Pride and Prejudice
(TIME, May 7, 1984) -- For better or worse, Jackson brings race to the forefront of the campaign.
There is the Jesse Jackson that blacks revere. He is the embodiment of black pride, an incandescent force glowing beside dull white politicians, demanding respect and "our fair share." He is the powerbroker who is ignored or patronized at great risk.
There is the Jesse Jackson that many whites distrust and some even fear. He is the former black radical, the civil rights leader who threatened white businessmen with economic boycotts, the presidential candidate who called Jews "Hymie" and New York City "Hymietown." In his shadow, neither embraced nor disavowed, stands Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam, a Black Muslim sect, who has praised Hitler and seemed to threaten a black reporter with death.
In recent weeks, these conflicting perceptions of Jesse Jackson have come to overshadow his remarkable achievements in the Democratic primaries. Almost overnight, he shattered the prevailing wisdom that a black could not make a credible run for the presidency. He has spurred an unprecedented black voter turnout, outlasted five more politically experienced white rivals, and picked up enough delegates and prestige to play a major role at the Democratic Convention in July. Says former Democratic National Committee Chairman Robert Strauss: "Jesse Jackson has had a larger impact on American politics than either he or anyone else anticipated." But as his successes multiplied, so did concerns about his candidacy. Would he raise the arm of the Democratic nominee in San Francisco, or stalk angrily from the convention hall? Would he bring out the black vote for Democrats in November, or sit sulking on the sidelines? Would his efforts lead to black political power or white backlash?
The Jackson campaign, unavoidably, has brought questions of race back to the forefront of American politics. The candidate himself has not used race in a demagogic way, as George Wallace did in 1968. Indeed, Jackson has tried to add other colors to his Rainbow Coalition. But the electorate is polarized nevertheless, with blacks voting overwhelmingly for Jackson and whites voting overwhelmingly for white candidates. "A certain latent racism has come out," says Gary Wills, Henry Luce Professor of American Culture and Public Policy at Northwestern University. "People say, 'Whenever I hear somebody stir up crowds, I think of Hitler.' That kind of comment shows a blindness to black style, and it's most often said by people who've never heard a black church service."
Jackson's appeals to black pride, almost by definition, are racially charged. In effect, he is asking blacks to vote for him because he is black. The white majority would quickly condemn a white candidate who practiced such overt racial politics. But with blacks, the situation is far more delicate. Sensitive to the victimization of blacks throughout American history, whites tend to be reticent about criticizing them, especially on racial matters.
Because of his color, and because he was never given a realistic chance of winning the nomination, Jackson has been treated differently from the other candidates. His rivals dealt with him gingerly, hoping not to alienate potential black support in the fall. The press concentrated on his vivid campaign style and rarely challenged his positions on the issues. He did not come under intense press scrutiny until his "Hymie" remark touched off conflicting charges of white and black racism. "Jesse hasn't injected racism into politics. His campaign has only brought to the surface things that were there long before," insists Ernest Green, one of Jackson's closest advisers. "To make that accusation is a classic case of blaming the victim for the crime."
Whoever was to blame, the flaring of the racial issue was like jiggling political nitroglycerin. Avoiding an explosion became as important to Democrats as choosing their presidential nominee. Their best hope was that the debate would be constructive and clear the air for the fall. Racism in the U.S. is less obvious than in the past but it has hardly gone away, and some thought that a candid discussion of the issue could strengthen the party. As Hodding Carter, an official in the Carter Administration and a crusader for civil rights as a Mississippi newspaper editor in the 1960s, wrote last week, "We ought to thank Mr. Jackson for running. Not because he should or shouldn't be President, but because his candidacy has helped to put race and things racial back in public view where they belong."
Getting the public's attention has been a Jackson trademark from the time he first worked for Martin Luther King Jr. in 1966. Over the years, as a preacher, a civil rights leader and now a politician, he has kept the same goal: instilling in blacks a sense of self-worth. The message he gave black teen-agers as he toured the country during the late '70s for his PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity) for Excellence, Inc., program was identical to the one delivered by white middle-class parents to their teen-age children, except that it came from a black man wearing an Afro haircut and speaking in rhyme. "Down with dope! Up with hope!" Jackson would shout. "Less than your best is a sin! You are not a man because you can make a baby! It takes a man to raise one!" By the end of these exhortations, schoolchildren would line up to sign pledges that they would study for two hours every school night, without radio or TV.
In recent years, Jackson has stressed an additional message: that the path to black success was through the polling place. With the same evangelical style, he intoned to audiences, "There's a freedom train acoming. But you got to be registered to ride!" Then and there he would march listeners to the courthouse to sign voter rolls. Even Farrakhan, who has claimed that the American political process was too "corrupt" to deserve black votes, enrolled.
At rally after rally, Jackson cried, "Hands that picked cotton will pick the President! From the guttermost to the uttermost! from the outhouse to the White House!" And the audiences would pick up the chant: "Run, Jesse, run! Run, Jesse, run!" Jackson, 42 finally heeded the chant -- against the wishes of many black leaders. Established black politicians like Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley and Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel feared that Jackson would split the liberal vote for Mondale and thereby nominate the more conservative John Glenn. They feared that Jackson knew too little about conventional politics, that he was too freewheeling and flamboyant. They feared he would fail and embarrass an entire race. Not a few whites agreed.
They were wrong. Early polls showed that Jackson could take only about 40% of the black vote. But in the most recent three big primaries -- Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania -- Jackson won between 74% and 89% of the black vote. In New York, he came within two percentage points of beating Gary Hart. Many political experts predicted that Jackson would have about 150 delegates with him going into the Democratic Convention. It now appears that he could have twice that many. "Whether I win or lose," Jackson declares, "American politics will never be the same."
Jackson has overcome a lack of funds (he has raised about $2 million, compared with about $15 million for Mondale and $3 million for Hart) and a campaign organization that does not deserve the name. The black church is Jackson's base and a principal source of his funds (collected by passing the hat to parishioners, who drop in wrinkled dollar bills as Jackson exhorts, "Don't make change, just drop it in the bucket!"). On the Jackson campaign, schedules are merely suggestions, and Secret Service agents joke that the candidate runs on "J.S.T." -- Jesse Standard Time. Although he has not bought a single television advertisement, he has become a fixture on the evening news, sopping up a fortune's worth of "free media."
A major breakthrough for Jackson occurred when the eight Democratic contenders squared off for their first national debate, which came before the New Hampshire primary. Jackson more than held his own; he was poised, reasonable and witty. He added to his credibility as a candidate by playing peacemaker when Hart and Mondale squabbled at the New York debate. Says Minerva Johnican, a Memphis city councilwoman and Hart supporter: "Jesse really surprised a lot of people. Previously, other black leaders thought he was an opportunist, out for himself and himself only. I think the perception of Jackson has changed."
Jackson has extraordinary appeal among young blacks, but he has also been able to win over middle-class and older blacks, many of whom were dubious. They see him as an alternative to Michael Jackson and "Mr. T" of television's The A-Team as a black role model for their children. Says retired Schoolteacher Jessie Adderley, 75, mother of the late jazz musician Cannonball Adderley and grandmother of Brown and Yale students: "Black youngsters looking at Reverend Jackson will have the feeling now they have a chance. Maybe now they will buckle down and apply themselves."
The dream of growing up to be President one day may be a cliche, but until Jackson came along it was only a white cliche. More immediately, Jackson has inspired black adults to run for local office. They were winning on the local level already, especially in cities (four of the six largest have black mayors), but Jackson for the first time has demonstrated black political power on the national level.
