Jesse Jackson deserves more than you gave.

This is in response to Paul LaLonde’s piece “Live and give and choose to be happy.” In it, he instructed readers to “stop listening to the Kambons and stop following the Jesse Jackson’s of the world.” Excuse me?

It’s bad enough you choose to put Jackson’s name in the same line with a racist, but in doing so, you insinuate Jackson is a divider.

Could you possibly be talking about the same Jesse L. Jackson, world-famous civil rights leader, who helped free American hostages from Iraq and Kuwait in 1990?

The same one who helped in the release of American hostages in Cuba and Kosovo? Or maybe it was another Jackson who fought for human rights all over the world and promoted social justice and gender equality.

You have the nerve to “claim” Martin Luther King, Jr. as one of your heroes. But if my memory serves correct, Jesse Jackson was one of King’s right hand men, was appointed by him to operate the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Breadbasket Program and was there when MLK was assassinated.

These men shared the same principles, ideals and goals and fought alongside each other until the end. I think if King were around today, he would disagree with your opinion of Jackson.

Given their shared history, it seems a little off to me that you can revere one and have a lack of respect for the other. Jackson has done a lot to uplift black people. It’s unfortunate you don’t recognize that. In not doing so, a lot of history – not just black, but American history – is being ignored.

If “the Jesse Jacksons of the world” had not stepped up and done for this country what they did, who would have filled their shoes? The likes of you? I don’t think so.

Elise Gray

Sophomore, political science major