Barack Obama

Lifting Up, Talking Down

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Re: the latest Obama kurfuffle: Didn't Jesse Jackson spend the '70s giving "moral lectures" to black people? I'm reading Paul Cowan's invaluable The Tribes of America, first published in 1979 and reprinted earlier this year. It includes a fascinating profile of Jackson, who in those days mixed left-wing economic views with socially conservative ideas, and who frequently preached the importance of turning off the TV, giving as much attention to academics as athletics, and the rest of the self-improvement litany.

Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama are very different men, and I'm sure there are enormous divergences between Jackson's performances then and Obama's performances now. (Obama probably isn't prone to praising corporal punishment or denouncing abortion as murder.) But I'd like to hear more about what exactly was bugging the nut-cutting reverend. Is it personal jealousy? A difference in tone and style? A lingering feeling that Obama is an outsider in the black community? Or does Jackson feel that Obama's recent speeches to blacks are actually intended for white consumption—that he's patronizing his audiences by using them as props?

The floor is open to alternative theories.

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  1. a fascinating profile of Jackson, who in those days mixed left-wing economic views with socially conservative ideas

    George W Bush is the white Jesse Jackson?

  2. Why Jesse Jackson attacked Barack Obama

    Barack Obama represents an existential threat to Jesse Jackson. If he succeeds he badly undermines Jackson and his methods.

  3. I’m going with jealousy.

    I don’t think the prop angle would bother Jesse one bit, unless he’s mad that Obama stole his m.o. (which would be jealousy again).

  4. Obama will put jackson out of business if he is elected.

  5. The floor is open to alternative theories.

    Here’s mine, succinct and prescient, as always.

    Jesse Jackson is an attention whore who is rapidly fading into inconsequentiality. He doesn’t like it.

  6. Jesse “look at me” Jackson…’nuff said. Next topic, please.

  7. All of the above, plus the fact that Jackson will have no place in an Obama Administration, especially not the VP slot.

  8. Is it personal jealousy? A difference in tone and style? A lingering feeling that Obama is an outsider in the black community? Or does Jackson feel that Obama’s recent speeches to blacks are actually intended for white consumption — that he’s patronizing his audiences by using them as props?

    Yes.

  9. and who frequently preached the importance of turning off the TV

    while appearing on Sesame Street!

  10. The most side-splitting aspect of this entire kerfuffle and butthurt has been the sight of AL FUCKING SHARPTON reproachfully taking Jesse to the woodshed. You can’t buy entertainment like that.

  11. Both J sub D and R C Dean win. I’m not sure *What* they win, but still.

  12. Sharpton, for all his verbal idiosyncrasy, was never either as much of a scold nor as crazy as Jackson. And he still gets arrested with the best of ’em protesting stupid laws and stupid police actions, so he’s not all bad.

  13. We can theorize endlessly on the political motivations regarding these remarks, and there is probably some hefty validity to those of Jackson’s felt resentment of Obama’s success, etc. But I think what this really all comes down to is a gut, reactionary statement. Jackson feels Obama is an Uncle Tom. There’s no gentle way to put it. The tone of his voice in that tawdry Candid Camera moment said it all.

  14. Jackson feels Obama is an Uncle Tom.

    But Uncle Tom no longer exists as such. Aaron MacGruder observantly divided him into Uncle Ruckus and Tom DuBois.

    Full Disclosure: As I write this, I am listening to Curtis Mayfield.

  15. left-wing economic views with socially conservative ideas

    IOW, jealousy with jealousy.

  16. Full Disclosure: As I write this, I am listening to Curtis Mayfield.

    Curtis Mayfield has long been one of my favorites. You’re OK by me, Art.

  17. If a black gets elected *president*, then all of Jesse’s rhetoric comes to naught. He has a personal stake in da man keeping the brother down.

    p.s. I think N.O.W. secretly campaigned for Obama to make sure Clinton wouldn’t get the nod.

  18. I will say this. I’ve honestly never fantasized about castrating anyone.

    Curtis Mayfield has long been one of my favorites. You’re OK by me, Art.

    Yeah, he’s so awesome. And speaking of musicians addressing ‘slum culture’, I’m sure Rev. Jackson wouldn’t find Nas’ “2nd Childhood” condescending.

