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CNNFN: Lou Dobbs - Transcript

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SHOW: LOU DOBBS TONIGHT 06:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
July 2, 2004 Friday

KITTY PILGRIM, GUEST HOST: Tonight, new violence in Iraq one day after an Iraqi court charged Saddam Hussein with mass murder. Terrorists attack a hotel used by Westerners in Baghdad, and insurgents killed four American troops.

Tonight, I will talk with "TIME" magazine's bureau chief in Baghdad, Michael Ware.

Job growth slows sharply in June. The economy created 112,000 new jobs, half the number expected.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We don't need boom- or bust-type growth. We want just steady, consistent growth.


PILGRIM: Tonight, I will talk about the economy and its impact on the presidential election with Ron Brownstein at the "Los Angeles Times" and Mark Morrison at "BusinessWeek."

And Bill Cosby launches an outspoken attack on some African-Americans. Cosby says they are wasting the opportunities won by the Civil Rights Movement.


PILGRIM: Our next guest invited Bill Cosby to speak at the Rainbow Push Coalition Conference. The Reverend Jesse Jackson is the finder of the Rainbow Push Coalition. And he joins me tonight from Chicago. Thanks for joining us, Reverend Jackson.

Some people have been very critical of Mr. Cosby's remarks. But you agree with them, don't you?

REV. JESSE JACKSON, FOUNDER RAINBOW PUSH COALITION: Yes. But let me say before responding to Bill that this is a significant day, this is the 40th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. July 2, 1964. I had just left jail, so I remember it very well.

And Marlon Brando, who died today, was a huge factor in helping to challenge the culture. Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. and Harry Belafonte. And for all he did to make America better, I want to offer condolences to the family of Marlon Brando, a hero not just on the screen but a hero in the streets and the commitment to social justice and to peace.

PILGRIM: Thanks very much, Reverend Jackson for adding that to our broadcast. Let me go back to my initial question, however, how do you react to Mr. Cosby's remarks?

JACKSON: Well, Bill's intent was to inspire, to lift up, not to put down. And there's a context of what Bill said. We were on the 50th anniversary, the '54 Supreme Court decision, was obviously schools are still unequal, unequal by race, and when you're behind, you cannot afford to put less than your best effort.

You do not find degradation with self-degradation and self-destruction. Bill's appeal is for parents to take charge of a relationship early on. Why can't parents take your child to school, meet your child's teacher, exchange home numbers, turn off the TV three hours a night, pick up your child's report card. That level of values will add value. That really was a prodding and a charting for us to do better.

PILGRIM: I think that would strike accord with any parent. However, Mr. Cosby did say that young African-Americans are failing to honor the sacrifices of those made during the civil rights movement. Would you agree with that?

JACKSON: And that's true for too many. Because there are too many high school drop-outs with no place to go. Of those in jail, 90 percent are high school drop-outs, 80 percent of them are on some nonviolent drug charge and 75 percent are recycled back into the system.

And while there is, in fact, race targeting, no profiling, there's no doubt about that, against those odds what do you do? If you're behind, you run faster. You may not be responsible for being down, but you must be responsible for getting up.

We all aware that under Mr. Bush, leave no child behind has left 2 million behind, and 300,000 after-school programs have been wiped out. But having said all of that, what do you do? If you're an athlete, why do we do so well in football, basketball, baseball? We practice harder, we're more determined and we run faster because we will to excel.

Bill is saying will to become scientists, physicians, doctors, lawyers, judges, astronauts, apply the same commitment to academics that we do athletics and we will achieve much more and we will break the cycle of self-destruction and self-degradation. It's strong medicine, but it's good advice.

PILGRIM: Do you think this kind of straight talk more should be done of this?

JACKSON: The fact is, it's not a new message. It's in every church, every Sunday. It's intriguing to white people, it's not a new message to black people. I hold history of one against us. Most black children don't drop out of school. Most black parents do connect with the children and their teachers. Most of them do maintain their ambition to send their child to college or to, in fact, for them to be better off than they were.

What's new, of course, it seems a kind of intrigue by the press. My concern is there's almost no focus on-Bill also talked about a million black votes, for this disenfranchised in the year 2000. No talk about that. He spoke of an inadequate number of well paid teachers, he spoke of too few psychologists for children who are in emotional trouble. That was dismissed. Only the part of kind of challenging blacks as if will Bill was getting blacks. He was not getting blacks.

He was challenging blacks against these odds, do what they did, put your life on the line, work hard. We have the brains and strong minds. He in effect is saying let nothing break your spirit. It's not new for people to degrade us, but let's not set the grade, let's not self-destruct, let's do our best against the odds, and in spite of the odds, we will achieve.

PILGRIM: Wow. Reverend Jesse Jackson, thanks very much.

JACKSON: Thank you.



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