Although few have voted for Jackson, many whites say they admire him. In New York, where he polled only 7% of the white vote, Jackson was seen as an "attractive, forceful leader" by two out of three voters, a higher positive rating than given to either Hart or Mondale, according to a Harris poll. Said Pollster Louis Harris: "Jackson might be President if he were white."
That Jackson cannot win the Democratic nomination does not discourage blacks from supporting him. By voting for him, blacks cast "a vote of confidence in themselves," says Albert McDaniel, 44, an administrator for a skills-training school in Chicago. "Jackson is saying you have to judge winning in more than one way. The rise of pride among people who never gave a thought to voting -- that's winning. People renewing hope in the Democratic system -- that's a definite win."
Blacks know that if Jackson goes to the Democratic Convention with enough delegates, he can extract important concessions from the party. Many blacks do not trust white Democrats, no matter how liberal their voting records, to push their interests. Indeed, with the party preoccupied with cutting the federal deficit, issues of vital importance to blacks -- affirmative action, teen-age unemployment, the black underclass -- are hardly discussed by white candidates. Says Max Palevsky, a liberal activist in Los Angeles: "The Democrats have lost their way and become a not too articulate reflection of the Republicans. Instead of sweeping these issues under the rug, Jackson is lifting the rug up."
A vote for Mondale or Hart, Jackson tells voters, means "getting off a Republican elephant and onto a Democratic donkey going in the same direction, just a little slower. We need a new direction. It is better to lose an election going in the right direction than win going in the wrong direction." Some blacks carry that logic to its literal conclusion. Asked if she feared that a vote for Jackson would actually help Reagan, Chicago Secretary Selestine Humphrey answered, "I don't want to see Reagan back, but if that's the price black people have to pay for some respect, I say let's pay it." The message to white Democrats is that black voters can no longer be taken for granted because they have "nowhere else to go." Says Jackson: "We had to break the dependency syndrome. We moved from a relationship born of paternalism to one born of power."
Having taken Jackson lightly at first, neither heeding him nor holding him accountable, many whites were unsettled by his soaring prominence. They scrutinized his calls for racial pride, looking for overt signs of racism. Unfortunately, Jackson provided one. A foolish and offensive remark, spoken in an unguarded moment, set off a chain of events that threatened to overwhelm Jackson's accomplishments with controversy and bitterness.
"Let's talk black talk," Jackson said to two black reporters on Jan. 25 as he waited for a flight at Washington's National Airport. It was in the course of that conversation that Jackson dropped his "Hymie" bombshell. One of the reporters, Milton Coleman of the Washington Post, passed on the remark to a white colleague, Rick Atkinson, who used it in the 37th paragraph of a story about Jackson's foreign policy. Jackson at first insisted that he had no recollection of making the remark, then apologized in a synagogue two days before the New Hampshire primary.
The controversy had almost subsided when Farrakhan, the Muslim leader who has been making appearances with Jackson and furnishing him with bodyguards, declared on a radio sermon, "We're going to make an example of Milton Coleman! What do (we) intend to do? At this point no physical harm ... One day soon we will punish you with death!" As a gratuitous aside, Farrakhan allowed that Hitler was "a very great man" albeit a "wicked" one.
Until his incendiary words burst into national headlines, Farrakhan, 50, was -- to whites, at least -- the obscure leader of a fringe movement. A onetime nightclub singer known as the Charmer, Farrakhan in 1955 joined the puritanical (no smoking or drinking) Nation of Islam, a black separatist group founded by Elijah Muhammad in the 1930s. Once 250,000-members strong, the Nation of Islam split apart upon Muhammad's death in 1975. His son Imam W. Deen Muhammad renamed the group the American Muslim Mission, rejected many of his father's teachings and began admitting whites. Farrakhan formed his own faction, keeping the Nation of Islam name and prophesying that one day white "devils" would be incinerated by holy fire, leaving Black Muslims to rule the earth. Farrakhan can claim only between 5,000 and 10,000 followers, but his influence is spread by a weekly radio show. Says he: "I never dreamed that my words, spoken not on his platform but on my own, on my own radio show, paid for with our own money, would be taken and used by the media to bring me to public attention."
