Posted Nov. 26, 2008 – The two highest profile civil rights leaders in the nation, the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, say their roles will not change as America ushers in its first Black president.
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''The issues haven't gone away,'' Sharpton told the Wilmington Journal. ''Barack Obama said this is the beginning of change. This is not change itself. It's almost insulting to act like Blacks should now shut up just because we have a Black president.'' In an interview, Sharpton refuted widely held perceptions and debates by pundits and TV personalities that President-Elect Barack Obama will now become America's new Black Leader.
Both Jackson and Sharpton said in interviews that while they are celebrating the historic election, it is ridiculous to think that a sitting president could single-handedly eliminate all the problems in the Black community. Jackson says Obama will make their jobs much easier.
''When you have a good president who is positive, you tend to get remedy,'' he says. ''When you have a guy like Bush, who is hostile, you tend to get rejection.''