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Jesse Jackson Urges BSU Students to Register, Vote

By Amalia Ndirika

Spectrum Staff Writer

When the great Jesse Jackson is asked any question, he will respond with a fact from history.

The civil rights icon did just that when he came to Bowie State University on Sept. 13 to urge hundreds of students to register and vote. 

"You have a right to vote, you're not in jail, and you’re getting an education. Therefore, no one can take away your right to vote, if you make sure you're always on top of those two facts," Jackson said, standing onstage in jeans and blazer in the Samuel L. Myers Auditorium in the Martin Luther King Jr. Communications Arts Center.

In a brief interview before the get-out-the- vote rally, Jackson responded to a reporter's questions about African-American voting and his views on how to increase the number of black millennials who cast ballots.

"African Americans have been voting for years, dating back to 1865," he said, referring to the era of Reconstruction. "The only problem is it was never accounted for; America makes it seem as if black people rarely vote and do not care to vote”. 

Asked about presidential Republican nominee Donald Trump, Jackson's response was clear, defined and candid: Trump will never be a credible candidate because he has thrown racist slurs at Hispanics multiple times, and that the brash billionaire real estate developer does not know how to talk to people and speaks recklessly. 

"We cannot have a president with absolutely no sense of self-control in charge of everything," Jackson said, adding "that would be extremely detrimental for Americans."