White House Access Denied

By Harris, Hamil | The New Crisis, September/October 2002 | Go to article overview

White House Access Denied


Harris, Hamil, The New Crisis


Charging that the White House has "locked out" the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the NAACP and other civil rights groups, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson is planning a prayer vigil outside the U.S. Justice Department to "ask God to open closed doors."

"This is the worst president in 50 years when it comes with meeting with African American leaders and civil rights groups," says Jackson, who heads the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. "The NAACP has not talked to Bush. The Congressional Black Caucus can't get a meeting. He won't meet with the National Organization for Women, the AFL-CIO and others."

Jackson says the Sept. 13 vigil will take place as a moral appeal to Attorney General John Ashcroft, who wears his religion (Pentecostal Assemblies of God) on his sleeve.

"There are more than 1,000 Arab Americans locked up in jail, and they have not been afforded due process," Jackson says. "This is gross neglect of equal protection and a total disregard of civil rights protections." Civil rights protections." Civil rights leaders would also like to be heard on election reform, education, health, criminal justice and tax cut issues.

When President Bush was first elected, members of the Black caucus were invited to the White House for a get-acquainted meeting on Jan. 31, 2001, but since that time CBC Chair Rep. …

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