Longtime Civil Rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, in Chattanooga on Friday on the eve of a Neo-Nazi rally, encouraged citizens not to attend the event scheduled for Saturday "not because we're scared but because we're wise."
The neo-Nazi event is being put on at 2:30 p.m. at the County Courthouse lawn by the National Socialist Movement.
Rev. Jackson urged attendees of the "Peace and Love Rally," held at Olivet Baptist Church, not to give the hate group any extra attention.
He said to focus instead on issues such as education and job creation. He said, "These items are on our agenda and the Nazis cannot provide those."
He said, "Hate will not win this battle. Fear will not win this battle. Our light has the power to cast out darkness."
Instead of focusing on hate, he said to "stand with courage, stand for decency and dignity. Choose like wise men to go the other way...Don't let them break your spirit."
Rev. Jackson also asked members of the audience to remind their children "how we won wars without bullets," regarding civil rights.
He said, "We march for jobs, we march for education...If we change our minds, we can change our situation. If you want to stop drugs, don't wish for it. March for it."
He told the audience that there is already too much violence in our country. He said, "We lost about 6,000 soldiers in Iraq in 10 years...We lose 30,000 Americans per year to gun violence. We're the most violent nation on earth."
Before a closing prayer, he also reminded the audience, "If we have the faith, God has the power."