I once tried to persuade Jesse Jackson. I happened to be riding on a private plane with him from somewhere to Washington — I’ve forgotten from where — and I got him started on it. And he acted as if he’d never heard of the idea, but of course he had. “Well, wonderful, splendid idea.” “Will you send your own children?” “Well, several of them are going to private schools, of course.”
Well, at any rate, you never heard another word from Jesse Jackson in favor of the voucher system. Why? Because where do the black leaders get their political clout? From being able to appoint people to school boards, from being able to get jobs in the school system for some of their people. They can get support out of the voters by voting for more money for education. But if once a voucher system were adopted, they would no longer have any political clout. And that is why every attempt to get a voucher system — and there have been many of them — has been destroyed and frustrated by the people with invested interest in not having it, in particular, the officials of the teachers’ trade unions, by the state employees’ unions and the political people like Jesse Jackson and other such political leaders. But the reason I cite this example — and I think it’s so dramatic — is because of the unwillingness of the black leaders to support something of which the major beneficiaries would be the people they’re supposedly representing.