By Patricia Wilson-Smith
Are you like me? When you saw the video today of Jesse Jackson whispering to an unknown guest about cutting off Senator Obama’s family jewels on FOX NEWS no less, did you cringe? Did you pray for a meteor or asteroid (I’ve never known the difference) to fall from the sky and incinerate Reverend Rude in an instant and in such a way that it would leave everything and everyone who might be around him intact and unharmed?
A better question – when you heard that self-serving, foul-mouthed, political call-boy say what could only be described as “the dumbest crap I’ve ever heard, bar none” with a look on his face like he’d just stolen the last Pop-Tart and left the empty box in the pantry right before dinner, did YOU read more into it than the media did?
I did. But first things first.
By now, unless you’ve been sleeping off a Twinkie binge, you know that Jesse Jackson, my favorite foot-in-mouther and yours, was caught yet a-(damned)-gain on tape, casting aspersions on our favorite Senator. I wish I could tell you that he accused Senator Obama os bad breath. I wish I could tell you that he had questioned, oh, Senator Obama’s taste in neck ties. Heck, I even wish I could report to you that in a moment of mysogeny, he lewdly declared Michelle Obama, “hot like lava”. I wish I could tell you that he had said ANYTHING but what came out of his mouth when he thought he wasn’t being heard. But hey – we ARE talking about Jesse Jackson here.
At some point during his interview with Fox Fake-News channel, Reverend (I REPEAT) REVEREND Jesse Jackson let the following words slip from his lips: (Viewer Discretion Is Advised):
“See, Barack been, um, talking down to black people. I wanna cut his nuts off.”
My boy definitely gets the “WTF” award for this week. Listen, what he said was shocking, true. But WHAT he said, was not nearly as shocking as HOW he said it. If you haven’t seen the video, please take five and locate it on CNN and have a look. I’ll wait.
Did you see what I saw?!?! There was an insidiousness to his remarks, and the devious way he let them slither out of his mouth just oozed, “Yeah – this dude thinks he’s taken the love of my black people away from ME?!?! He thinks he can roll through and usurp my ‘I-almost-became-president-even-though-I-never-really-got-close’ legacy?!?!? Aw, naw, naw, he’s actually been talkin’ down to my people, so I’m ’bout to expose him for what he really is, thus restoring the faith and love of da black race to its rightful place – with me, with me, WITH MEEEEEEEE!!!”
Stop – don’t close the browser! I’m being harsh, you say? I’m reading too much into Jesse’s latest round of jaw jappin’ you say? Uhhhhh, I don’t think so. And here’s why.
As you may recall, in a previous article, I wrote about my suspicions that Jesse Jackson’s hesitance to back Barack Obama at the time was probably attributable to a pretty bad Hatorade habit. My supposition was that Reverend Jackson, himself once a Presidential candidate of course, simply could not fathom the success of the young, popular upstart from Illinois, and similarly, could not resist (again, at the time) publicly dissing his efforts to win the Democratic nomination. Further, I hypothesized that Mr. Jackson would rather have done whatever he could to derail Senator Obama so that he could stand over his political carcass and cry, “See, he’s JUST as black and unelectable as I am!!! See! Seeeeeeeeee!”, than stand by the historic sidelines as someone who came outta nowhere, put together a stellar campaign organization, and by all accounts just did it all better, faster, and stronger than Jesse was able to.
And I’m sorry folks, I believe it to this day. Jesse just can’t stop hating on my boy. So let’s just revisit once again, PRECISELY what Reverend “Needs-To-Focus-On-Hatin-The-Game” had to say to the co-guest on Fox News who shall remain nameless:
“See, Barack been, um, talking down to black people. I wanna cut his nuts off.”
Okay. Here’s the real problem with this, people – I watched the video half a dozen times. Mr. Jackson has already started to call in his explanations to the media, saying that he was taken ‘out of context’, so I’ve been sitting here, squinting at the screen as I watch the video for the last half hour, turning my head from side to side, trying to do something, anything that would make me hear or see what he said in any other context than what he, well, meant to say it in. No luck.
The look on his face, the tone in his voice, the very way he delivered that last line – “I wanna cut his nuts off”, did not say, “Man, I’m so MAD at Barack, I could just CUT HIS NUTS OFF!” No. It said, “I GOT this sucka now!”
Let that marinate. Feel free to go watch the video again and tell me what YOU see.
But here’s the best part – I’ve also heard his apology, and while his contrition might seem convincing, his explanation of what he meant to convey is laughable. Reverend Jackson actually presumes to lecture Senator Obama on the need to deliver a ‘broader, moral’ message to black people, one that doesn’t look down on them, but stresses urban justice, and pushes for policies that I guess will somehow magically make so many black men stop leaving their kids in single parent homes. This from a man who had to briefly withdraw from public life after it was discovered that he had not only, a) fathered a love child with a young hottie on his staff during an extra-marital affair, but b), used Rainbow Push Coalition money to fund a move for her, and to pay her for “consulting services”. THIS man let the word ‘moral’ spring from his lips today.
Now, I realize that Jesse is no stranger to controversy, or to sticking his foot in his mouth, and that you might be thinking that I’m over-reacting somewhat. By I have to disagree – in an age where black women are heading up more households than ever before, and when 70% of OUR children are born out of wedlock, and when it seems more of our men go to prison than earn college degrees, some things needed to be said, and I support Senator Obama 100% in having the courage to say them.
But – I also acknowledge that some of Jesse’s points have merit. A broader conversation DOES need to take place about the fact that in this country, a college-educated black man will still tend to be overlooked in favor of a white man with none of his credentials by most corporate recruiters. And a broader conversation DOES need to occur about the fact that the residual effects of slavery are still being felt in our communities, even if just financially. And a broader conversation DOES need to take place about the self-loathing and doubt that often times derail our efforts to snatch our rightful chunk of the American Dream.
We need to have LOTS fo conversations. But the FIRST one we need to have is about why one of our prolific black leaders would ever feel the need to cut anything off of Senator Obama or anyone else, literally or figuratively. There needs to be a discussion about the public faces, and the not-so public faces of the people that we trust to represent our interests, even informally. And there needs to be a discussion about how if we can’t come together as a people to support one of our own, someone who is clearly so ready, so capable, so destined to lead this country, we cannot possibly hope to come together and have a meaningful dialog aobut how to begin to make a dent in the socio-economic condition of so many of our masses who have been left behind – that “broader, moral” discussion Reverend Jackson so passionately seeks.
That’s IT, son. You just lost your civil rights leader card. You do NOT get to proclaim yourself a leader of black men, and then connive and scheme to derail the efforts of one of our beloved. The Obama train is headed to the future, Jesse – for some reason, you’ve chosen to hold onto the end of it, your heels digging into the dirt, sparks flying, trying to slow it down. What’s worse? Today, Reverend Jackson, you proved that you’d even go so far as to pull the emergency brake on the train that so many of us are riding on, if given half a chance. And that sucks.
So, what us gon’ do for a leader now, Black America? Hey! I know! I say we go with the man that has shown that he can lead ALL Americans, and conduct himself always in a way that we can respect and be proud of as Black Americans. It’s been pretty sad to watch the shenanigans of some of the men who claim to have our best interests at heart during this process – Andrew Young, John Lewis (before he converted), Jesse. It’s disheartening, but I guess we can take solace in the fact that even the dirtiest of dirt done in the dark always comes to light. Man, you think Jesse would have learned THAT lesson by now.