Mr. Jackson if You’re Nasty

10 Jul

Seth: No, I’m not talking about our pale, plastic surgery loving neighborhood (alleged) child predator. I’m talking about Jesse Jackson. Yes, Jesse Jackson of Civil Rights fame, the man who ran twice for the Democratic nomination in the 80s. Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Jesse Jackson. Had a baby by a different woman Jesse Jackson. Anyway, hopefully you all know what he’s done, if not, check out the story over on I ran across an article on The Root (complete article can be found here) that looks beyond Mr. Jackson’s comments as those coming from simply “an old fool who doesn’t know how to act” and examines how Black America isn’t really prepared for this moment. Some excerpts:

But in a deeper sense, his stunningly inappropriate comments symbolize the social, political and psychological vertigo that all of us, and especially black Americans, are experiencing because of Obama’s success. We are all, including Obama, in a place we never really thought we would be, and it has knocked us off our feet. We don’t know how to act. We don’t have a plan. We’re searching for our equilibrium. And until we regain our footing, we can expect all sorts of bizarre behavior from people who ought to know better.

We haven’t really been in a place this confusing since 1954, when the NAACP’s crusade against segregation culminated in the Brown vs. Board decision and the walls came tumbling down. It’s fair to say that we were so focused on winning that fight that we weren’t prepared for the victory or its aftermath. We’ve spent nearly 60 years since then trying to figure out what kind of relationship we want to have with America and with each other. For the most part, we, like Jackson Sr., have seen ourselves as outsiders battling for justice and a seat at the table. Our default has been to protest. And while that mindset has served us well, it has, in a flash, been made damn near obsolete by the prospect, even the likelihood, that one of us may soon become the most powerful man in the world.

They [Obama’s comments on issues such as the FISA court, Second Amendment and more] represent the first stirrings of a new consensus that places more emphasis on a public discussion of personal responsibility than on protest…

He hasn’t said anything most of us haven’t heard or said at the dinner table. But now, because Obama is who he is, the whole world is listening in to the conversation.

The attention makes us uncomfortable and disoriented. So does the prospect that one of us might soon be in charge of trying to fix this mess instead of simply complaining about it.

We’re not really ready for the day when The Man becomes a black man.

Personally, I believe this is what happens in politics. Attacks can be even harsher when they come from friends who disagree and feel personally betrayed. Mr. Jackson could have made these comments one second and hugged Senator Obama the next. That’s politics. And this time it happened to get out in the open. On another note, the program he was on, Fox & Friends, is a quality Sunday morning show. Check it out one week.


2 Responses to “Mr. Jackson if You’re Nasty”

  1. jennifer February 21, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    hello mr.jackson i am doing a project on you can you tell me about your life


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