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Democrats and Jesse Jackson

April 17, 1987

Is was very disconcerting reading in The Times (April 5) about the mental gymnastics and tortured thinking being utilized by the Democratic Party hierarchy relating to what to do about Jesse Jackson's certain run again for the presidency.

Essentially, what they are saying is that they wish that Jesse and all other black Americans would forfeit their aspirations so that white Americans can be comfortable with their prejudices.

They fear that Jesse will become a power broker with his even greater black power base--made possible because Gary Hart has not yet earned the respect and support from black Americans that Walter Mondale enjoyed--and make demands that will compel white Democrats to vote for the Republican nominee. I suspect that thoughtful black Americans will view that philosophy as insulting.

It is my view that if white Democrats cannot support a platform that will benefit all Democrats, then they deserve another four or eight years of another ultraconservative like Ronald Reagan.

One would think that lower- and middle-income white people could realize that they and black people are inextricably bound together, and that those who would exploit us all will continue to play on their prejudices to prevent our forming a coalition more interested in justice and prosperity for all than the self-defeating racial pecking order that permeates our society like marbling in a steak.

Farmers, steel workers, auto workers, air traffic controllers, and endless other groups, which are predominantly white, must realize that they, too, are victims of this and similar administrations.

I cannot believe that all of these groups can honestly think that we are willing to defer our needs for theirs.

We have an opportunity in this country to make the kinds of changes in our society that any objective person knows to be right and just for all. Join us in this effort or suffer again with us for eight more years.



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