Farrakhan, in the tradition of Elijah Muhammad, speaks in an apocalyptic tongue that many whites find frightening but that many blacks do not take seriously. "I don't represent violence," Farrakhan insisted to TIME. "Not at all, and I'm not antiwhite, I'm against that which whites have done to blacks ... we're anti-oppression, antityranny, anti-exploitation." By any standard, however, his remarks were outrageous in a presidential campaign, and they demanded a quick denunciation from Jackson. None was forthcoming. Instead, Jackson commented that Coleman and Farrakhan were "two very able professionals caught in a cycle that could be damaging to their careers." He later stated that Farrakhan's apparent death threat was "counterproductive" and "wrong," but he complained that the pressures to disavow Farrakhan were a "form of harassment" by the white media. Why not badger President Reagan to reject his endorsement by the Ku Klux Klan? Jackson asked reporters. The furthest Jackson would go was to demote Farrakhan from "surrogate" to "supporter."
Jackson's "Hymie" slur and his failure to repudiate Farrakhan caused outrage in several respected quarters. The New Republic, a leading liberal magazine with a strong pro-Israel slant, editorialized that Jackson's "potential for blighting the future of interracial politics and for wounding the Democratic Party now seems great indeed." Carl T. Rowan, the most widely circulated black columnist, warned that Jackson might be stirring a white backlash that would help reelect Reagan, "in which case Jackson is going to have to face the conscience-searing question: Why, in his stubborn embrace of a few black demagogues, he has made it so easy for the Reaganites to appeal to white racism?"
Jewish leaders were skeptical of Jackson to begin with. Sympathetic to the demand for a Palestinian homeland, Jackson was borne aloft by Arabs shouting, "Arafat! Jackson!" on a trip to the Middle East in 1979. He was also quoted as saying that he was "tired of hearing about the Holocaust" -- a comment that he says was taken out of context. Today many Jewish leaders are convinced that Jackson is anti-Semitic. Although Jews and black leaders have had their differences -- particularly on the use of racial quotas, which are anathema to Jews but favored by many blacks as a cure for historic discrimination -- the two groups have often worked together politically. Jewish voters, for example, were supportive of black mayoral candidates in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The conflict with Jackson threatens to scuttle that affinity.
The Republicans naturally hope that Jackson will drive Jewish voters right out of the Democratic Party. Vice President George Bush, acting in his role of G.O.P. stalking horse for '84, was quick to condemn not only Farrakhan and Jackson but Mondale and Hart, neither of whom made much of an issue of the ethnic slurs in order to avoid offending black voters. Bush's ploy was "a great political stroke," admitted a Mondale aide. "It was simple, crude and effective."
The Republicans are also counting on Jackson to push other threatened whites into the G.O.P. column. Conservative Jesse Helms even invokes Jackson's name in fund-raising solicitations (in one letter, 24 times). Republican strategists predict that Jackson will register more whites for the Republicans than blacks for the Democrats. Each side aims to sign up about 2 million new voters, but that represents far more of a challenge for blacks, since there are 49 million unregistered whites compared with 7 million unenrolled blacks. Says Lamarr Mooneyham, president of the North Carolina Moral Majority: "If I could afford to pay Jesse, I'd bring him down here every month."
Such a backlash would confirm the worst fears of many mainstream black leaders, who feel that Jackson is ill-versed in the delicate art of building interracial coalitions. Jackson has never held an elected office. Whereas mayors like Young and Bradley needed to court white votes to win elections, Jackson has opted for confrontation, forging all-black protest blocs to demand concessions. At Operation PUSH, he organized boycotts of white businesses in order to win more contracts and jobs for minorities. In the process he was able to wring concessions from such companies as Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Another group under the PUSH umbrella is proving to be a political liability in quite a different way. Last month federal auditors demanded that PUSH-EXCEL return $708,431 of over $3 million in U.S. Department of Education grants awarded between 1978 and 1981. The Government claims that PUSH authorities have failed to account for the money properly. Says Jackson casually: "It's really a dispute between auditors and accountants."
