Note: This is a post written for another blog that I write, but I felt that there was great enough relevance to post it here also.
There’s been a ton of buzz this week about remarks the Rev. Jesse Jackson made in referrence to Sen. Barack Obama during the break in a Fox News Sunday interview. There has been almost as much chatter about what was actually said, as there has been about the fact that the good reverend whispered what may become infamous words, “I want to cut his nuts off.”
I almost stayed away from this issue, because initially, I wasn’t sure if this story qualified more as polital news, or if I could squeeze it into the broad catagory of celebrity/entertainment dish.
Well, I’m bringing it up here for a number of reasons…
1. Both Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama are as much a part of pop culture, as they are political icons. Both are gifted orators who draw large crowds at personal appearances, even though demographic attendance at those appearances differ greatly. And…
2. Jesse Jackson’s political relevance, once assured, has waned over the past few years, to more of a mouthpiece for social consciousness. The problem is that now, after a few social missteps of his own (an aldulturous affair when led to his fathering a child out of wedlock, and his now infamous remarks about Obama), even his social relevance is coming into question.
As the person who carried the hopes of the African American community on his broad shoulders after the death Of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jackson rallied a nation to take notice of unequeal justices, and the plight of Black America. But he has shown that he is not infallible. And thought the people he championed stuck by his side during his very public baby mama situation, they may not be so forgiving of his attacking another black public servant attempting to carry the flame of hope.
Sen. Obama accepted a public apology form Jack on Monday, but the damage was already done. Not that is has hurt Obama in the polls, because he actually gained 2 percentage points, but it does suggest a division between younger and older blacks.
If Rev. Jackson is sincere in his efforts to rally the African American vote, it seems that he could better serve the cause by being a little more discrete about his personal differences with Obama, or just plain keep his mouth shut.