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Jesse Jackson: Trump won’t ‘succeed in taking us back’

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Rev. Jesse Jackson looked ahead Monday evening during an event to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Donald Trump’s presidency and declared: “We’re survivors.”

“Trump will not succeed in taking us back,” Jackson told hundreds gathered for the Beyond the Dream event at Cobo Center in Detroit. “Our power is in our hands.”

He touched on other aspects of the presidential election during the event for King.

“You mean 70,000 voters didn’t vote for president?” he said, referencing the more than 75,000 blank votes in Michigan’s presidential results, which prompted the Green Party to request a recount.

“We feel it was stolen,” Jackson said.

Jackson also touched onPresident Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act, over which rallies were held over the weekend to protest attempts to roll back health care coverage. Those events, too, talked about the power of protest.

“He has transformed health care,” he said. “It should be expanded. No repeal here.”

Jackson brought up Detroit’s tie to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as he spoke of its origination due to the efforts of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, and musician Stevie Wonder. Conyers introduced the first legislation for a federal holiday for King four days after King was assassinated, according to the King Center. Wonder released “Happy Birthday, ” a song in honor of King’s birthday, which became “a hit and a rallying cry” for a holiday, the center said.

The event Monday evening included vocal and dance performances by students at Cass Technical High School and Martin Luther King Jr. High School. The Rev. Wendell Anthony and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, also spoke.