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Not Much Mention Of Congressman At PUSH Forum

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) talks to reporters on Dec. 8, 2011, about the sentencing of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich a day earlier. Blagojevich was convicted of trying to get $1.5 million in campaign cash from Jackson supporters in exchange for appointing Jackson to the U.S. Senate. Jackson has denied directing anyone to offer Blagojevich campaign cash. (Credit: CBS)

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) talks to reporters on Dec. 8, 2011, about the sentencing of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich a day earlier. Blagojevich was convicted of trying to get $1.5 million in campaign cash from Jackson supporters in exchange for appointing Jackson to the U.S. Senate. Jackson has denied directing anyone to offer Blagojevich campaign cash. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (STMW) – There was little mention of what has been going on with U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. at Saturday morning’s Rainbow-PUSH forum at the organization’s South Side headquarters.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. did not say anything about his son. The only speaker at the forum to directly speak about the congressman — who has taken a medical leave and is at an inpatient treatment center because of a mood disorder and exhaustion, his office says — was his brother Jonathan Jackson, who thanked those who have prayed for and supported the congressman and the Jackson family.

“On behalf of my brother, I thank you all for your prayers (and) your ongoing consideration,” he said.

At one point in the hour-long program, Jonathan Jackson, who is the national spokesman for Rainbow-PUSH, discussed the many torture cases that involved former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge. Andre Davis, who spent 32 years in prison and was released earlier this month after his conviction for the rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl was overturned, joined Jackson onstage at PUSH. With Davis standing at his side, Jonathan Jackson remarked that during his time in prison Davis’s mother never gave up hope that her son would be exonerated and released. “It’s a sad day,” Jackson said, “but my mother is standing with my brother.”

The only other mention of Rep. Jackson at PUSH Saturday morning was when a participant in a roundtable discussion of voter suppression and voting rights with Rev. Jackson said, “Congressman Jackson wrote a book 12 years ago, ‘A More Perfect Union,’” which addressed race and states’ rights and how the two are intertwined.

Jonathan Jackson also spoke of the violence on Chicago’s streets and stated that in spite of things such as the torture of suspects that happened under Burge, “We have to rebuild the trust between the community and the police. We have to help and honor the police.” He also encouraged anyone who had information regarding crimes to come forward and share that information with police, “to get the dangerous criminals and murderers off our streets.”

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.