By personality and disposition, Jackson is not a perfect choice to make the first significant black bid for the presidency. (He is not the first black candidate. Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm ran for the Democratic nomination in 1972, winning 152 delegates. Abolitionist Frederick Douglass won a single, complimentary vote at the 1888 Republican Convention.) He is frequently blustery, volatile and egotistical. But he is the only black leader with the drive and audacity to mount such an extraordinary political campaign. Revolutions of all kinds -- political, economic, social -- are often led by rough-edged men, and Jackson is unexceptional in their company. The established order is invariably unnerved by firebrands with fiercely held views, especially if those views stir the masses. The press is equally "traumatized," says Jackson, who has grown cool to even the black reporters who trail him. No longer does he indulge in "Let's talk black talk" off-the-record sessions. "I don't trust you all on that level," he tells black reporters he once confided in.
Jackson is better at inspiring hopes and dreams than he is at designing specific programs to help the poor. His critics are biting on this score. Says Elections Expert Richard Scammon, a conservative Democrat: "Jesse Jackson is a black George Wallace -- a Rodney Dangerfield. He wants respect. It's a scream for attention. He has no real program. He doesn't know what he's doing." In private, one of Jackson's Democratic rivals is almost as caustic. "There's still one speech Jackson hasn't given yet," he says. "We still haven't seen his agenda."
Jackson does have an agenda, which, like those of his Democratic opponents, is constrained by the federal budget deficit. He would raise $50 billion from a one or two-year surtax ranging from 1% on incomes of $25,000 to 10% on incomes over $90,000. He would save another $80 billion by cutting defense outlays by 20%. But if Jackson reduces the deficit by $70 billion, as he proposes, and fulfills his intention to spend $50 billion to rebuild the nation's infrastructure (roads, bridges, water systems, mass transit), he would have only $10 billion left to fight poverty. That amount would not come close to restoring the $25 billion cut from programs affecting the poor by the Reagan Administration in 1981.
Jackson's foreign policies are radically non-interventionist, with a pro-Third World tilt. Like Hart and Mondale, he favors a freeze on building and deploying nuclear weapons. He would cut American military forces in Europe and Japan in half over five years, arguing that allies should pay for more of their own defense, which he says now costs the U.S. $150 billion a year. Critics note correctly that his defense planks would tempt Soviet adventurism, but Jackson dismisses such talk as alarmist. To ease cold war tensions and revive arms-control talks, he would "aggressively negotiate" with the Soviets.
A great believer in his own powers as a negotiator, especially after arranging the release of downed Navy Lieutenant Robert Goodman from Syria last January, Jackson wants to establish a "dialogue" with Palestinian leaders on the issue of an independent Palestinian state, which he advocates. "I've always supported Israel's right to exist with security," Jackson says. "But unless you can talk with adversaries, you cannot help the ally." He would try to curtail U.S. investments in South Africa, while increasing foreign aid to other African nations. Jackson is unconvinced that Cuba and Nicaragua are fomenting revolution in Central America. He favors "normalizing" relations with the Marxist-led Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, which he says is "on the right side of history," and withdrawing all troops from the region. On the other hand, he does not rule out sending U.S. troops to the Persian Gulf in the event of a Soviet invasion, and he favors covert U.S. support of Afghan rebels against the Soviets.
Jackson has a vastly different world view than his Democratic rivals. He says that he was "born in occupied territory, having lived all my developing years under apartheid." (He grew up in South Carolina.) His Third World sympathies make him highly skeptical of U.S. involvement abroad ("too often we are aligned with the landed gentry, the dictator, the oppressor"), and sometimes too forgiving of the excesses of revolutionary causes. He condemns U.S. covert operations in Central America as "a form of terrorism," but finds such lawless regimes as Muammar Gaddafi's Libya and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia merely "distasteful."
