TALK TO THE DADDY

Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rev. Jackson And Obama's Call for Black Male Responsibility

"See, Barack's been talking down to black people on this faith-based. I wanna cut his (EXPLETIVE DELETED) off. Barack, he's talking down to black people." --Rev. Jessie Jackson, whispering to another black male at Fox News studio.

"He will continue to speak out about our responsibilities to ourselves and each other, and he of course accepts Rev. Jackson's apology."
--Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said.

Recently, Mel Reeves, a fine freelance writer and former editor of the Spokesman Recorder, a black weekly in Minneapolis, Minnesota, wrote a an article for Liberator Magazine called "Wait a Minute…Jesse Jackson." The article rightly criticizes Rev. jessie Jackson for his crude criticism of Sen. Obama (at a Fox News studio, no less). But beyond the crude language, Mel focuses on the main point that Rev.Jackson made: that, instead of preaching to black people, so to speak, Obama should be talking about programs to improve the conditions of blacks in the inner-cities.

The daddy likes Mel's writing and his progressive views. But he has a different take on Rev. Jackson.

First, putting aside the crude comments for the moment, Mel is right: Obama does owe a great debt to Rev. Jackson and other organizers and lieutenants in Dr. Martin Luther King's Southern Leadership Conference (SCLC) who spearheaded a successful victory in defeating apartheid in the southern part of the United States and socially pushed the rest of America forward in race relations. And, although he used it as a vehicle for his own ascension to power, Rev. Jackson deserves further credit for continuing Dr. King's fight to go beyond civil rights and fight against poverty through his Rainbow Coalition.

But in case you didn't notice, Rev. Jackson, Sen. Obama has spoken eloquently about his admiration of Rev. Jackson, the immensely victorious civil rights movement and those who fought, even died to make it so. And he made it clear that he was standing on the broad shoulders of those who came before him.

He did this on numerous occasions in the primary. Recently, in the general election, Obama has understandably played down the the civil rights struggle to introduce himself, his family and his policies to all American voters, i.e. beating ring-wing Republicans attempt to define him as a far left tax spender who has an angry black wife whose patriotism is questionable, who attended a Muslim school as a child and who is, secretly, a Muslim who would give aid and comfort to Middle Eastern terrorists (Now put your hand over your mouth and shout, "Oh my God!!!"). Instead of being defined by others, he is defining himself, something John Kerry failed to do. In fact, you may recall that Republicans were quite successful in defining Kerry as a flip flopper and as a soldier who may not have been worthy of all those metals he won fighting in Vietnam. Remember Swiftboaters for Truth?

In case you didn't notice, Rev. Jackson, Obama is speaking in good detail about policies which transcend race and affect all Americans, especially black and poor Americans. The financial crisis may have been fostered by white financial bankers and mortgage companies holding hands to stick it to middle and low income homebuyers. And, yes, that crop of sorry, pro-corporate Bush administration cronies were white, and, yes, they turned their heads as the economy went to hell. But this financial crisis affects all Americans. Obama may not be emphasize this in black churches, but black churchgoers and non-churchgoers, like the rest of America, know its importance-- know it's about their future ability to stay in their homes, to live in the community they love, the community near their children's school. And they know their home is about their wealth; and they know that, if their home is taken, their wealth is taken, meaning that, financially, they will have nothing left. So, for Rev. Jackson to suggest that Obama is not developing programs to help black people is a cheap shot, and he knows it.

Rev. Jackson reads. He knows, for example, that Obama's support of Sen. Christopher Dodd's program to reform sub-prime mortgages and to keep those families in their homes will help black Americans. He knows that Obama's proposal to reform the present pro-business bankruptcy laws and his promise to increase funding (up to $4,000 per student, as I understand it) so kids can go to college will help black families as well.

But the question of strong black families and how we're going to develop more of them gets to the nitty-gritty of it all. I mean, can you imagine Rev. Jackson, or any minister, criticizing obama for calling on the black community to be moral? For exhorting black males to be men: to be more nurturing fathers, more loving husbands and more responsible citizens? Yes, we could always use more programs, especially youth programs in the inner-city. But as much as it is kept secret, we have lots of programs in the inner-city run by committed black men, women of color, even white people, that a lot of kids, especially black and Latino kids, refuse to access. They're too busy playing gangsta: listening to gangsta rap, pushing drugs, selling guns, buying guns, going in and out of prisons to increase their street cred, busting into houses, beating up men and gang raping women, and getting teenage girls pregnant-- girls who have bought into the gangsta-thug image. Now, Jessie, minister, don't you think a community that has black men, or men of any ethnic group, doing these things, could use some serious talk about morality?

