The Obama Files

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It probably doesn't need reiterating that Jesse Jackson's desire to surgically remove Barack Obama's testicles for the sin of "talking down to black people" will certainly not hurt—and most likely help—the Democratic nominee's campaign. And one can safely assume this is probably one of Jackson's more banal comments regarding Obama's recent "be a father to your child" finger-wagging. Robert Smigel, creator of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and the brilliant-but-cancelled show TV Funhouse, addressed presciently the potential conflicts Obama would have with old guard black leaders:

From the where are they now file: Sista Souljah, from Obergruppenfuehrer in the S1W army to novelist.

Bonus video: Jackson, bedecked in a Lord Mayor of Belfast medallion, on Sesame Street telling an assembled group of children that, despite their dependency on welfare, they are indeed somebody.

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  1. Hmmm…somehow addressing any sort of problem that may be overrepresented within a community becomes condescending. It’s not condescending to ask for government resources thrown at the problem but God forbid you try to inspire people to take personal responsibility.

    Of all the things Jesse Jackson could pick a bone with Obama about, this? It really does smack of the guy being almost out of ideas. [obligatory rant for years of frustration with mainstream black left wing old guard]

  2. That was a nice video by Ed O.G. & da Bulldogs, too.

  3. The Dalibama has a pair?

  4. Well, at least this incident has shined a light on the controversial and racist notion that black men should take responsibility for the children they father. What sort of sick, hate-filled mind could come up with a idea like that?

  5. If Jesse Jackson has ever uttered anything aimed at an audience educated beyond the 9th grade, I’ve never heard it. Back in 84 I attended a Jackson “rally” (600 people. He spoke for nearly an hour, almost entierly in rhymed couplets.

    He use to impress me with his ability to travel to various despots and come back with hostages and other concessions. Can’t remember the last time he did that.

  6. his ability to travel to various despots and come back with hostages and other concessions

    Are you talking about foreign countries or domestic corporations, Warren?

  7. Is it actually believable that Jesse was completely unaware that what he said might be recorded?

  8. I know it’s a small sample and completely anecdotal, but myself +siblings and a few cousins that did grow up in two-parent homes are somewhat almost successful. But my cousins that were abandoned by their mothers and raised (primarily) by my uncles are, I shit you not, in prison.

  9. Is it actually believable that Jesse was completely unaware that what he said might be recorded?

    It has occured to me that it all might be a conspiracy, but if so, that anecdote (about the castration) was really something.

  10. But for some reason when I think of conspiracies now, I think of The Man Who Was Thursday. Great book. Incredibly hilarious.

  11. It seems to me “Reverend” Jackson devotes infinitely more of his energy talking down to black people than Senator Obama.

  12. Not a “conspiracy”, just Jesse actually wanting people to hear him say that. Obama isn’t good for Jesse’s race-baiting business, you know.

  13. Artie,

    Castration was a way of dealing with unruly “bucks” during slavery. Jesse knows this and used it quite deliberately, I imagine. Jesse is once again pointing out Obama is not “black” enough by highlighting the fact he is not descended from antebellum slaves.

  14. Well said, PB

    If Jesse were Obama’s campaign advisor, he’d be having Obama running around crying about the injustices that will finally be rectified by his election… or at least that will be the beginning of it. Then the country will be all mine, MINE! You hear me? ALLLLL MINE!

  15. Not a “conspiracy”, just Jesse actually wanting people to hear him say that. Obama isn’t good for Jesse’s race-baiting business, you know.

    I know the second part, but I can’t imagine Jesse wouldn’t think that would make him seem like an asshole and Jesse sympathetic.
    I said something in another thread about people conflating culture with race. I truly believe Sharpton and Jackson. If a black person tries to ‘withdraw’ from the subculture that is supposed to be ‘mainstream’ for blacks (gets too bourgeois or whatever), that supposedly affects his or her ‘blackness’. This is the way that close-minded black can try to constrict other blacks. But it’s an old complaint for me, and even though Elder, Cosby, even MacGruder and co. have been saying this kind of thing for awhile, with Obama it becomes more prominent, after a fashion.

  16. The pot calls the kettle not black enough.

  17. But for some reason when I think of conspiracies now, I think of The Man Who Was Thursday. Great book. Incredibly hilarious.

    One of my all-time favorites. You should also check out (if you haven’t already) The Napoleon of Notting Hill. G. K. Chesterton was an unvarnished genius.

    Also, if you haven’t played Deus Ex, I’d recommend that too. The Man Who Was Thursday appears in fragments throughout the game, and the plot itself touches on similar themes of faith and doubt, the two-faced and contradictory nature of organizations, anarchy and utopia.

