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Talk, Don't 'Fight It Out,' Jackson Exhorts Audience at UCSD Rally

April 23, 1986|KEITH A. OWENS | Times Staff Writer

Shouting "We are the new majority" four times, civil rights leader and former presidential candidate the Rev. Jesse Jackson concluded a campaign-like speech Tuesday, exhorting students at UC San Diego to "heed the calling of your day."

Students packed the noontime outdoor rally as Jackson spoke for nearly 45 minutes to a largely supportive audience about the bombing of Libya, former Reagan Administration budget director David Stockman, Reaganomics, Rambo, the plight of the American farmer, the obligation to vote and what college students could do to make it all better.

Jackson set the stage for his remarks by painting an oral picture of the civil rights movement. He mentioned Rosa Parks, the black woman whose refusal in 1955 to sit on the back of a bus in Montgomery, Ala., is credited with sparking the movement.

He talked about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was a 26-year-old minister on the day that Parks would not give up her seat. King later organized the Montgomery bus boycott.

"Every generation has its calling . . . You must heed the calling of your day," Jackson said.

Jackson said the most important calling for today's college students is to register to vote and to use their voting power to elect a new administration.

Students also must have a realistic picture of the world, Jackson said.

"Most people in the world today are yellow, brown, black, poor, non-Christian and don't speak English," he said. "That is the real world in which we must live today."

Some of those people are Libyans, and Jackson received applause for his strong condemnation of the April 15 bombing of Libya by U.S. planes.

"We must not fight it out, we must talk it out. . . . We must not justify terrorism to fight terrorism. . . . To fight terrorism we need our allies. We cannot go it alone in the real world," he said.

Citing the growing number of poor Americans and financially troubled farmers, Jackson also attacked Reagan's economic policies, borrowing Vice President George Bush's old term of "voodoo economics."

"Most poor people are not on welfare. Most poor people are not black or brown. Most poor people work every day and deserve a livable wage for what they do. That's economic justice," he said.

Taking economic justice a step further, Jackson praised former budget director Stockman's recent gloomy revelations about the Reagan Administration's economic policy, much of which Stockman helped to formulate.

"Stockman admits it today, but some of us knew it all along. . . . Do not allow them to discredit Stockman like he doesn't know what he's talking about. Stockman is accurate. He's late, but he's right," he said.

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