Journalist Danielle Young, who currently works at The Root, claims that she was sexually harassed by that Rev. Jesse Jackson at her previous workplace.
Young recalls Jackson going to speak at her former place of employment, and said that despite a photo taken of her smiling, it was a much different story. She wrote an article titled, “Don’t Let the Smile Fool You. I’m Cringing on the Inside.”
In the piece, she went into depth about what happened to her at the “very popular media company.”
She said that when Jackson came to speak, he specifically spoke about black journalists and their responsibility. Then each audience member had a chance to speak with him after his speech.
As Young approached Jackson, she suddenly became a gazelle in the sights of a hungry lion.
“I walked toward Jackson, smiling, and he smiled back at me.” she said, “His eyes scanned my entire body. All of a sudden, I felt naked in my sweater and jeans.”
“As I walked within arm’s reach of him, Jackson reached out a hand and grabbed my thigh, saying, ‘I like all of that right there!’ and gave my thigh a tight squeeze,” Young recalled.
She said that she immediately giggled in response because she did not know how to react. It was a “defense mechanism.” Some may call BS on that, but I can personally say that I have also used laughter as a way to ease an awkward advance that I did not know how to react to.
Young said, “And I continued to giggle as he pulled me in closer, stared down at my body, smiled and told me he was only kidding,.”
Her co-worker snapped a photo during that time, which shows her laughing. However, through that laughter, she was screaming on the inside.
i've heard stories abt Jesse Jackson and Singleton from middle-aged Black women since I was a kid. Believe them. https://t.co/5BkpbnggJL
— skkrrtt cobain🌺 (@tirhakahlove) November 7, 2017
Young described feeling “deflated” after meeting Jackson, a man who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement.
She told a friend about what happened just after the alleged incident.
Her friend was sympathetic, and recently recalled that Jackson had been “inappropriate with all the women. And I also remember you telling me that he did something more with you.”
But, the friend continued, “we brushed the s— off and chalked it up to him just being a dirty old man.”
Young said the incident was “casual” and admitted that she “almost didn’t even consider it sexual harassment.”
However, the flood gates have been flung open on public figures and their dirty deeds. This gave Young courage to speak out about what happened to her.
She said, “My silence gave Jackson permission to continue grabbing at the next pair of thick thighs he liked. I’m hoping that my voice does the opposite.”
While this is not the first time he has been accused of sexual harassment, his representative issued a statement saying, “Although Rev. Jackson does not recall the meeting three years ago, he profoundly and sincerely regrets any pain Ms. Young may have experienced.”