UCSC Currents online

Front Page
Awards and Honors Classified Ads
In Memoriam
Retirements UCSC in the News

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.

Jackson and student
Students crowd Jackson as he makes his way to a press conference. Photos by Louise Donahue
student with sign
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 on 54.”
jackson and laird
Jesse Jackson chats with State Assemblyman John Laird, right, at the room where Jackson's press conference was held. Jackson’s associate, John Phillips, is in the background

Jackson urged the students to have their voices heard by going to the polls.

Everything from Bush Administration policies to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh’s 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. “We’ve paid the price for that with money and with lives,” he said. “Part of the money that’s going to Iraq could come to California,” he suggested.

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 54.

“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 Limbaugh’s comments that that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed, Jackson said “it’s not right, it’s not accurate, and it’s 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 Jackson’s 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.

Jackson’s visit was cosponsored by Engaging Education, the Ethnic Student Organization Council, the Student Union Assembly, and College Nine and College Ten.

Return to Front Page

  Maintained by pioweb@ucsc.edu
UC Santa Cruz Home Page Contact Currents Currents Archives Search Currents Currents Home Maintained By Email Contact