  18. should read, “I truly believe Sharpton and Jackson encourage that sort of attitude.” Solidarity is one thing, monolithic, stodgy thinking is another.

  19. Anyway, if Obama really has pissed off both Naomi Klein and Jesse Jackson, that pretty much proves that he has at least two redeeming qualities.

  20. Of course Jessee was right. It is pretty condescending to lecture people about how their kids need to know Spanish when neither you nor anyone in your family speaks it. No Obama my kids are not going to learn Spanish they are going to learn whatever language they want to learn if they chose to learn one.

  21. Wow, John. That was kind of off-topic. And this is coming from a guy who goes off the rails all the time.

  22. Well we all have to learn some level of a foreign language to graduate from college as it is.

    But I think Jesse Jakson was talking about having kids out of wedlock, not learning Spanish.

  23. Regarding whether or not Jesse Jackson knew he was being recorded, he’s been doing TV interviews for several years now, I think he should know when he’s being recorded. And after the “Hymietown” controversy, shouldn’t he have learned to be more careful when he’s around reporters?

  24. I would like to beleive that Obama is an existential threat to people like Jackson. That if he won the election, we would then have a license to tell the Jacksons of the world and everyone else who played the race card to shut the hell up and that if a black person could become President, the country has officially exercised its racial past. I know some pretty conservative people who think that and are going to vote for Obama for that reason even though they think he is an idiot.

    I don’t buy it. Race relations are too engrained into society. I think even if Obama wins, the race hustlers will go merely on.

  25. John, in fact I think it will make racial strife worse.

    Democrats will call Republicans racist for the next four to eight years, and Republicans will call Democrats the “real racists” even when the policy obama introduces has nothing to do with race. Its going to suck.

  26. That if he won the election, we would then have a license to tell the Jacksons of the world and everyone else who played the race card to shut the hell up and that if a black person could become President, the country has officially exercised its racial past.

    Why would he do that? He can play it any time he wants. All he has to do, and has done, is to have someone leak some form of “Racism!”. He’s much more subtle than Sharpton, or Jackson, but he’s playing the cards nonetheless. What he does do much better than Sharpton or Jackson is to use surrogates to make his statements, so he can publically disavow them.

    I don’t think there’s anything in it at all for him to tell the Jacksons and Sharptons of the world to shut up. They allow him the duality of playing race cards in both directions.

  27. I’m more optimistic. It seems like Obama, Oprah and your MC du jour are already a bigger deal than Sharpton and Jackson. I actually do think Obama is, or can be if he wants to be, an existential threat to the race hustlers.*

    *To use a phrase I’m pretty sure I misappropriated from Larry Elder.

  28. Of course, you’d think that, Other Matt. Because you’re so enlightened on race and all.

  29. John – I almost feel the same way in that if he is elected president then how could anyone still beat the racist drum any longer.

    Kind of like the Superbowl 2 years ago when we had the 1st two Black coachs to ever lead teams to the Superbowl. It was a win/win situation in that at the end of that one game history was made because the 1st black coach had won the Superbowl and the 1st black coach lost the Superbowl all in one shot. Two historic moments I will not have to hear about again.

    It is already getting hard enough to not see the reverse racism that exists for exactly what it is racism. If we elected a black as president the day after we should do away with all forms of Affirmative Action and Quota’s and special set asides. We should then all be called Americans and no -African bullshit. How many of these African-Americans have even stepped foot in Africa .0001% would be my bet.

  30. We should then all be called Americans and no -African bullshit. How many of these African-Americans have even stepped foot in Africa .0001% would be my bet.

    Damn, not this crap again. I seriously have to wonder why you care.

  31. Artie,

    You can never be too vigilant when it comes to resisting the mud people.

    Seriously, who sends these people here and what leads them to believe we’ll be on their side? (This goes double for gay-haters and Truthers.)

  32. My mom says there’s a lot of black people in Africa.

  33. If we elected a black as president the day after we should do away with all forms of Affirmative Action and Quota’s and special set asides.

    Actually, we should do that anyways. I don’t care if the President’s a green alien.

  34. Is it actually believable that Jesse was completely unaware that what he said might be recorded?

    Yes! Didn’t he make a similar gaffe with his Hymietown comments?

  35. I would like to beleive that Obama is an existential threat to people like Jackson.

    I think Obama absolutely is and existential threat to him. The fact that Obama has such support from the black community without having to pander on race issues or to mimmick Al Sharpton and the Jesse Jackson is making it plainly obvious that the Jackson era black leaders are innefectual and irrelevant.

