STEPHANIE SHEPPARD, with her 12-year-old son in tow, walked to Malcolm X Park in West Philadelphia on Sunday, worried that she'd never elbow close enough to see the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was set to speak at a "get out and vote" rally.
"I figured it would be so crowded," Sheppard, 48, a mom of eight, said as she stood under towering oak trees at 52nd and Pine streets. "I mean he's such a great icon."
But with under 100 people in the sprawling park, where some people grilled burgers, hot dogs and chicken, Sheppard easily made her way near the base of the simple, white wooden stage to wait for the civil-rights leader.
Sheppard shook her head at the sparse crowd. "I just don't understand. Some people around here just don't know what's going on," she said. "They just don't care."
Maybe they recognize Jackson for the race-baiting opportunist that he is. Maybe they thought that the father of a son in real big trouble should be at his side. Maybe folks actually took the time to look at the statistical facts and see that the black community (which Jackson claims to champion) has really taken a beating from Obama's policies.Under a warm fall sun, she glanced at the rowhouses across the street where hardly anyone sat on their stoops. Maybe they were inside watching the Eagles game. Maybe they didn't know Jackson was coming.
Or...the Eagles game was on.