So, media savvy Jesse Jackson got caught with his proverbial pants down. The microphone was still on as Jackson uttered the now infamous words “See, Barack’s been talking down to black people. … I want to cut his nuts of.” Interesting how someone who must obviously be very familiar with the functioning of media equipment managed to commit such a faux pas. I don’t think there’s a political pundit alive that believes that Jackson intended for his words to go unheard.
The problem is that Jackson and Obama approach black politics from very different angles. Jackson has always attempted to rally the troops to action with inflammatory words and combative beliefs. His blame-it-on-the-white-guy politics have never been effective as his failed presidential bids have proved.
Obama, on the other hand, realizes that, regardless of the reasons which may have kept some black people disenfranchised in the past, the future depends on their ability to move on. Obama’s call to action has nothing to do with protests or hostile words, and has everything to do with responsibility. As long as the black community continues to remain planted firmly in the past, the prospects for the future will continue to be barred by hate.
Obama has adopted a stance that identifies less with a past defined by slavery than a future based on success. Black American history has been so intent on placing blame that purveyors of hate like Jackson have been allowed to flourish. But, Obama has elected to follow a different path. And, good for him!
Barack Obama is not “talking down to black people”, he’s talking them up, and not out like Jackson has been allowed to do for several decades – to the detriment of the black community. Obama represents the blacks of this great nation in a light that encourages a cooperative government, not one that forces the beliefs of others into the spotlight. Obama seems to realize, as Jackson does not, that the success of the nation, and the people that live here, depends on the ability of everyone to work together, not against each other. As long as blame takes precedence over progress, someone’s gonna pay. And, in a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, it’s usually the group consumed by their own need to place blame that suffers.
So, get over it, Jesse. Your impotent attempt to emasculate Obama was as futile as your political career. Your time is over. And the time for a kinder, gentler form of action is at hand. Stop trying to fan the flames of anger and support Obama in his efforts to get past the obstacles that have kept blacks in this country from reaching their goals.
I don’t have all the answers either.
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