  19. left-wing economic views with socially conservative ideas

    Is this a religious thing? Whenever I see this pairing, I think of Mike Huckabee.

  20. I think of Mike Huckabee.

    My, what a heinous example. But, I think there is some correlation there.

  21. Whenever I see this pairing, I think of Mike Huckabee.

    Or William Jennings Bryan.

  22. They should hand Jackson the amateur Academy Award for best actor right now for that awesome reverse Sister Souljah performance. The theatrical stage whispering was the perfect tone, and to do it on Fox News Channel of all places was absolutely brilliant. If he ever tires of the civil right racket, I see Shakespeare in the Park as a second career.

  23. I figured it was conventional wisdom that this “kerfuffle” was just niftily choreographed political theater: Jackson (sort of) falls on a sword to help bolster Obama’s standing among whites.

    No? (I mean, no, that’s not the conventional wisdom?) I haven’t done too much surfing in the past 24 hours — I guess I’d just assumed that was the meme by now, and so was surprised to encounter so much earnest theorizing in this thread.

  24. Ahh, well I see Bravo! got there while I was typing my comment.

  25. Is it personal jealousy? A difference in tone and style? A lingering feeling that Obama is an outsider in the black community? Or does Jackson feel that Obama’s recent speeches to blacks are actually intended for white consumption — that he’s patronizing his audiences by using them as props?

    All could play a role.

    To expand on “personal jealousy,” Jesse Jackson has been fighting against racism* for a long time. He marched with King, man! So it must be more than a little irritating to see someone so much younger, who never got his ass kicked or spent a night in jail for equal rights and equal opportunity, just glide into the status of president-in-waiting the way Obama had, without even much of a nod (for obvious, electioneering reasons) towards his “elders.”

    *No, I’m not really interested in diatribes about “Teh Real Racists.”

  26. My idea: Jesse Jackson is insane.

    It explains a lot.

    Or it was staged to make Barack Obama seem closer to the center in comparison.

  27. If the Bolsheviks are loud enough, the Mensheviks are considered moderates.

  28. Hm. Jesse Jackson is roughly my grandparents’ age while Obama is roughly my parents’ age. So, joe, you definitely have a point about the generational thing.

    I have a ton of respect for my grandparents’ generation. It’s honestly difficult for me to fathom what it must have been like for them, especially being around during the civil rights era. Next time I see my grandfather, I’ll have to talk to him about that.

  29. Jealousy is certainly a big party of Jackson’s motivation, but the bigger part is that Obama threatens his livelihood. Jackson has gotten rich peddling racial division and victimhood, and if the USA elects a black president, then Jackson’s got a far smaller drum to beat.

    -jcr

  30. He marched with King, man!

    He also lied about MLK dying in his arms. There’s a reason why Coretta Scott King would have nothing to do with him.

    -jcr

  31. This is Reason, so let’s completely ignore the fact that a) JJ Jr. works for BHo, and b) this has played out almost like it was completely scripted. That doesn’t mean it was, but…

    Also, it seems downright odd that Reason hasn’t discussed these recent Obama comments. The video of that is over 250,000 views already, and it’s going to get a lot higher.

  32. I’ll have to talk to him about that.

    Or, talk with him. Must monitor own speech!

  33. Dondero! Like the clockwork!

  34. Dondero! Like the clockwork!

    Where?

  35. Art-P.O.G. —

    I do believe you accidentally conflated one idiotic troll with another. Dondero posts only under his own name (and would like to kill all of us sinners that post under pseudonyms). OLS, on the other hand, is an abominable iteration of “The Lonewacko”, whose name is a rare and valuable example of truth-in-advertising, much like “Snakes on a Plane”.

  36. Jealousy is certainly a big party of Jackson’s motivation

    I call RC’s Law on that. Nice one.

    He also lied about MLK dying in his arms. And…? This is relevant, how? Oh, right: Jesse Jackson’s bad, mmm-kay?

    This is Reason, so let’s completely ignore the fact that a) JJ Jr. works for BHo And this is Lonewacko, so we should just assume that the widely-known split in the Jackson family, which had Jesse endorsing Hillary and Jesse Jr. endorsing Obama, didn’t make into “The Minuteman,” “The Watchtower,” or whatever the hell nativist conspiracy freak magazines he reads. Please, talk down to us a little more.

