For MLK Day: Rainbow Economics (from March 1988)

As part of our 45th-anniversary celebrations, we reprinted an article from the D&S archives in each issue over the past year.  Our November/December issue featured “Rainbow Economics: Evaluating Jackson’s Platform,” by former D&S co-editor Timothy A. Wise (now of the Small Planet Institute), from the March 1988 issue.

You can see the full reprint here.

The 1988 Jackson campaign and the Rainbow Coalition was a bridge between Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign for economic justice and the multiracial coalition of Bernie Sanders’ current presidential campaign.

This passage from the article could have been talking about Bernie Sanders’ current primary campaign:

On March 8, the “Super Tuesday” primaries take place in 20 states, including every Southern state except South Carolina. Based on his popularity in that region, the Rev. Jesse Jackson is likely to emerge from Super Tuesday a leading vote-getter.

Progressives need to make up their minds about the Jackson candidacy, yet the platform he will take into the Democratic Party convention is a mystery to most. The mainstream media treat the Jackson candidacy with indifference. His front-runner status is considered a mirage, his speeches to enthusiastic crowds go unreported, and his comments at debates receive cursory mention.

In the wake of the October stock market crash, the economy may be the crucial issue in the campaign. It’s time to look behind the charisma and rhetoric at the economic program Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition are presenting. That program, while not a direct challenge to capitalism, nevertheless offers specific policies that address some of the more oppressive features of the U.S. economy.

In fact, Sanders was famously endorsed Jackson’s 1988 campaign, one of the few prominent politicians to do so.  Here Sanders announces his endorsement: