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April 19, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-04-19

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OPINION
Page4 Tuesday, April 19, 1988 The Michigan Daily

I

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Jesse Jackson: Millionaire

By Noah Finkel

Vol. XCVIII, No. 135

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.

Support Joy
IN THE FALL OF 1987 Joyce Dixson
and Mary Glover, prisoners in Michi-
gan penal institutions, were accepted to
the University's College of LSA. Dix-
son and Glover are among the first
women prisoners in the country to gain
the right to attend college. They should
be applauded for the determination with
which they have fought an unequal and
discriminatory system.
Women in prison in Michigan gained
access to educational and vocational
programs as a result of a civil rights suit
filed against the state in 1976. The suit
was filed because women in prison
were given less access to jobs, job
training and schooling at all levels than
were men. The court ruled that women
must be given equal access to opportu-
nities and available services in the pris-
ons. Consequently, educational pro-
grams and prison industries, in which
the women could work full-time, were
established in the two women's prisons
in the state.
Dixson is incarcerated at Florence
Crane Women's Facility in Coldwater,
and Glover is in the Huron Valley
Women's Facility in Ypsilanti. Both
women participate in classes through a
correspondence system with the Uni-

ce and Mary
versity, which is run by students. They
also work full time as paralegals for
Prison Legal Services, providing aid to
women prisoners.
People at the University need to be
aware that these women are students
here although they cannot attend classes
on campus. Because this program is so
new and has not been publicized, it has
often been difficult to get cooperation
from students and faculty.
Physical separation has made getting
course materials and supplies difficult
and frustrating, particularly for Dixson
who is ninety miles from campus.
Taped lectures often are not received
until the following week or longer,
making.it impossible for these women
to keep up with their classmates.
Students can become involved with
this program and provide help for both
women. They need the assistance of
you, their classmates, to continue their
undergraduate education.

Jesse Jackson takes great pains to iden-
tify with the poor, the downtrodden, and
the dispossessed. He even tries to portray
himself as part of that group and thus the
best representative for it. This has won
Jackson scores of success among the
working class and redistribute-the-wealth
liberals.
But a look past the rhetoric reveals
something the media will not say or print:
Jesse Jackson is a hypocrite.
Jackson capitalizes on the low budget of
his campaign and on his humble back-
ground to bring out a touch of solidarity
with the poor and perhaps compassion
from the liberals. He says "Our campaign
may be poor, but the message is rich." He
has even been known to hold up his wallet
(we are supposed to believe there isn't
much money inside) and proclaim that this
is all the funds his campaign has. But no
one should feel sympathy for the Rev.
Jackson because he in fact is a millionaire,
and with the addition of some stock hold-
ings, potentially a multi-millionaire.
According to sparse press reports of his
financial disclosures, Jackson earned a
salary of over $200,000 in the past year
through $192,000 in speaking fees and
through almost $19,000 for "services"
from the National Rainbow Coalition, one
of Jackson's political organizations.
It took the London Sunday Times to fi-
nally pick this story up and most of the
American media has chosen to ignore it.
Of course, there is nothing incriminating
about wealth. But ironically, Jackson is
rich, and has been for some time, while
his movement is always impoverished. It
seems as though Jackson, the one who
campaigns against "economic violence"
and exploitation etc., has exploited the
cause of civil rights in order to gain mate-
rial benefits for himself.
Jackson will tell the public the contrary.
Said the Reverend in a 1984 interview in
Ebony magazine, "I have the option of
making money in Hollywood, the option
of making commercials. I could probably
be one of the highest paid speakers on the
speaking circuit, if that was my interest...
So what I'm doing I'm doing by choice.
And some people in their cynicism cannot
imagine the amount of sacrifice involved."
Actually, the sacrifice involved is
Noah Finkel is a Daily Opinion page
staffer.

