Rev. Jesse Jackson doesn’t believe Latino companies should be racing to try to help make President Trump’s vision of a wall possible, likening the Mexico-U.S. border structure to “Blacks building slave ships.”
“If they were going to build slave ships to take Blacks back to Africa, I hope Blacks would not try to get the contracts to build the slave ships,” Jackson said, according to USA Today, Wednesday, April 5 at Miami’s Hispanicize, a gathering of Hispanic journalists and creatives.
Around 200 companies have responded to the federal government’s two requests for walls designs, and the Washington Post reported 32 of them are Latino-owned. Several of those firms received harsh backlash for their participation, including death threats.
“That’s choosing dollars over dignity,” Jackson told the Miami Herald of the companies’ decisions, adding the wall is intended to “demean” rather than protect Americans.
“It symbolizes something very ugly.”
Jackson also urged the Black and Latino communities to unite on common issues, which include voter discrimination and police brutality.
“Sometimes suffering is the common chord,” Jackson said, noting that what links the groups is “the idea of increasingly hostile isolation” and they can bond over the battle for “human rights for all human beings.”
On voter discrimination, Jackson said Black and Latino people and “have a common interest in the protected right to vote” and he deemed that the “crown jewel” of civil rights and progress, according to NBC News.