The civil rights veteran, one of only two surviving witnesses to Kings murder 50 years ago, says his mentors response to Trump would have been: We must not surrender our spirits
Jesse Jackson still remembers the audio of the gunshot and the sight of blood. They have been with him for half a century.” Every day I think about it, it’s like pulling a scab off a sore ,” he says.” It’s a hurtful, painful suppose: that a human of love is killed by hate; that a human of peace should be killed by violence; a man who cared is killed by the careless .”
Jackson and fellow civil right veteran Andrew Young are the last surviving adherents of Martin Luther King who witnessed his assassination on 4 April 1968. Others who were at the Lorraine motel in Memphis, Tennessee, that day have been claimed by the happen decades. And each milestone anniversary has offered a snapshot of Jackson’s, and the nation’s, jagged and jarringly uneven narratives.
Twenty years after the deadly shooting, in 1988, Baptist preacher Jackson was mounting his second bid to become America’s first black chairperson. He invoked King and his death repeatedly as he took on Michael Dukakis in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. He won 11 competitions but failed to gain the nomination.
At the 40 -year mark after King’s death, the torch had been passed to Barack Obama, locked in a Democratic primary of his own against Hillary Clinton and under pressure over his relationship with the outspoken pastor Jeremiah Wright. The senator praised Jackson, a fellow Chicagoan, for attaining his run possible. On the night Obama won the presidency, Jackson wept.
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