Jesse Jackson: ‘The gated community does not protect you from the pandemic’
After more than 50 years fighting for civil rights, the activist is now watching coronavirus ravage African American communities. But he has a warning for the rich and powerful
The Rev Jesse Jackson was born in the racially segregated south when Franklin Roosevelt occupied the White House and war raged in Europe. He was an eyewitness to the assassination of Martin Luther King, campaigned against the Vietnam war and twice ran for US president.
But, now an elder statesman of 78, he has never seen anything like the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 1 million Americans and killed more in April alone than died in Vietnam over 15 years. The world’s most powerful and wealthy country also bears by far its biggest death toll: almost 90,000. It is enough to shake faith in American exceptionalism.