Jackson: Black Voters Deserve a Return on Election ‘Investment’

CBS Chicago, November 10, 2012

The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Saturday said that President Obama’s reelection was “a great victory,” but that it would be incomplete with a reconstruction of urban America and an investment in the communities where the blacks who voted overwhelmingly for the president live.

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Despite attempts at voter suppression in states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida, Jackson said, blacks turned out en masse to vote, enduring waits that stretched into hours in many places.

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“We voted early, we voted long. Our votes won,” he said.

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“What do we want? We want, we want, we want, we deserve, we deserve … a return on our investment.

“What’s good for us is good for everybody. What’s good for blacks is good for everybody,” he said. “We bled too much, we died too young, we cried too much, we prayed too long, now we want a return on our investment.”

Referring to those voter suppression efforts, he said, “these acts of meanness had unintended consequences.” Rather than keeping blacks and Latinos away from the polls, voter ID measures and the curtailing of access to the voting booths made people more determined to vote. “Suppression became stimulation and people fought back,” he said.

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Jackson said blacks, who voted for Barack Obama for state senator, for U.S. Senator, and now twice as President of the United States, should demand, bargain, and march if necessary, for an end to “patterns of race discrimination, (for) our share of jobs.

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Saying that automobile companies and banks got bailouts, “we’re the people who provided the votes — we want to be bailed out. We need jobs, education, healthcare now. If we can be targeted for voter registration and voter turnout, target us for reconstruction, now.

“We are the new mainstream,” Jackson said. “We are the America of shared hopes and shared dreams. We have the power, we have the votes.

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“It’s time to march again. March for healthcare, march for jobs. When we march great things come our way. “

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