Jackson's real issue, the one he cares about most deeply, is voting rights. Although Southern states have long since stopped using literacy tests and police dogs to keep blacks from voting, Jackson claims that they have found more subtle methods of disenfranchisement. Most offensive to him is the "runoff primary" system used in ten Southern states. If no candidate wins a majority in a primary, the system forces a second, runoff primary between the two leaders. Blacks can sometimes win the first round, says Jackson, but usually not the second. Without second primaries, he claims, the South would send 15 more blacks to state and local offices. He has made abolishing dual primaries his "litmus test issue."
His demand has puzzled some election experts, provoked defiance by Southern party leaders, and struck fear in the heart of the Democratic National Committee. The experts say that dual primaries do not necessarily discriminate against blacks. A study of nearly 200 state elections in Texas, for example, did not disclose a single instance of a candidate's losing because of his race or ethnicity. Georgia Democratic Party Chairman Bert Lance says he is prepared to "go to the wall" to defend the system. Party leaders have a more immediate concern: that Jackson will angrily stalk out of the convention if his demands are not met, taking with him the Democrats' chance to win back the White House.
That fear probably is exaggerated. Jackson sloughs it off as "negative hype and speculation" by the media. Says he: "I am not going to tear up the Democratic Party." He vows to be a "healer," not a "spoiler." Last week he called on D.N.C. Chairman Charles Manatt, and to Manatt's huge relief promised that he would not bolt the party at the convention. He never intended to, he says. The idea of a walkout was "Manatt's magnificent obsession." It is in Jackson's interest to compromise, and he knows it. If he wants to be the undisputed leader of American blacks -- his real goal, many believe, and one that he is on the verge of attaining -- he cannot afford to be a renegade. He has to show that he can deliver black votes in November, that he can put a Democratic President in his debt.
At the same time, Jackson must show his black supporters that he has exacted a price for his allegiance. In addition to opposing second primaries, Jackson wants to change party rules that hinder minority candidates by, for instance, requiring that they win 20% of the vote in a congressional district to qualify for delegates. Jackson points out that to date he has won 17% of the popular vote, yet holds only 7% of the delegates. Responding to Jackson's claim that he was "robbed" of 220 delegates, Manatt promised to ask state chairmen to consider allocating Jackson unpledged convention delegates. Meanwhile, Jackson came up with another idea that could touch off debate: automatic voter registration at the age of 18. Such a system would demand a philosophical change in the U.S., where voting is considered a privilege, not a requirement.
Mondale -- or Hart, if he should suddenly surprise -- can probably work out a deal with Jackson on most of his demands. (Exception: his 20% defense cut, which neither of the major candidates could even consider and which Jackson is unlikely to press.) Last week the Jackson and Mondale camps worked in private to come up with an overall compromise that both sides could live with. It appeared possible that Jackson would agree to abolishing dual primaries only where they can be proved discriminatory, in return for changes at the local level, like reapportioning local election districts, that could put more blacks in state and city offices.
Party leaders are still worried about how the deal will look. If Mondale, say, seems to be snubbing Jackson, he risks offending a very prideful man and losing black support. But if he too eagerly embraces Jackson, he risks turning off large slices of the white electorate. Says one Mondale fund raiser: "The first question Jews ask me is whether Jesse Jackson is going to be on the ticket as Vice President. The second question is whether Jackson is going to have a Cabinet job." Jackson has shown no interest in either, but that has not let Mondale off the hook. Says Scammon: "If Mondale panders to Jackson at the convention, white Southerners and white blue-collar workers would turn away, in addition to the Jews."
