How has Pastor Jackson handled this incident that so early shaped his own life and that of his family? In the same way that so many others from that era – and from previous eras – handled the degradation and injuries: relying on their faith in God, they forgave their tormentors and oppressors. The Rev. Richard Allen provides an excellent example of this Christian spirit. He had been a slave in Delaware; and while only a boy, he was sold separately from his mother, whom he never saw again. While still a slave, Allen became a Christian and began to preach on his and neighboring plantations. He eventually obtained his freedom, served in the American Revolution, became a minister, and then founded the AME denomination. Despite the grief and tragedy that he had personally experienced in his own life, he understood that bitterness only harms one of the two parties involved; and quite frankly, it harms the innocent party rather than the guilty one. Therefore, Rev. Allen wisely admonished those who had been mistreated:
Let no rancor or ill-will lodge in your heart for any bad treatment you may have received from any. If you do, you transgress against God, Who will not hold you guiltless. He would not suffer it even in His beloved people Israel; and you think He will allow it unto us? . . . I am sorry to say that too many think more of the evil than of the good they have received.
The Rev. Jackson – like so many black Americans before and after him – followed the teachings of Christianity and forgave his persecutors, holding no bitterness or ill-will – even to this day. Many today are unaware of how much pain there was and how real lynching was in recent generations – generations still alive. The Rev. Richard Allen Recall from the lynching numbers that even though almost 5,000 Americans were lynched, black Americans were lynched at a rate almost three times higher than whites. Why? According to Rep. John Roy Lynch:
More colored than white men are thus persecuted simply because they constitute in larger numbers the opposition to the Democratic Party.
Rep. Richard Cain agreed:
The bad blood of the South comes because the Negroes are Republicans. If they would only cease to be Republicans and vote the straight-out Democratic ticket there would be no trouble. Then the bad blood would sink entirely out of sight.
While the opposition of Democrats to African Americans was vividly demonstrated by lynching’s, Democratic assault went beyond lynching’s and included every possible form of onslaught against civil Rep. Richard Cain democratic presidential candidate Horace Greeley telling a black voter that if he will join the democrats, the Klan will leave him alone rights. This fact was widely known by black Americans; as confirmed by Rep. Joseph Hayne Rainey:
You gentlemen on the Democratic side of the House have voted against all the . . . amendments of the Constitution and the civil rights laws enforcing the same. Why did you do it? I answer, because those measures had a tendency to give to the poor Negro his just rights. . . . And give him freedom of speech, freedom of action, and the opportunity of education, that he might elevate himself to the dignity of manhood. Now you come to us and say that you are our best friends. We would that we could look upon you as such. We would that your votes as recorded . . . from day to day could only demonstrate it. But your votes, your actions, and the constant cultivation of your cherished prejudices prove to the Negroes of the entire country that the Democrats are in opposition to them; and if the Democrats could have sway have their way, our race would have no foothold here. . . . The Democratic Party may woo us, they may court us and try to get us to worship at their shrine, but I will tell the gentleman that we are Republicans by instinct, and we will be Republicans as long as God will allow our proper senses to hold sway over us.
The other stuff is important but this is really, really big time. - David Barton