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Thursday, Oct 02, 2014
Letters To The Editor

Jesse Jackson's greatest regret

Published:

If you had known Jesse Jackson in the days of the Civil Rights Movement, you would never have published that editorial cartoon July 25 ("race-baiting," Views).

Jackson was just a kid then, back in the 1960s. We all were. But Jesse was serious about his job. And his job was to take the bullet intended for Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King would occasionally need to send word out to his fellow marchers: "No laughing, no poking at each other, stand up straight" - the sort of messages that you have to give to kids. But not to Jesse. He was too busy scanning the crowds, looking into people's eyes, watching for the gun we all knew would be coming. White or black, we were Southerners, and we knew the intensity of the hatred that would assure Dr. King's death. Dr. King certainly knew.

The greatest regret of Jesse's life must be that Dr. King had urged him to take the night off when the bullet finally came.

Jesse Jackson would have accepted that bullet. It was his job.

Mary Floyd

Tampa

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