Even Though MLK day was back in January, their was a recent news story about Jesse Jackson that just made my jaw drop in disbelief. The short of the story is this. As you know, Martin Luther King was assassinated on his balcony in Tennessee. A shot rang out (what is believed to be a sniper) hit Mr. King leaving him in a pool of his own blood. The bullet entered the tip of his chin and tore half of his neck off.
Right before the shot rang out, Jesse Jackson, Ben Branch, and few others we celebrating a little after winning a recent court case (giving them more opportunities to march) in the parking lot. MLK actually just went upstairs to get ready for a dinner they were all going to that night. The shot rang out and MLK was assassinated. It was a mess for a few seconds with the police running in the wrong direction trying to find the suspect and with MLK’s friends running up to take care of Martin Luther King in his last moments.
Here is the part that I just couldn’t believe. Jesse Jackson went upstairs and placed his hands in the pool of blood and smeared it on his shirt. He went out to the public and stated “he died in my arms”. Because Jesse Jackson was in the parking lot and not on the balcony (as Jesse claimed) with Mr. King his statement was investigated. There were many photos taken during the final hours where Jesse Jackson was seen with the smeared shirt on. The next morning he was on the NBC “Today” show saying MLK “died in my arms”. It was later investigated and it turns out that statement was completely false. Jesse Jackson later apologies for the false statement.
It’s an interesting story to say the least. Did Jesse Jackson really have the “entrepreneurial instinct” to take advantage of a tragic moment. Remember at this time Jesse Jackson really had no opportunities. Was this lie (or cover-up) by Jesse Jackson really a move for him to take over the leadership role of the civil rights movement?