February 19, 2003


Jackson meant for these moments (MARK BROWN, February 18, 2003, Chicago SUN-TIMES)
Derrick Mosley is an upstart community activist who thought he had something special to contribute in the aftermath of Monday's deadly stampede at the E2 Chicago nightclub: a letter he says he sent two months ago to the club's president warning about overcrowded conditions and the potential for "catastrophic" results.

Mosley brought copies of his letter to Rainbow PUSH headquarters, where the Rev. Jesse Jackson was holding a combination prayer vigil and press briefing. Mosley said he'd been invited. It seemed like the kind of thing Jackson might showcase.

But when he started passing out his letters, Mosley found himself about as welcome as the proverbial skunk at a garden party. Urged to cool it, he kept quiet during Jackson's presentation. Afterward, when he consented to interviews, he was told by PUSH personnel to take it outside.

"There's a time and a season for all things," Jackson explained later.

Jackson said Monday's meeting, attended by the grieving family members of victim Antonio Myers, wasn't the time to be discussing who did what wrong at the nightclub.

Mosley found that a little odd, especially when it came out during the press briefing that Jackson had gone to bat for the club last summer at a time when city officials were seeking to crack down on the establishment.

"I don't know what their angle is, but I just don't think they're dealing with this candidly," Mosley said of Jackson and PUSH.

Before Central America turned her looney, Joan Didion said something quite profound, which the Jesse Jacksons of the world seem intent on keeping black America from discovering: "The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs." Posted by Orrin Judd at February 19, 2003 7:15 PM
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