You know, I’m not really all that mad at Jesse for what he said. I’m actually more annoyed that Fox News took a comment made off the air and put Jesse on full blast in order to drum up a story to generate a much needed boost in ratings. This is essentially the problem I sometimes have with news being a commodity sold to advertisers 24 hours a day.
So Jesse’s the nutcracker. Ok, so what about the reason Jesse made the comment to begin with?
Lately Obama’s been taking a cue from the Bill Cosby school of thought. Personally, I feel like this is just another case of someone offering moral lesson with no real substance behind it. He ain't my preacher, he's a politician. I’m all for self-reliance, but in many cases we leave people out to dry. You want people to be better and do better, but what tools are you providing them to do so? What conditions that stricken people with nihilism are you actively trying to change?
Alright, Reverend Barry, you want kids to dead their rap dreams and stick to school. Have you been to many of these schools? Most of them are training people that look like me to be prisoners, not scholars. I know because I went to them. So what policies will be enacting if elected? That's what I want to hear.
Jesse has a point: You have to put policy behind it, too. And faith-based initiatives certainly aren’t enough. They shouldn’t take the place of government agencies.
And I’m not bashing him for trying to make people take some responsibility. I actually agree with him in principle. But, we didn’t all go to the best private school in our state, or Ivy League institutions, and many of our struggles certainly don’t compare to the ones he and his wife have complained about in years pass: One was an elected official married while the other is an Ivy-League graduate that earns a $300,000 a year in salary. I applaud their success, but when they talked about their struggles, I couldn't say I related.
But instead of having a discussion on Jesse's real point, the media is focused on the crude expression he used. They're using this as another example to argue how Jesse is so old, his existence now so trite, and how he’s the stuck on race. We see it from the likes of former communications director for John Edwards, Chris Kofinis talking about how Jesse only sees this race through the prism of color. Or one of the other random talking heads going on and on about how Obama transcends race yet each and every one of them have talked about race in one way or the other every single day of the news cycle since Obama won the Iowa caucus.
I am not Jesse Jackson’s spokesperson and I surely don’t make him and Al Sharpton the Pope and Prime Minister of Black folk, but many of these pundits are just as guilty as racially polarizing this election and our country as they are. Why do we keep talking to them anyway?