Jackson on a misguided mission

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 1999

Life is all about how you handle it. One simple sentence that means so much. We wish the Rev. Jesse Jackson truly understood the meaning of that sentence this week.

In his vast career in the public eye, Jackson has worn many hats and trumpeted a myriad of different causes and campaigns.

But this week, Jackson was a man on a misguided mission.

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Jackson was arrested Tuesday and charged with trespassing after he protested at a Decatur, Ill., school. His mission was to champion the cause of six students at the school who were expelled for fighting. In an contrived-for-publicity event, Jackson vowed to get arrested at the school as a way of bringing the plight of the students into a more national light.

Rev. Jackson succeeded in getting arrested, but he accomplished little else. Jackson should strongly reconsider the logic behind his most recent action.

In short, the Decatur incident wasn’t any of Jackson’s business.

He doesn’t live there and should have stayed out of someone else’s concern.

Jackson has done a lot of good, nationally and even in Natchez with his work to increase voter registration, but this wasn’t one of them.

Natchez High had a similar situation earlier this year involving a fight on school grounds that ultimately led to the expulsion of several students. The main difference was that it was handled by local school officials and the students’ parents.

Our situation was well handled.

And it didn’t take an outsider coming in with his media caravan to help us sort out our problems either.