by Hashim Duale
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
LEGENDARY civil rights campaigner the Reverend Jesse Jackson, 65 years old, visited Leicester on Friday 24 August, 2007. The inspirational civil rights leader worked alongside Martin Luther King and was present when Dr King was assassinated in Memphis in 1968. He was also the first black US presidential candidate. 200 hundred selected distinguished guests welcomed him at Peepul Centre, the host organisation. The dignitaries include Member of Parliament Keith Vaz, Leader of the Leicester City Council Cllr. Ross Willmott, the Chief Executive of Leicester City Rodney Green and many distinguished guests. He made very powerful speeches that touched many aspects of an ethnic minority people in western world. His speech electrified everyone in the audience. The speech was motivational and critic to the wealthier part of the society urging them to share the commonly cultivated wealth.
His visit to Leicester was part of his Economics of Colour tour of nine British cities (London, Bristol, Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford and Sheffield), highlighting the struggle for human rights across the world. His speech valued and recognized the important economic and social contribution made by black and other ethnic minorities in creating modern Britain, particularly in Leicester. He introduced to this new word “The Equanomics” a UK programme that will focus on wage inequality, poverty, trade policy, and the impact of credit and debt on ethnic communities. The programme is being spearheaded by the 1990 Trust, which promotes the interests of the UK's black communities, and Operation Black Vote, which seeks to engage more black people in politics. In the 20 minutes press conference, the journalists bombarded him with questions. Here is the summery:
He started by talking the contribution of black slaves to the society
"People of colour in Britain should stand proud as creditors, not as debtors - after all, the slave trade was the basis of the economic foundation, the basis of the industrial revolution," he said. "Work without wages as an act of the slave system meant that the enslaved were the creditors and the slave masters were the debtors”. He ended by calling on Britain to apologise and make reparations for its role in the slave trade
Gun crimes in UK
"We need to know where the guns are coming from... and who is profiting from them. That is critical to security and stability." He went saying “more value in building jails rather than schools. You pay a huge price when society is jilted in such a way as to see more value in building jails rather than schools. Pre-natal care and day-care on the front side of life is a better investment than jail-care and welfare on the back side”.
"People of colour in Britain should stand proud as creditors, not as debtors - after all, the slave trade was the basis of the economic foundation, the basis of the industrial revolution," he went on "[slave] Work without wages as an act of the slave system meant that the enslaved were the creditors and the slave masters were the debtors."
Strongly criticized the Iraq war and been harsh to Bush administration
“"We have lost lives, money and honour and the circle is simply getting deeper and we are losing our lives and we are losing moral authority. He went on by saying "Those who led it might have to leave because they are morally bankrupt."
During exclusive private receptions, I had the pleasure and privilege to have 3 minutes with Jesse Jackson. On behalf on the Somali community in UK, I gave him a present and he accepted it with pleasure. He made a good choke “When you guys will stop the civil war and become a prosperous nation again” as I was caught off guard I simply replied “when God make us as to stop” You may wonder why I am writing this article.
Hashim Duale, Siiham Abdi Hussein,
Saida Hashim Duale & Rev. Jesse Jackson
This iconic figure Jesse Jackson has faced harsh struggle and become who he is today. Jesse Jackson was born October 8, 1941, in Greenville, South Carolina. His mother, Helen Burns had Jesse while she was in high school at the age of 16. It was a very hard time for her because those days the single mothers did not enjoy the freedom they have today in western world. A black boy in those racist days, who even his own people discriminated him, achieved so much to the point in becoming first black presidential candidate and one of the most respected men of the world. I cannot help then in thinking what excuse most of our youngsters have in not achieving high goals in comparison with rest of the world?
This man understood that he cannot beat his oppressors with a gun, and then he used his mouth to beat them and still punching so hard where it hurts most. In other words he understood his strength and worked hard to nourish it and eliminate or learn to life with his weaknesses to the point he is one of the best in his chosen field.
The point I am desperately trying to make is this: The Somali diaspora needs to think a different perspective that could tackle the current social, political and economic problems that has become inherent in our social fabric since the civil war in 1991. Similarly, since we live different countries that we call home we need to educate our younger generation so that they become productive members of the society they live in. I am appealing to the younger generation here; please do find your inner power and vocation and work hard to achieve what ever endeavor you may wish to take on. Remember not only you need to be good at what ever you choose, but exceptional and be the best; beat all your competitors. Do not just settle for quick backs or low pay jobs or worst be a gangster in the corner streets mugging people for few coins. Please use the best days of your life in productive way. Do not just sit in corner and feel sorry for yourself and blame others; the past is history, be productive at present and tool up for a tough future. I must draw line in sand and conclude or I will keep repeating my self to point of becoming nuisance to the reader. Be wise, be good to yourselves and to others, be the best to your chosen field.
I must thank Almighty for the guidance and the staff of Peepul's Centre in particular Mr. Ballu Patel for the invitation.
By Hashim Duale
E-mail: [email protected]