Jesse Jackson On Thailand, 25 April 2009

Actually, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson didn’t mention Thailand with a single word when the FCCT recently had the honor of welcoming the twice U.S. presidential candidate to a keynote speech and Q&A. Still, indirectly he gave some advice to a Thailand whose current strifes are moderate compared to America’s former - and still ongoing - race and class struggles.

When talking about U.S. President Barack Obama “as the man who reaches out” Jackson very much talked about Thailand. About the methodology how a conflict can and has to be approached. Obama reaching out to Cuba, Venezuela and Islam as a metaphor for our very own Obamark reaching out to his own palette of enemies.

Not that easy in the case of torn Thailand you will say. Jesse Jackson, who has witnessed a lot more conflict in his life than our peculiar Thai leaders, answered: “What small gestures can do to open up dialog. When you reach out you may lose,” he went on. “If you don’t reach out you’re guaranteed to lose. You can’t afford to not reach out.”

Today he “feels good about the progress our nation has made” under Obama. Structural inequality still exists. Blacks may call the world’s best female tennis player and the world’s best golfer their own. But blacks also remain number one in infant mortality, short life expectancy and forced foreclosures while whites …

Wanna talk colors? Yellow and red and blue? Their deadly bickering seems so much more trivial and miniscule in comparison to a true leader being able to reach out to the archrivals of his predecessor. On the quite bigger global stage that is.