October 6, 2003
Jesse Jackson urges students to vote
By Louise Donahue
With tuition increasing and the economy struggling, students have a
lot at stake in the October 7 election, activist Jesse Jackson said
on a visit to campus October 1.
|Students crowd Jackson as he makes his way to a
press conference. Photos by Louise
|Andy Botros, a College Eight sophomore, expresses his disagreement
with the Rev. Jesse Jackson on Prop. 54 as students wait to get
in to hear Jesse Jackson. His sign reads Color Blind Society/Yes
|Jesse Jackson chats with State Assemblyman John Laird, right,
at the room where Jackson's press conference was held. Jacksons
associate, John Phillips, is in the background
Jackson urged the students to have their voices heard by going to
Everything from Bush Administration policies to conservative commentator
Rush Limbaughs comments on football came up as Jackson fielded
questions at a press conference, then spoke to a packed crowd of students
at the College Ten multipurpose room.
Noting that the nation has moved from budget surpluses to budget deficits,
Jackson said the economy was hemorrhaging under the Bush
administration. He also faulted U.S. policy on Iraq, saying the administration
had split NATO and undermined the United Nations. Weve paid
the price for that with money and with lives, he said. Part
of the money thats going to Iraq could come to California,
Jackson said rising tuition will mean more blacks, Latino,s and working-class
whites will be unable to attend college, and will opt for the Army instead.
Jackson also weighed in on the effort to recall California Gov. Gray
Davis, the candidacy of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Proposition
This really is the Wilson-Bush-Schwarzenegger team at work,
he said of the recall. When the dust is settled, you cannot go
into Sacramento and terminate for change.
Jackson said Proposition
54, which prevents classification by race or ethnicity,
would make it impossible to collect important health data. Tyrants
seek to burn the books when they take over, he said.
Asked about Rush Limbaughs comments that that Philadelphia Eagles
quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to
see a black quarterback succeed, Jackson said its not right,
its not accurate, and its insulting. Jackson played
football in college and has pushed for more minority representation
in the ranks of sports management. This statement was not a slip
of the lip, Jackson said. Later Wednesday night, Limbaugh announced
he would quit his job as an ESPN sports analyst.
Jackson got a warm greeting from students, who crowded around him for
a handshake or a hug. Tickets for Jacksons speech went quickly,
and students began lining up early to get in. Several signs supported
Jesse Jackson, and buttons opposing the recall as well as Prop. 54 and
Prop. 53 (about infrastructure funding) were available. A couple of
students took a contrary view, and held up signs in favor of Prop. 54
before the speech.
Jacksons visit was cosponsored by Engaging Education, the Ethnic
Student Organization Council, the Student Union Assembly, and College
Nine and College Ten.
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