  36. Why would he do that? He can play it any time he wants. All he has to do, and has done, is to have someone leak some form of “Racism!”. He’s much more subtle than Sharpton, or Jackson, but he’s playing the cards nonetheless.

    So subtle, in fact, that apparently only wingnuts with their sharply honed reverse-discrimination alarms can detect it.

    I’m glad there are people around to tell us these things.

  37. Is it actually believable that Jesse was completely unaware that what he said might be recorded?

    For some inexplicable reason I read this as:

    Is it actually believable that Jesus was completely unaware that what he said might be recorded?

    And the answer is yes, both ways.

  38. I actually do think Obama is, or can be if he wants to be, an existential threat to the race hustlers.

    He could be, but he won’t. What’s in it for him? Why would he go out of his way to piss off part of the Dem machine?

    In fact, his Presidency will give them a new stick to beat whitey with. Any failure to toe (yes, that’s “toe”, not “tow”) the Dem party line will be seized on by the hustlers as evidence of racism.

    Net impact of Obama on race relations? Probably nil.

  39. Any failure to toe (yes, that’s “toe”, not “tow”) the Dem party line will be seized on by the hustlers as evidence of racism.

    I say you’re slightly too cynical, you’re free to say I’m a little too naive.

  40. In Other Matt’s world, Barack Obama is a race hustler. Yes, Barack Obama. His treatment of racial issues is merely more subtle than that of, say, Al Sharpton, but they’re peas in a white-hating pod.

    Glad I don’t live there.

  41. Glad I don’t live there.

    Um…where?

  42. In the pod?

  43. Oh, shit. You meant “other matt’s world”. See, that’s what I get for reading quickly.

  44. True story: Other Matt is the second person ever to tell me that I am a “self-hating white person.”

    The other on, my drunken gun nut roommate, once got drunk and explained to me that “People like me, and there are people like me all across ‘murica, are going to rise up against the niggers, and the queers, and the Jews, and the PEOPLE LIKE YOU!”

    Somebody say something about peas in a pod?

  45. Joe —

    Sounds like my ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend, who once drunkenly told me his theory about how “the races” don’t mix well.

    Sigh.

  46. That should be “My ex-girlfriend’s SISTER’S boyfriend”.

    Damn, this thread is my typographic nemesis.

  47. It’s a strange feeling, isn’t it? Do you laugh? Do you even want to laugh? Sorta, but sorta not.

    Same guy says, out loud, to the house as a whole, “The new captain on Star Trek is a bitch! A BITCH!”

    To which I reply, “Danny doesn’t think there are going to be women in the future.”

    To which my other roomie shoots back, “There are no women in Danny’s future.”

    That was a fun year. Those guys had enough firepower to kill any living creature on earth or under the sea.

  48. Hm. That’s an interesting one. The guy watched Voyager but was horrified to see a female Captain. To wit, he could accept the existence of Ferengis but not a female starship captain. Um. I’m sure you guys had fun dropping witticisms on that slow-wit.

  49. I say you’re slightly too cynical, you’re free to say I’m a little too naive.

    I really hope you’re right, A-P.

  50. John makes a good point upthread about some news from yesterday or so. Sen. Obama was lecturing about Americans needing to speak Spanish, but he does not speak Spanish either.

    I took it as some of that bizarro Leftie world stuff, like former VP Al Gore wanting everybody else to conserve while he does whatever he wants with his little environmental hobby.

    Episiarch,

    Is it actually believable that Jesse was completely unaware that what he said might be recorded?

    I liked the conspiracy angle, even though you clarified that conspiracy is not what you were meaning.

    But yes, I do find it completely believable that Rev. Jackson thought whispering would prevent others from hearing what he was saying even though he was wired up for broadcast.

    I also fully believe that he will make up a big fat lie about this in the future, as is his way.

  51. Sen. Obama was lecturing about Americans needing to speak Spanish, but he does not speak Spanish either.

    The more interesting question is whether the Obamas are requiring their kids to learn Spanish. Somehow, I doubt it; otherwise, he would have said so while he was instructing us on how to raise our kids.

    And remember, meaning comes from context. Standing alone, saying that kids should be bilingual in Spanish and English is pretty anodyne. In the context of a speech where he said we shouldn’t worry about immigrants learning to speak English, we should worry about our kids speaking their language, well, he deserves the heat.

  52. In the context of a speech where he said we shouldn’t worry about immigrants learning to speak English

    He said exactly the opposite, RC. He said that immigrants SHOULD learn Spanish. Interesting slip.

  53. Er, immigrants should learn English.

    A much less interesting slip.

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