Following the recent resignation of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., some wonder if his health and legal issues will tarnish his family’s legacy. The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. insisted that they won’t, in an interview with the Associated Press.
Sitting in his office — among photographs of mentor Martin Luther King — the elder Jackson’s body tenses, he sighs and his eyes drift off.
“My heart burns,” he told The Associated Press. “As I always say to my children, champions have to play with pain. You can’t just walk off the field because you’re hurt.”
Over the last 40-plus years, Jackson has played many roles – barrier-breaking presidential candidate, international hostage negotiator and master orator. There was a time when his presence alone inspired swift action and attracted throngs of reporters. Now it’s different.
These days, Jackson is more likely to seek out media attention rather than waiting for journalists to come to him. If his voice in national affairs is muted, it’s also because reporters don’t listen as closely as they used to.
“He’s not the magnet for the press he once was,” said David Bositis of the Washington-based Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, who has known Jackson for years.
Read more at the Associated Press.