Posted on February 22, 2005

Jackson: Minorities Face ‘Hostile Climate’

Yvonne Wingett, Arizona Republic (Phoenix), Feb. 19

Blacks and Latinos must work together to overcome a “hostile climate” for minorities and the working class, Black civil rights icon Rev. Jesse Jackson said Friday.

Forty years after Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, Blacks and Hispanics still are targeted by voter suppression tactics and both face the same challenges that lead to dead ends, he said in a meeting with The Republic’s Editorial Board.

These include: woefully high dropout rates and poor access to capital, health care and affordable housing.

Too many minorities are locked up in the justice system and locked out of corporate boardrooms, politics and education because of it, he said.

“Why is it that in settings (on the baseball diamond and basketball arenas) that Blacks and Hispanics play so well together,” said Jackson, in the Valley for a charity fund-raiser to benefit HIV/AIDS victims here and in African nations. “The playing field is even and the rules are public and the goals are clear. All we really need is an even playing field.”