imaginable: The year prior to that inter-
view, 1983, Jackson had an income of
$115,000. He received $37,000 in speak-
ing fees, $60,000 as salary at Operation
PUSH, and $15,000 from PUSH as com-
pensation for vacations and leaves that he
never took. Out of that income, Jackson
reported to the IRS that he gave only $500
worth of charitable contributions. Jackson
can call me cynical, but I wouldn't mind
such a "sacrifice."
Interestingly, Jackson did become one of
those money-making commercial speakers
he so decries. Just after the '84 campaign
ended, Jackson signed a contract with the
Hollywood-based Agency for the Perform-
ing Arts, in which the talent agency was
committed to deliver Jackson $1 million
in lecture offers and media appearances.
So Jackson, who bragged about not
making money in Hollywood or on the
speakers circuit, actuallydid. And lotstof
it. Jackson's recent financial disclosure
estimates his net worth at close to
$600,000. That does not include the value
of his two homes, worth probably
$250,000. The disclosure also neglects the
$350,000 advance Jackson received from
Simon and Schuster for an upcoming au-
tobiography. And according to Percy Sut-
ton, the chairman of the Inner City Broad-
casting Corporation (ICBC) which owns.
Harlem's famous Apollo Theater among
other things, Jackson will eventually be
even wealthier because of his hefty
amount of stock holdings in that com-
pany. Sutton has said that if ICBC were
sold, the Jackson holdings, valued at
$250,000 on his disclosure, would be
worth "in excess of $1 million."
The question now is how did Jackson
accumulate all this capital as a civil rights
leader? Sure, civil rights may be a growth
industry. But never was it considered a
field in which one gets rich.
The money Jackson has, contrasted with
his claim that "I'm not interested in mak-
ing money," is no aberration. It is more of
a pattern in his character. For example,
Jackson has concocted a story of an im-
poverished adolescence. He says, "I used to
run bootleg liquor, bought hot clothes. I
had to steal to survive." Jackson claims
his father was a janitor and his mother a
maid. Said Jackson, "I am a child of the
Third World."
But in fact, Jackson grew up in a rather
middle-class environment. His step-father,
Charles Jackson, was a postal employee
and his mother contributed to the family's
income by working as a beautician. As far

as poverty goes, Charles Jackson says,
"We were never poor. We never wanted for
anything. We've never been on welfare
because I was never without a job... And
my family never went hungry a day in
their lives."
When Jackson moved from his South
Carolina home to go on his own it was
not as if there was a "sacrifice involved."
He actually did quite well as head of Oper-
ation PUSH in Chicago. He started the
organization in 1971 for the purpose of
continuing his work at Operation Bread-
basket, but independently of the Southern
Christian Leadership Conference. PUSH's
mission is to exert businesses and local
governments to hire more Blacks through
economic and political pressure. Over
time, PUSH branched off into other pur-
suits, such as improving education and
educational opportunities for the poor.
PUSH has always been in deep financial
straights, even after receiving over $5
million dollars in federal aid. The financial
difficulties and mismanagement of the or-
ganization have been well documented.
But while his organization was always
poor, Jackson by no means suffered or
"sacrificed." In a biography of Jackson,
author Barbara Reynolds describes parts of
Jackson's living conditions in 1973, two
years after he began PUSH, "On tree-lined
Constance Avenue, [Jackson] occupies a
fifteen-room Romanesque residence... In
his closet among the Brooks Brothers pin
stripes are denim suits from Los Angeles'
Fred Segals and several shades of browns
from Wilson's House of Suede." Reynolds
also describes how Jackson was chauf-
feured in his brand new 1974 Lincoln
Continental.
Jackson has tried to justify this. He has
said of his wealth in the past, "It's hard to
help hungry people when you are hun-
gry... My income, according to my talents
and abilities, is modest." Maybe, but his
ego sure isn't. And while that statement
may justify a healthy income, it does not
address Jackson's great wealth. How does a
man who runs an organization in deep fi-
nancial trouble make so much and acquire
the capital to make such investments? And
why does he insist on making such money
for himself as he represents an organiza-
tion that is so poor?
Lastly, as a presidential candidate, does
Jesse Jackson really seek to help the poor?
Due to his history at PUSH and after,
Jackson the candidate will have to prove
that his actions can match his rhetoric.

A

4

Mary Glover
Huron Valley
Ypsilanti, MI

#145435
Women's Facility
48198

Joyce Dixson #145440
38 Fourth Street
Coldwater, MI 49036

BSU and BLSA leave UCAR

-Associated Press
A policy of state terrorism. U.S. soldiers in Honduras wait for helicopters to
transport them on a training mission at Palmarola Air Base on March 19.
State terrorism, U.S.A.

IN A REMARKABLE Interview on
National Public Radio recently, U.S.
political analyst and heretic Noam
Chomsky claimed that the United States
is the only nation in the world with an
on-the-books policy of state terrorism.
While other states - such as Iran and
Libya - also engage in various acts of
terrorism, only the United States has
openly formulated terrorism as a cor-
nerstone of its foreign policy, according
to Chomsky. Low Intensity Conflict,
for example, is a policy of state terror-
ism based on the notion that the United
States has the freedom to use whatever
means necessary - domination, ex-
ploitation, subversion, psychological
warfare, robbery, assassination - to
preserve its position of privilege and
hegemony. Curiously, as Chomsky
points out, the State Department's defi-
nition of Low Intensity Conflict is al-
most identical to its definition of terror-
ism.
The amazing revelations about the
ends and means of U.S. foreign policy
that continue to come out of Central
America during Reagan's waning days
provide support for Chomsky's argu-
ment.
Panama
Although Panama suddenly dropped
out of the news in the last few days, all
signs indicate that the U.S. troops re-
cently deployed are there for the long
haul. In 1912, President Taft said of
U.S. foreign policy in Panama, "[it]
may well include active intervention to
secure for our merchandise and our
capitalists opportunity for profitable in-
vestment The whole hemisnhere

