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Rev. Jesse Jackson

Rev. Jesse Jackson in Studio with Amos (2007)

EXCLUSIVE UPDATE WITH INTERVIEW: The Rev. Jesse Jackson appeared live on Afternoons with Amos Tuesday and expanded on his criticisms of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). On Monday, on Twitter, Rev. Jackson blasted the law and announced that he’s boycotting the Final Four and Indiana and Indianapolis.  Here’s how the head of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition sent out the word Monday morning on Twitter.

In the Afternoons with Amos exclusive interview, Rev. Jackson explained the danger of the RFRA and why African-Americans should be concerned.  Rev. Jackson in recent years has been focusing his efforts at improving racial diversity, especially the hiring of African-Americans at the nation’s leading tech companies.  These companies like Apple and Salesforce, have the leaders in publicly opposing Indiana’s RFRA Law.  Rev. Jackson explained why the Black community should be involved in the fight saying its part of efforts to roll back unions, to move for “right to work”, restrict voting rights.  Rev. Jackson said RFRA is all part of the same ultra conservative agenda.  Rev. Jackson sharply criticized a Tuesday press conference by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence saying the Governor “danced” and didn’t deal with the issue.  Saying on Twitter:

Also in the interview, Rev. Jackson talked about the release last week from prison of his son, the former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.  Rev. Jackson stressed that despite protesting Indiana’s RFRA law and boycotting the Final Four, he plans to continue to visit Indiana to speak at churches and be involved inn protests.  Hear Our Exclusive Interview with Rev. Jesse Jackson on Our NEW Media Player. Runs 15 Minutes ©2015 WTLC/Radio One.  Starts After Brief Video Ad. 


PREVIOUS POST: Rev. Jackson has had a long relationship with Indiana and especially with Indianapolis over the years.  He worked closely on a number of the projects with Indiana Black Expo and the late Rev. Charles Williams. WTLC Radio did yearly radiothons for Operation PUSH and through the leadership of the late Al “The Bishop” Hobbs, helped to establish a PUSH chapter here. Afternoons with Amos Host/Managing Editor Amos Brown has known Jackson for over thirty-five years.  After seeing his Tweet, I I reached out quickly to Rev. Jackson to find out his intentions:

Minutes later my phone rang and it was The Country Preacher himself.  Rev. Jackson said his decision to boycott at this time was based on a strong desire to send a strong message to Gov. Mike Pence and political leaders demonstrating his opposition to Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). However, in my conversation, Rev. Jackson made it clear that he was not refusing to attend or boycott all events in Indiana or Indianapolis.  Rev. Jackson said that he would come to the state and city for “church events” or “to attend rallies in support of efforts for equality for all Hoosiers”.  Rev. Jackson reminded me this is what he did when he and others were fighting Arizona’s refusal to adopt a Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday in that state.  If his schedule permits, we hope to be talking with Rev. Jesse Jackson later this week on Afternoons with Amos.  His announcement of boycotting this week’s Final Four to protect RFRA is the first statement by a major African-American civil rights leader in the growing controversy.