, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“The speech was full of hope and inclusion and he reached out to cities in a way they’ve not been reached out to for a long time. But with that must come a target, a timetable and a budget.”
Jackson, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988, acknowledged that Trump’s campaign was painful for many Americans. Jackson believes Trump should work toward healing those wounds if he wants to be successful as the 45th president of the United States.
Jesse Jackson: Trump’s inauguration speech was ‘full of hope… https://t.co/bR0klCaXgh
— Valita Wilson (@ValitaWilson) January 22, 2017
“I’m hopeful. There’s an awful lot of damage done that needs to be cleaned up,” Jackson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The campaign was very divisive and very painful… Referring to President Barack (Obama) as the founder of ISIS, Hillary (Clinton) as a nasty woman. He’ll have to have to clean that stuff up and then put forth some concrete plans.”
Jackson went on to tell the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that President Trump’s attitude and behavior going forward could impact the path of his presidency.
“What does a man with so much power do? Grace can expand your power. Arrogance can diminish it. I hope he’ll have the grace and commitment to put all of us under one big tent.”
During the first full day of his presidency, Trump spoke out against the media, claiming that the media had under-reported the number of people who had attended his inauguration.
Trump reportedly spoke at the Central Intelligence Agency Headquarters in Virginia, where he told those listening “They showed a field where there were practically nobody standing there. And they said, Donald Trump did not draw well.”
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Later, in his first official press conference, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer repeated elements of Trump’s tirade. After the conference, Spicer refused to take questions.
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period! These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong.”
What do you think of Jesse Jackson’s predictions that American’s could lose the right to vote? Do you think there’s any truth to Jackson’s claims, or do you think he’s simply stirring the pot? Why?
[Featured Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]