Another day, another Barack Obama controversy.
But this time it comes from an unexpected source. The Reverend Jesse Jackson was on FOX News and despite doing thousands of interviews, he apparently forgot his microphone was on.
Jackson was appearing on Fox News on July 6 when a microphone picked up his remark suggesting that Obama was “talking down to black people”‘ in recent speeches at black churches, according to a tape of the comments played on Bill O’Reilly’s show on the Fox News Channel.
He then said, referring to Obama, “I want to cut his nuts off,”‘ according to the Fox News Web site. At the time, he was speaking to Reed Tuckson, executive vice president and chief medical officer of United Health Group Inc. link
Things being as they are this political season, Jackson quickly issued an apology to Obama.
“I offer apologies. Anything I said in a hot-mic statement that’s interpreted as a distraction, I offer apologies for that,” Jackson said at a news conference yesterday after his remarks became public.
“I have supported Barack’s campaign with passion from the very beginning. I thought the very idea made sense,”‘ Jackson said. “We’ve been there all the way, because I think this campaign is a redemptive moment for America and a great opportunity to redefine America.”
Even Jesse’s own son, Jesse Jackson Jr. wasn’t hearing that noise. “I thoroughly reject and repudiate his ugly rhetoric,”‘ the lawmaker said in a statement. “He should keep hope alive and any personal attacks and insults to himself.”
What do Jesse Jackson and Brett Favre have in common?
Besides the fact they both need realize their better days are behind them, get up off of the comebacks and finally sit their tired old asses in a rocking chair somewhere, not much.
What we’re seeing here is a generation gap.
Jackson represents an once formidable, but now played out paradigm. it’s one that I respect and admire, but dammit Jesse—GET OFF THE STAGE.
Jackson is feeling the loss of power and prestige like a blow to the head. He won’t go away and he won’t allow anyone else to take the spotlight. Not his son. Not Barack Obama. Not anyone.
The unofficial Black President of the United States sees himself being marginalized by the possible first official Black President of the United States. He should relax. Obama isn’t trying to replace Jackson. He represents the logical extension of what Jackson and Dr. King marched for: a Black man who stands a damn good chance of becoming the Most Powerful Man in the free world based not on the color of his skin, but the content of his character.
It’s sad to see someone I’ve admired for years make a fool of himself. But this is what happens when you stay on the stage too long and don’t know how to bow out gracefully.
Let’s get something straight: Jesse Jackson’s biggest cause has always been doing what’s best for Jesse Jackson.
And Jesse might have a personal reason to be ticked off at Barack Obama about his call for Black men to be men and take responsibility. Jackson has his own “baby daddy” issues.
As a member of the Columbus Association of Black Journalists, we received an e-mail blast from one member with an open letter to Reverend Jackson from Najee Ali, a community activist out of Los Angeles:
Obama’s recent comments about Black fathers not abandoning their children and accepting moral responsibility in our lives is a lesson you apparently needed to learn when you were younger. If you had, it may not have caused you to cheat on your wife and father a child out of wedlock with a former staffer.
Maybe that’s what really bothered you about Obama’s message to the church that Black fathers should be responsible for their children; you certainly haven’t been.
Living in Los Angeles I have watched your ten year old daughter Ashley Laverne Jackson grow up. Over the years I have had the pleasure to spend several holidays with your daughter including Christmas, her birthday parties and other milestones in her life. I will never turn my back on Ashley her mom and their family. It’s about providing friendship, support and love to them while you have been missing in action.
Your daughter has never traveled or taken a trip with you, you have an annual birthday party in Beverly Hills every year where your entire family is welcome but your youngest child has only attended it once. She has had very little contact with her siblings and has never even met her big brother Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr, who apparently doesn’t want anything to do with her. And allegedly (I believe it to be true ), he was the one to leak the scandal to the media concerning your affair. Now don’t get me wrong, Obama is not above reproach. He is a politician and is fair game to be fairly criticized by you or anyone else. But to personally attack Obama is crossing the line. Obama is not talking down to Black people; he wants you and other dead beat dads to spend time and care for your children properly. The destruction of the Black family and absentee fathers is a major problem in our community.
It’s a problem that King spoke out and fought against. 40 years after King’s murder I can see why King didn’t trust you. If you can’t and won’t sincerely help Obama in this historic run then at least stop attacking him. Listen to Obama’s message of being a responsible father and start taking care of your daughter Ashley.
Let’s not be so quick to lionize Jackson that we forget that while he was counseling President Clinton over his betrayal of his wife during the tawdry Monica Lewinsky affair, he was engaged in a illicit affair with Karin Stanford.. One serial womanizer shows understanding to another serial womanizer. Game recognizes game.
If Jesse Jackson had the slightest interest in leaving the stage so youth may be served, I might agree about passing the torch. The thing is Jackson won’t get off the stage. For years and years he’s fended off any and all challenges to his self-appointed title as the Unofficial President of Black America. The only contender was Al Sharpton and he had to drop some lbs, trade in the warm-up gear for tailored suits and get the perm out of his hair before anyone could take him seriously.
This isn’t 1988. It’s 2008 and twenty years dead and gone, Jackson is still peddling the same old snake oil. Up with hope. Down with dope. I am somebody. Please Mr. Corporate CEO, write a fat check for Operation: PUSH and the Rainbow Coalition or we’ll organize a boycott of your racist butt.
Then along comes Barack Obama. Also from Chicago. Already in shape. Good looking. Well spoken. Equally ambitious, but while respectful of Jackson, Obama never had to kiss the Godfather’s ring and ask for his blessing. And that annoys the living hell out of Jackson. Obama doesn’t owe him a damn thing and that really burns his butt.
Jackson is, was and has always been a relentless self-promoter. Nothing wrong with that. Everybody’s got to have their own hustle. I was willing to look the other way because the greater good Jackson did mitigated his own obvious self-promotion. enrichment and horndog behavior.
But let’s not pretend for one damn minute that if there’s ever a Mount Rushmore of Civil Rights Icons, Jesse belongs up there alongside Rosa Parks and Dr. King. There’s way too much dirt, scandal and sleaze in Jesse’s background for him to pass the entrance exam.
It’s never easy for the old and the tired to give way to the young and the energetic, but it’s the way of the world and even Jesse Jackson has to recognize his days at the headliner are over.