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Jesse Jackson Challenges the Unemployed to March on Washington, Doesn’t Suggest How They’ll Afford to Get There

Those at the top need to hear from those suffering at the bottom. The unemployed need to march on Washington to demand work. –Rev. Jesse Jackson

In an Aug. 30 Huffington Post article Jesse Jackson wrote titled, “They Hate Government, Until They Need It,” he pointed out the hypocrisy of Republican leaders who claim they want small government, but are the first to jump in line for federal assistance after a natural disaster like Hurricane Irene devastates their local economies.

Jackson also railed against the Republicans and their willingness to spend, spend, spend on wars, tax cuts for the rich and corporate subsidies, while they consistently say no, no, no to policies that might relieve the suffering of millions of Americans whose lives have been devastated as a result of bad decisions made on The Hill when Republicans led the country for eight years with President George W. Bush.

“The economic disaster is a man-made — not a natural — disaster, and now, it will take federal action to repair the damage,” said Jackson.

Jackson mentioned President Obama’s recent announcement that he will release a jobs agenda in September with a range of ideas meant to help those hardest hit in this floundering economy. Among those ideas are an extension of payroll tax cuts as well as an unemployment insurance extension,  and an investment in America’s infrastructure.

Jackson called those plans “dead on arrival,” adding, “Conservatives embrace federal help after natural disasters, but scorn it in the wake of the man-made economic calamity.”

“Little is likely to happen — unless people get in motion,” warns the Reverend. “Those at the top need to hear from those suffering at the bottom. The unemployed need to march on Washington to demand work.”

Although his criticisms of the conservatives’ lack of compassion for struggling Americans is valid, it seems a bit insensitive of Jackson to challenge the most economically disenfranchised people in the country, who are already desperate to pay their bills and feed their families, to somehow fund a trip to Washington, D.C.  Even if the most creative among them could pool their resources and set up caravans (those who have not yet had their cars repossessed, that is), with the price of gas approaching $5 a gallon in some cities, that cost alone would preclude millions of the unemployed from getting anywhere near the capital.

The challenge to march shouldn’t just be issued to the unemployed, but to all Americans who recognize that a strong economy, more jobs and a fair tax structure benefit everyone.  A march on Washington by the unemployed sounds great, but it would be even better to see working Americans standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their unemployed neighbors in a show of solidarity. A march on Washington of the unemployed, the working poor and the middle class would let our leadership in D.C. on both sides of the aisle know we are not willing to let them give our tax dollars to the rich and wait for the money to eventually come trickling back down.

Read Jesse Jackson’s full article here.


  1. Robert on August 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I think he is talking about those already here in Washington.  I’m sure he will be here on a private jet staying in an expensive hotel eating expensive food that he has earned over the years by being the race baiter that he is.  One of the problems with this country is the professional deadbeats we have.  The Democrats hand them everything they want so they don’t have to contribute to the country.  Appox 50% of Americans pay no taxes thanks to the hand outs and welfare programs of the Democrats.  It is time to stop this nonsense and make everyone contribute for what they get. 

  2. George May on August 31, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    From the book to Workforce 2000 US manufacturing employment declines while service grows: despite strong export growth and substantial production increases manufacturing jobs decline in all scenarios.  Whether the US and world economies are booming in an open trading environment or crawling slowly in an atmosphere of protectionism or nationalist trading patterns, US manufacturing jobs will decrease.  No pattern of growth enables manufacturing employment to return to the peaks of 1979.

    In addition to the decline in employment, manufacturing will decline as a share of GNP, measured in current dollars manufacturing produced some 30% of all goods and services in the 1955 and by 21% in 1985 its shares will drop to 17% in 2000.

    What this means is our share of world jobs will will shrink.  At one point in time it took 80% of the workforce to produce food for the nation today it takes less than 2% so it’s probably not a good idea to be a farmer.  It might be a good idea to be a scientist but it will take a great education.

    All jobs that were in the African-American community for labor related jobs such as Ford motors, General Motors, US Steel, Bethlehem Steel meatpacking companies etc. were the driving force in our communities success, not only do these jobs not exist anymore, they never will come back.  So there is no need to march on Washington and asked them for jobs that don’t exist and will not exist no matter what you do.  The best thing anyone can do to ensure their survival is get an education.

  3. Thomas on March 31, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Hay lets go march for Reginald Denny,or did we forget the truck driver who was on his way home from work pulled from his truck and almost beat to death in Atlanta. Why do we have to flip out the race card so fast whenever a incident like that or a incident like this happens,is this what revern King fought for? everyone should be ashamed. He was a teen shot by another man,what about all the shootings up her in Chicago. Last week in East Chicago Indiana two little girls shot threw the window of there house ,while sitting at the table.I think some people are just out to try and start a civil war. STOP