Most poor people are not on welfare. Some of them are illiterate and can’t read the want-ad sections. And when they can, they can’t find a job that matches the address. They work hard every day.

I know. I live amongst them. I’m one of them. I know they work. I’m a witness. They catch the early bus. They work every day. They raise other people’s children. They work every day. They clean the streets. They work every day. They drive dangerous cabs. They work every day. They change the beds you slept in in these hotels last night and can’t get a union contract. They work every day.

No, no, they are not lazy! Someone must defend them because it’s right, and they cannot speak for themselves. They work in hospitals. I know they do. They wipe the bodies of those who are sick with fever and pain. They empty their bedpans. They clean out their commodes. No job is beneath them, and yet when they get sick they cannot lie in the bed they made up every day. America, that is not right. We are a better Nation than that. We are a better Nation than that.

Jesse Jackson (b. 1941) American activist, clergyman, politician
“Common Ground and Common Sense,” speech, Democratic National Convention, Atlanta (19 Jul 1988)

Full text.
Added on 8-Dec-11 | Last updated 8-Dec-11
Link to this post
More quotes by Jackson, Jesse

Leave a Reply