I met the Jackson couple when I worked as Vice-President for a struggling non-for-profit organization. We weren't looking for hand-outs but assistance in forging relationships that would assist in the growth and development of children in need.
After much persistence, Jesse Jackson, Jr. agreed to meet with my colleague and I at our headquarters. The appointment was set for 5 but we waited around until 7:00 PM before he showed up. No apology came forth for his tardiness and his "handler", a tall sturdy black man, was anti-social. Our appointment was rushed through and Jackson told us that we could expect his office to assist monetarily with our mission. After a quick photo opportunity with the children, Mr. Jackson took off to get an expensive haircut which he boasted about on his way to his vehicle.
Weeks later, our calls went unanswered and messages unreturned. We gave up on hearing back from anyone until an invitation to Jesse's wife Sandi's birthday party, came in the mail. We were invited to the event at Hyde Park's Park 52 Resturant.
We arrived at the event showing our invitation which allowed us to be shuffled into the registration area. It was obvious that donations were required as people who didn't have donations were turned away. Knowing that my organization was struggling, I pulled out my checkbook and wrote a $100 check. We needed to be exposed to people who had access to means and I figured I could write it off on my taxes. I peeped over and saw $5,000 written clearly on the checkbook of a guy in a suit and tie.
I knew were were out of our league.
We went inside and rubbed elbows with Judge Greg Mathis and Comic Damon Williams. There were a few artist and sports players there as well. As I watched the wealth come in, it all made sense:
Even though the Jacksons spoke of organizations that the money received at this event would benefit, it became crystal clear that it was highly unlikely those organizations would ever see a thin dime.
After some time, Jesse Jackson, Jr. beckoned his wife on to the stage during her birthday celebration and toasted to another year. An individual next to me joked that Sandi looked younger every year because of her multiple cosmetic surgeries. As she sauntered onto the stage in all white, her nose looked different for sure and her teeth looked fake. What Public Servants look like this?, I wondered. A young woman with glasses held on to Sandi's white full length fur jacket patiently while the Alderman gave her birthday speech.
She spoke about the lovely gifts her husband gave her and even took a shot at the press about the allegations of Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s mistress. "They are trying to take our shine, baby." she yelled into the mic. After Jesse singing a horrible rendition of "Happy Birthday," I knew it was time to go.
I met Sandi on my way out while she made her rounds and she hugged me tight as though she knew who I was. "It's so nice to see you again." she said with a huge smile. She went to the next guest and said the same thing.
I went outside where the press waited for Sandi to address her husband's infidelity. I got into my car and thought how much money was received that night. I felt like I had been duped into giving to what I thought was a worthy cause. My disgust was so great that I even tried to place a stop pay on the $100 check I gave.
Turns out, fuckers cashed it 10:00 am the next morning before I had the opportunity to call my bank.
Now that shit has hit the fan, maybe the Jacksons will learn that life isn't all about wealth and more about the people in the community. A public servant should be like you and I. They should understand the plight of the human circumstance and not try to take advantage of the kindness of others. An example should be made and the strictest penalties should apply.
This example should be the cornerstone for those who come forward to be a voice for the people.
This wall of corruption in Illinois needs to be destroyed brick by brick.
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