A Theologian Once Said…

Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

Remarks as prepared for delivery


Tonight, I stand proudly in support of the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton. And let me also congratulate Bernie Sanders for energizing this campaign season with ideas and hope.

A theologian once said, “Where hate abounds, love must abound even more. Where fear abounds, hope must abound even more.” In this stormy season of violent campaign rhetoric, we are called to be steady in the face of the whirlwind. There’s a tug of war going on for the soul of America. We have a clear choice. We must tear down walls of separation, and build bridges of hope and unity.

Love must trump ignorance, fear, hatred and violence. We live under ONE big tent where all must be included and none are left behind. We have learned to survive apart, and now we must accept the challenge of learning to live and grow together. They say, “Exclude.” We say, “Include.”

I met Hillary decades ago when she was delivering legal protection to the poor, fighting for the marginalized and defenseless. She’s fought for access to health care all of her life. In Hillary we have a tested, tried and trusted partner. No one has ever been more prepared to be president.

Hillary can be trusted to appoint a fair Supreme Court and a skilled administration, including a man of faith like Sen. Tim Kaine. She will fight to make us more secure by banning assault weapons that are turning our communities into killing fields. She can be trusted to honor the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.

Hillary understands the historic dimensions of the agony, hope, and promise of Black Lives Matter. From Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown and Alton Sterling, and far too many others, shootings of young black men must stop. And the killing of police officers with powerful assault weapons resonates deep in our soul. We must choose reconciliation over retaliation and revenge. We must stop the killing. Now.

We can trust Hillary not to insult our Hispanic and Muslim brothers and sisters. And to resist the mass deportation of 15 million people. We can trust Hillary to expand African trade and development. We can trust Hillary to fight for Historically Black Colleges and Universities — that graduate 42 percent of our black engineers and over half of all black teachers and lawyers. A Clinton Administration will grow jobs. Eight years ago, Republicans drove our economy to the brink of disaster. But after 76 straight months of job growth under President Obama, it’s no time to turn back now.

We’ve never lost a battle we fought. And we’ve never won a battle unless we fought. In 1965, we fought and won the battle for the historic Voting Rights Act. That journey continued in 1984 and 1988, when we built a winning coalition, registering and empowering millions of new voters reflecting the new America.

My words in 1984 ring true today:

If blacks register and vote in great numbers, progressive whites win. It’s the only way progressive whites win. If blacks vote in great numbers, Hispanics win. When blacks, Hispanics, and progressive whites vote, women win. When women win, children win. When women and children win, workers win. We must all come up together. We must come up together. When we all come together, we can and will win. Red, yellow, brown, and white, we are all precious in God’s sight.

It’s healing time. It’s hope time. It’s Hillary time. It’s time for healing, hope, and Hillary. Healing, hope, and Hillary!

Keep Hope Alive!