COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The Reverend Jesse Jackson visited Columbus Friday, ahead of an event that evening at the National Urban League convention.
Jackson, who had just returned from a weeklong trip to the Korean Peninsula, was set to receive an award for his service at Friday night’s event.
His trip was a peace mission, where he visited South Korea and came just a few miles from the demilitarized zone that separates the country from North Korea.
“We must figure out a way, a more civilized way to resolve conflict other than nuclear weapons,” Jackson said.
It was Jackson’s first visit to the peninsula since 1986. He spoke about recent developments in that area, including North Korea’s attendance at the Olympics and the summit in Singapore between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“It’s about stopping the violence and making the world more safe and creating more trade, and family reunification,” Jackson said.
In today’s world, Jackson said, he believes peace on the Korean peninsula is critical to a safer and better world.
“Whenever there’s a wall between people, whether it’s Korean to Korean or black and white, whenever there’s a wall, behind the wall is always ignorance and fear and hatred and violence,” Jackson said.
He described a better way, by building bridges and tearing down walls. But he said Americans have work to do, too, on issues such as immigration.
“The whole world is watching what’s happening to us in Mexico and on the border, and we’re losing moral authority every day,” Jackson said of the separation of families at the border.
He also said violence and poverty are big issues across the country and spoke of the working poor in Ohio.
“They work but they cannot pay tuition at Ohio Wesleyan, Ohio State or Oberlin,” Jackson said. “They work but they can’t afford healthcare.”
Jackson also had kind words to say about Ohio’s governor.
“I think that you are getting a gift out of Ohio in John Kasich,” Jackson said. “I think your governor here is a real civilized alternative to what’s happening in Washington now and I hope that he will keep his voice in the mix.”
Jackson’s grandson, Jesse Jackson III, accompanied him on his trip to the Korean peninsula, as well as to Columbus for the Urban League event.