  37. Someone keeps leaving a current issue of the Watchtower on the dryer in my apartment complex. Maybe they think one is more receptive to Jehovah’s Witness theology while doing laundry.

  38. Hey Lonewacko, I think you qualify as one of those who comprise the ‘nation of whiners’. Take it up with Gramm. This is Bittergate on the right. I love how this shit just continues to mirror each other. The Roth Effect I suppose.

  39. Maybe they think one is more receptive to Jehovah’s Witness theology while doing laundry.

    They’re probably right about that.

    Right after some shitty detergent burns holes in my colors, I am at my most emotionally vulnerable, and willing to pray to practically anyone for consolation.

  40. preached the importance of turning off the TV

    I knew he was some sort of freak! Did not pay any attention to him back when he was freaking out on the German border with the 11th ACR going to view the “other” Germany.

    Seems he is a day late and a dollar short on the nuts issue too. Mrs. Clinton collected those with her vote on FISA.

  41. Obama may get enough white votes to become president, because he is perceived by whites as being “black but not too black for comfort”

    But Jesse doesn’t think he is black enough.

    White people feel more comfortable with not-to-black blacks, such as Tiger Woods and Halle Berry. Obama is more black than that, but still not too black.

    That bugs Jesse Jackson. Go figure.

  42. I do believe you accidentally conflated one idiotic troll with another.

    My apologies. When different handles start to ‘spam’ with the same thing, I automatically start to suspect…I owe the real Dondero an apology. And a lot of credit to his disciples for their faithfulness.

    Obama may get enough white votes to become president, because he is perceived by whites as being “black but not too black for comfort”

    Complexion-wise, ideology-wise or dialect-wise ?

  43. The explanation is very simple and logical:

    Grievance-mongering pays better.

    It’s a lot easier to shake down a corporation than tell people to study, take care of their kids, and not approach life with a sense of entitlement. Much, much easier to say “Aha! These are the evil racists keeping you poor!”

  44. You know, most people don’t throw themselves under me.

  45. Are you sure TallDave?

    Because it wasn’t Jesse Jackson who became the first black nominee of a major political party.

  46. “Someone keeps leaving a current issue of the Watchtower on the dryer in my apartment complex.”

    Cleanliness is next to godliness, maybe they figure they’ve got a better shot at you when you’re doing the wash. Then again, I’ve seen them left on bus seats too.

    I love the name of that publication, too bad it is what it is.

  47. Wow, my TWD post at 10:42pm made some sense last night. Sobriety and rest can certainly change your perception of the world.

  48. But Jesse doesn’t think he is black enough.

    I have heard that there is (or maybe just was) a strain of classism in the black community, where darker-skinned/more African-looking blacks were regarded as lower class by lighter-skinned blacks. I wonder if Jesse isn’t partly motivated by resentment founded on being on the short end of that dynamic at some point in his life.

  49. To relinquish Jackson the nut cuter of all his previous successes would be wrong but this statement he made is simply unforgivable,i mean that nut case is a reverend, he should be ashamed of himself plus he has lost my respect forever.

  50. I think there is obviously SOME jealousy. But, Jesse’s real outrage is probably that Obama dilutes the message Jesse has been broadcasting his entire life. This is only slightly exaggerated, but Jesse sees racism by whitey (and of course Koreans and Jews) as the source of woes (do we need a list?) in the “black community”. Then along comes some magic negro sayin ~”Black men need to grow the fuck up and start getting their shit together”. It was OK for Bill Cosby to say that kind of stuff, because Bill Cosby wasn’t stepping on Jackson’s political turf the way Obamaa is. And whats worse than that slap in the face is people are eating it up – black and white. I can see where he might be a little pist.

  51. “Sharpton, for all his verbal idiosyncrasy, was never either as much of a scold nor as crazy as Jackson. And he still gets arrested with the best of ’em protesting stupid laws and stupid police actions, so he’s not all bad.”

    Great insight, LMNOP! And it explains a lot his support of Hillary, another top notch scold.

  52. “But Jesse doesn’t think he is black enough.

    White people feel more comfortable with not-to-black blacks, such as Tiger Woods and Halle Berry. Obama is more black than that, but still not too black”

    Frankly, Jesse Jackson doesn’t seem all that black either.

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