Jesse Jackson returned to Wisconsin for the final pro-public union rally last night. He compared Governor Scott Walker’s union bill to the “crucifixion of Dr. King.”
The noted race hustler was in town for the final rally before the vote today.
The Daily Page reported:
Jackson took the stage at 5:56 p.m. The timing was not accidental. Today is the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in Memphis, Tennessee. Jackson, then a young man, was standing next to King when it happened, at 6:01 p.m. As the time coincided, Jackson invoked that memory, as well as the memory of how King’s enemies planted provocateurs in marches, just as Gov. Scott Walker talked about doing in Wisconsin.
“We would not allow one bullet to kill a dream,” Jackson said, a dream he labeled “King Democracy,” including the “great tradition of justice, jobs and fairness.” The bagpipes broke into a rendition of “Amazing Grace.” I hate the song “Amazing Grace.” If there’s any possible way to make it worse, it’s with bagpipes. But I didn’t mind. No one did.
Jackson resumed speaking, and hit his stride. All of his earlier ruminations suddenly coalesced into poetry.
“Let nothing break your spirit,” Jackson thundered. “Let nothing break your faith. This land is your land. We must not give up on each other. Today we commemorate the crucifixion of Dr. King. Tomorrow, we celebrate the resurrection.”
By tomorrow, of course, he meant Election Day, a theme that became the focal point for the rest of his remarks. “We’ll get our jobs, we’ll preserve our democracy,” Jackson told the crowd. “Keep hope alive. Vote! Vote! Vote! Keep hope alive. Vote tomorrow. Come alive, April 5.” It even rhymed.
There was one more musical interlude, as Jackson led the crowd in singing “We shall overcome,” including a chorus that said, “”Black and white together.” I love this song and sang along.
Jackson closed with another appeal to vote. As he put it, “Vote your power. Vote your hopes and not your fears.” He led the crowd in three chants of “This is what democracy looks like.” Then he said, in all seriousness, “Go to work.”
Related… Ace reports that the union leaders are suddenly very willing to negotiate pay and benefits.