MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One of the people with Dr. King the night he was killed in Memphis at the Lorraine Motel was a rising figure in the civil rights movement, the Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Inside Mt. Olive CME Church, Reverend Jesse Jackson returned to Memphis on the 54th anniversary of the assassination of his friend and civil rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Reverend Jackson who was in Memphis when Dr. King was killed reflected on violence then and now.
“54 years later, we are consuming violence. We must fight violence with renewed strength and effort,” Rev. Jackson said.
Even though Jackson is battling Parkinson’s disease, he’s still on the frontline. He’s calling for an end to gun violence, and even sounding off on the Oscar slap seen around the world.
Reverend Jackson spoke one-on-one with WREG calling for a stop to gun violence.
“More die in a year from gunshots at home than die in the Ukraine War. We must teach non-violence. Our culture teaches violence,” Rev. Jackson said.
He also weighed-in on a bill in the Tennessee Legislature that would require K-12 educators to teach students conflict resolution skills.
“Conflict Resolution must be taught in schools. Promote non-violence as a way of..as a lifestyle. We are too used to killing,” Rev. Jackson said.
He encouraged people to look for solutions outside of violence. He said the winner of last week’s Oscar slap wasn’t Will Smith, but it was Chris Rock.
“The debacle in California last week with Will Smith. These are our children here, he and Chris both. We must reconcile them,” Rev. Jackson said. “The winner of the fight was not Will Smith. It was Chris… by not fighting back, by not cursing, trying to jail and embarrass him.”
He also said those opposed to the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court are out of touch.
“The same people who didn’t want her wanted Clarence Thomas, disgrace to the court and has no sense of justice,” Rev. Jackson said.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson still seeking justice in Memphis some 54 years later.
Reverend Jackson, the founder and president of the Rainbow Push Coalition, also addressed the need to increase voter registration.
He also said poverty must be reduced, which he said is a cause of violence.