Rev. Jessie Jackson Speaks at OU

Posted on:

< < Back to

74 years ago former President Lyndon B. Johnson talked about the "Great Society" and the "War on Poverty", and on Monday Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke at Ohio University in front of the Memorial Auditorium about the large number of Americans still living in poverty. 

The poverty rate in America at an historical high; one in six Americans are living in poverty.

Jackson addressed the fight against poverty in his speech in Athens.

“Giving to the Hill of Appalachia, Ground Zero for American poverty, it should not remain Ground Zero. It’s time for change,” said Jackson.

Ohio recently passed Senante Bill 5, which limits public workers’ collective bargainning rights. Jackson also spoke about his concerns over the rights of public workers.

“We lay off teachers, policeman, and fireman. Where’s the money?” said Jackson.

He urged the White House to step in and do something about it.

"You never hear these guys in congress arguing for poor people. They're arguing for tax cuts, they're arguing for war, they're arguing for wealth. You would not think that there are poor people in their districts and yet their people are facing the need for public housing and public transportation," said Jackson.

One of the attendees praised Jackson for his speech.

“I want to say thank you,” said woman attending this event told Jackson after his speech in Baker Center. “My husband is a public teacher, and he is limited by the collective bargaining law.”

Overall, Jackson's message was progressive one.

“We need you to stand up and fight back. Don’t give up, and don’t surrender. We have the power to change our condition.” said Jackson.