Jesse Jackson at the Counterpunch website:
Benton Harbor may become to economic justice what the small town of Selma was to civil rights. For in Benton Harbor, the powers that be now are wreaking the final indignities on the town’s beleaguered residents — stripping them not only of their schools, but of their democracy, taking away not only their jobs, but their public parks.
[T]he new czar’s first act was to take over the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, most likely as a way to proceed with the development and sidestep the lawsuits. Why be suspicious? Because the law that the new czar is operating under was introduced by Republican state Rep. Al Pscholka, former staff aide to U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, an heir to the Whirlpool fortune.
They’ve shut down the jobs, and taken over the schools. Now they want to shut down the democracy and turn the public parks into a rich man’s playground. But in Benton Harbor, as in Selma and Montgomery, they forget even the poorest people have a sense of dignity. Dr. King wrote, “the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” In Benton Harbor, it is time for the good people to make themselves heard.
Jackson got some facts a bit wrong in his essay and I wonder if he has really been paying close attention to what’s going on there because of it. But his comparison of Benton Harbor to Selma may not be far off.
I’m just sayin’…