tool of the U.S. government, continue
to use stalling tactics to drag out high-
level negotiations with the Sandinistas.
Miami-based contras are pushing for
outrageous demands such as the right to
receive military aid and communications
equipment during the negotiations.
Meanwhile, the State Department in-
sists that humanitarian aid to the contras
should be channelled through the
Agency for International Development
in spite of the ruling by the Organiza-
tion for American States that AID, an
arm of the U.S. government and CIA
operative, does not qualify as a neutral
agency.
Sometime during the first week of
May, it is expected that President Rea-
gan will ask for tightening of the trade
embargo on Nicaragua.
Honduras
In Honduras, according to the North
American Congress on Latin America,
AID now openly functions as a shadow
government, harassing Honduran dis-
sidents and cutting off funds when
U.S. goals are not met. Arrests without
due process followed anti-American
protests last week. The fate of those
detained is not yet known.
Ann Arbor
The hearings now before the Senate
Foreign Relations subcommittee on ter-
rorism, narcotics and international rela-
tions offera rare glimpsefinto how a
policy of state terrorism is financed.
Michael Palmer, who operated out of
a safe house here in Ann Arbor, ran
drugs and guns for the CIA as part of

By Jeff Williams and
Barron Wallace
When in the course of human events, it
becomes necessary for one people to dis-
solve the political bands which have con-
nected them with another, and to assume
among the powers of the earth the separate
and equal station to which the laws of na-
ture and of nature's God entitle them, a
decent respect to the opinions of mankind
requires that they should declare the causes
which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
that all men are created equal; that they are
endowed with certain inalienable rights;
that among these are life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness; that to secure these
rights COALITIONS are instituted among
men, deriving their just powers the con-
sent of the COALITION members; that
whenever any form of coalition becomes
destructive of these ends, it is the right of
the people to alter or abolish it...
We, the presiding officers of the Black
Student Union (BSU) and Black Law Stu-
dents Association (BLSA) formally disas-
sociate ourselves and our organizations
from the United Coalition Against Racism
(UCAR). The UCAR does not represent
our aims or perspectives. We declare this
unequivocally.
The history of the UCAR from
September 1987 to the present has been a
history of repeated injuries and usurpa-
tions:
-The UCAR steering committee's con-
certed effort to convene a BSU meeting
over the express order of the president of
BSU in order to nominate UCAR mem-
bers to executive positions in BSU.
bThe physical attack by a UCAR mem-
ber on a BSU member at a BSU meeting
where UCAR members, the vast majority
of whom had never attended a BSU meet-

legedly lied to the Morris Hood Investiga-
tive Committee last year. Moral qualifica-
tions not withstanding, this is the only
case in memory of a predominantly white
group (UCAR) banning a Black student
leader.
-UCAR's running tQ the administration
- the same administration it berates
weekly - in an attempt to gain control of
the BSU by manipulating its constitu-
tional process.
-UCAR's public denigration of the Of-
fice of Minority Affairs (OMA) over the
Steiner issue without first attempting to
utilize the OMA - an office which stu-
dents fought to create - instead opting for
an obvious publicity stunt.
-The irony that UCAR's new interest in
the BSU is coincident with the granting of
a $35,000 budget. That $35,000 was a
Black Action Movement (BAM) demand
NOT a UCAR demand.
-UCAR steering committee members
have bragged of "making the BSU defunct
by September." One UCAR steering
committee member asked, "Why don't we
just take their money?"
JThe philosophical incongruities be-
tween the BSU and UCAR. BSU and
BLSA reps in particular have taken an ac-
tive role in going back to middle and high

schools in Detroit and Ann Arbor to ad-
dress problems of disadvantaged kids at the
source instead of engaging in "verbal" or
"symbolic" attacks on what administrators
"ought" to be doing. While UCAR looks
for a sister school in Tanzania, the BSU
looks to help the eastside Detroit schools,
Ann Arbor schools. They are our immedi-
ate concerns.
Students must be aware that most of the
student leaders who led UCAR during the
tumult last spring have left that group for
various reasons. These founders of UCAR
did not intend to make an organization but
a coalition of organized groups with the
central aim of mitigating and eradicating
the egregious effects of racism in our uni-
versity communities. The integrity of the
individual organizations was and is
paramount. As issues of crime, drugs, in-
fant mortality, kids killing kids, and ba-
bies having babies gain in salience over
specific issues of racism we find that our
resources are better served in attempting to
address these issues. Moreover we find that
all issues from crime to racism are best
addressed apart from the UCAR.
For all of the above stated reasons, and
many more, we officially dissolve our re-
lationship with the UCAR. The UCAR
does not represent our organizations, our
motivations, or our membership.

?

Zinn

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