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May 15, 1999
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 10-Special

Jessie Jackson: One Career

Fifty-seven-years-old Jessie Jackson has a rich political biography and reputation of a distinguished fighter for peace and human rights in his country, though for his recent role in Belgrade it is no less important that he is at the same time a Baptist priest. And not only a Baptist priest, but also a personal confessor of the US president, Bill Clinton. Last Summer, while performing his duty, he found himself in the centre of public attention in America, when he was offering a 'spiritual consolation' to the president whose lies had short legs. He allegedly helped the president to regain trust from his betrayed wife and disappointed daughter.

Born in the South of the country (Greenvile, South Carolina), Jessie Jackson began his political activities during his student days, when he joined Martin Luther King and his movement for human rights for Negroes. He was never elected into any representative body, although in the 80's, he was twice a candidate for president of the USA (1984 and 1988), attempting to gain the nomination of the Democratic Party. He did not succeed in it, but he became one of the most distinguished and influential black politicians of his generation. He founded the Rainbow Coalition, which interceded in favour of investing the private sector into poor quarters.
On the international scene, he fought against the apartheid in South Africa in the 70's, and in 1984, he became famous for being the mediator in the release of a naval lieutenant, Robert Goodman from Syria (Goodman was shot down while he was bombing the Syrian antiaircraft defense positions in Lebanon). Only a few months later, Jackson procured the release of 48 American and Cuban political prisoners in Cuba, and in 1990 he was as successful in liberation of 500 British and American civilians, who were kept as hostages in Iraq.

In 1997 he was appointed a special envoy for Africa. His son, Jessie Jackson the Junior was elected a Congressman of the USA in the state of Illinois.

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