Both sides are eager to cut their deal in private, and before the party faithful gather in San Francisco. Jackson could lose leverage if Mondale locks up the nomination before the convention, an increasingly likely prospect. As for Mondale, he cannot afford to be seen on bended knee in public. To beat President Reagan, the party needs a well choreographed but restrained love feast. Says Texas Democratic Chairman Robert Slagle: "I'm in absolute horror of a brokered convention. The last thing we need this year is to be playing Let's Make a Deal on national TV."
Much depends on how Jackson handles himself in the weeks ahead. If he is intemperate in his public utterances, if he locks himself into unrealistic demands, he could wound the Democratic nominee, discredit himself and further divide the races. But if he reaches a rapprochement with the party's candidate, then campaigns for him in a temperate and intelligent way, Jackson could greatly enlarge the role of blacks in national politics. In that way, Jesse Jackson's candidacy could turn out to be a powerful and positive force, a reminder of the diversity and promise of American politics.
--By Evan Thomas. Reported by Hays Gorey/Washington, B.J. Phillips/Atlanta and Jack E. White with Jackson, with other bureaus.
Jackson Speaks His Mind
In conversations with TIME Correspondent Jack E. White aboard a chartered plane during a hectic week of electioneering, Jesse Jackson addressed some of the most pointed questions raised by his unorthodox campaign. His views:
On the sometimes sharp reaction to his candidacy. "Whenever the prospect of change occurs, there is always the inflamed and exaggerated response by the keepers of the gate of the status quo. Many of them are still in shock at the success of this campaign. They know that the course of American politics is changing. They don't know quite where we'll go. So in their panic, they lash out and attack. Every time there is a breakthrough, the politics of paranoia takes over."
On the threat by Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan against Reporter Milton Coleman. "I immediately recognized it as religious metaphor. But it was dangerous language because of the ability to misinterpret it. I think it was more out of naivete than meanness."
On Farrakhan's contributions to the Jackson campaign. "He has played a great role in helping to resurrect many people who had politically died or dropped out. In New York, for example, a large segment of the black community had a philosophy against voting. When we marched in Harlem, there were huge numbers of people who had never voted before; Farrakhan was a great factor in making that happen."
On his support among whites. "You don't get 13% of the vote in Connecticut, with a 6% black population, with just black votes. You don't get 13% of the vote in Arizona, 3% black, with just black votes. This campaign has consistently attracted more nonblack votes than Hart has attracted nonwhite votes."
On his relationship with Jews. "A lot of Jewish people relate to me on a cumulative score of our relationship across the years. There is still a substantial number of Jewish people who remember my standing with them in Skokie (Illinois) when the Nazis threatened to march. Some others remember that in the Middle East I called for a mutual-recognition policy. I've always supported Israel's right to exist with security. But unless you can talk with the adversaries, you cannot help the ally."
On being misunderstood by white listeners. "The language of (black) culture grows out of our Christian faith. We gained strength from biblical heroes and heroines... People who don't understand my language -- I am speaking English -- are culturally deprived... When I give the example of rocks lying around and ask people to pick up their slingshots and throw their rocks, I'm not talking about hitting somebody. Blacks understand that I'm telling them to register and vote."
On press coverage of his campaign. "I think that my constituents see a rhythm of attacks and they reserve the right to their own opinion without being unduly influenced by the media's opinion of a given situation. I think that many black people read the Washington Post and the National Leader and they believe the National Leader. They read TIME and Jet and they believed Jet. Blacks are developing more confidence in their own frames of reference."
On whether he might bolt the Democratic Party after the convention. "For the record, we intend to stand our ground, fighting to expand and heal the party. Our intention is to make room in our party for locked-out people, for locked-out Democrats. We're not going any place. I expect to support the party's nominee, and I expect to be supported by the party's nominee. There are more ways for us to realize justice and fairness without threatening to pick up our marbles and go home if we do not get everything that we want. We would lose our influence, the struggle for directing the course of our party and the race with Reagan if we did that."
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