I'm a Pundit Too

Friday, July 11, 2008

Is Reverend Jackson Threatened By An Obama Presidency?

Last Sunday, Reverend Jesse Jackson made some comments to a fellow guest on Fox and Friends while they were waiting to go on the air. What Jackson did not realize, was that his microphone was on and caught his remarks on tape. The “good” Reverend asserted his desire to violently remove certain parts of Senator Obama’s nether regions. He made these comments while discussing the presumptive Democratic nominee’s recent remarks on the black community.

First of all, after decades of making television appearances, how could Jackson not realize that his microphone was on? Most media personalities will admit that when the microphone is clipped on to your lapel, you are being recorded. This is event is similar to former President Clinton’s gaffe from a few months ago. Both men made comments from which they had to back away from, and both men did not realize that they were being recorded. Isn’t a comment made while the microphones are perceived to be off, a more credible account of what that person believes? A prepared statement for the cameras is just that, a prepared statement. It is generally a politically correct, sanitized statement to deliver a predetermined message. What a person says in private is a truer representation of their beliefs.

Jackson is not new to critical remarks about Obama. In September of last year, Jackson was caught by a reporter from The State newspaper in South Carolina commenting that Obama is “acting white” in his response to the Jena 6 debacle in Louisiana. Jackson later asserted that the remarks do not accurately reflect his opinion of Senator Obama. He didn’t deny that he made the comments, just that he didn’t recall making them. So what does Jackson think about Obama? His public comments are always full of praise and support, which is not surprising for a political opportunist such as Jackson. His private comments have shown a much different picture of his true feelings for the presidential hopeful.

This will come at quite a shock for many of you, but I actually agree with Senator Obama on an issue. Obama’s comments on Fathers Day in the Apostolic Church of God have one concept that I, and many others from both sides of the aisle have been calling for. That concept is personal responsibility. Obama was speaking about the black community as a whole. He pointed out the prevalence of single parent households, the school dropout rate, the violent crime, and the high rate of unemployment within the black community. His point was that the men in the community needed to take the personal responsibility for their families. He pointed out that studies have shown that a strong family unit is the best deterrent for the rampant problems for which the black community is dealing. I believe that personal responsibility is the answer to many of the problems that the country is dealing with as a whole. This is not just a black community problem it is an American problem. If the citizens of the United States would take responsibility for their own lives and stop expecting the government to fix all that ails them, we would all be much better off. Government does have a role in fixing some of the issues, but it was intended by our founding fathers to be a very limited role. I applaud Senator Obama for challenging the black community and all of us, now if only he would apply the same mentality to the rest of the issues of the day.

Reverend Jackson’s comments have served to highlight his irrelevancy in today’s political and social world. He is quick to criticize Senator Obama, and even Bill Cosby, for a call to action on responsibility, but has done very little to promote personal responsibility with all of the media attention that he has been given over the past few decades. I believe it is time for Reverend Jackson to quietly fade into retirement as a new generation of community activists, with new ideas of responsibility, takes a more prominent role in our society.

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