Second, Jessie: With the crudity of your language and the anger in your voice, even Stevie Wonder with dredlocks covering his eyes can see that you're jealous of 0bama. Instead of seeing his run for the presidency as a historical outcome of a social revolution that successfully defeated apartheid in the southern part of the United States and that set America on a course of positive change in race relations, you see him as a young upstart who didn't march at Selma yet eclipsed you in your run to be president, something you wanted more than anyone else will ever know. Jessie, it wasn't your time. That's all. Case closed. Besides, since when is life fair? So, in the words of my tagging, hip-hopping, text-messaging nephew, "Don't be hatin'!"

Yes, Rev. Jackson, you've made a great contribution to our struggle. Now we need you to chill on the ego and join with Sen. Obama and other black men and women, people of color, and progressive of all strips to send a clear message to our young men and women that violence and immorality in our communities will not be tolerated.

As for your less than statesman-like support of Obama's well-run, historic campaign for the U.S. presidency, ask yourself: Would your behavior have made Dr. King proud?

17 comments:

sdg1844 said...

Brilliant post Daddy. Just brilliant. I'm glad you put it out there because this petty nonsense is for the birds. When your own son has to tell you "keep hope alive and shut the hell up", you know you've gone too far.

It seems some serious nerves were touched. Maybe the good Rev. doesn't have a relationship w/the child he fathered w/another woman not his wife and is sensitive about it.

MacDaddy said...

sdg: Thanks for the kind comments, but you read the post while I was still editing it. I post the first draft and go back over it a couple of times. I trust your judgment and know you write well, because I read your blog. If you get the time, would you take another look at the article? I'm not sure, but I think you'll like it better. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Even his son is ashamed of him.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

Nice spot u have here, hope u don’t mind the drive by, do chk me out one day

rawdawgbuffalo and if u like what u read, maybe u will come back, even Blog Roll Me

rainywalker said...

Excellent blog. Positive. We can all learn something from it.

MacDaddy said...

Rawdawg: Thanks. Got you lined and will be coming to see you.
Rainywalker: Thanks. And thanks for checking out the poetry series. Hope you enjoyed it. How did you like that old picture of Wat Whitman?
Anon: You said even his son is ashamed of him. He made a statement about his disappointment in his father. Being a national co-chair of Obama's campaign, you could argue that Jessie Jackson Jr. had to disavow his father's comments. Still, it must have been very hard for him. Sad. If you haven't already, check out Jessie Jackson Jr.'s statement on my sidebar. Thanks.

R.J. Lebeau said...

Amen, Daddy. That was a great post.

Vigilante said...

It's clear I came to the right place to get the straight stuff on Jesse Jackson. You hammered it home, Daddy. Thanks for including Jesse Jr, too! There's another lesson to be drawn from this episode, however. And that's about Faux Noise.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Wow, Daddy, that's a different sort of post than you usually do.

Swing by my site to see a hilarious video on Obama, Jackson & Sharpton, followed by my serious concerns about something that worries me about our man Barack.

Vigilante said...

I don't think so, Kit. Maybe later. Much later.

MacDaddy said...

vigilante; I checked the Faux Noise and agree wholeheartedly. I left a message.
kit: I started out making comments on Wayne Bennett's blog (the field negro), which I love. He and Francis Holland encouraged me to get a blog. But when I started doing pieces on Obama, Clinton and the sorry Bush administration, people told me they were sick of politics. So I started to mix politics with posts on poetry, music, and book reviews. I'm going to do more political commentaries, but, on weekends, I'm definitely going to do posts on poetry, music, book or movies. I'll come by to see you. Thanks for sticking with me.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey MacDaddy!

Great dialogue!

Like Kit, I love your blog.

I think that the best blogs out here are the ones where the blog writer is just sharing from the heart, without trying to present what is popular in the blogosphere or what has the most "buzz"... then the writing reveals authenticity and people really connect to it.

@ Sdg1844
I think it's a shame that Jesse Jr. had to publicly come out with a statement against his own father but I would at least HOPE that they had a one-to-one dialogue before that statement was issued.

Reverend Jackson MAY NOT have a relationship with his elementary-school-age daughter who was born out of wedlock....it was widely reported that the mother of the child sued him for child support a few years ago...and the child was two or three at that time...

The issue of fatherlessness is sensitive to many who didn't have fathers and it was reported that Jesse was the product of a 30-something pedophile who lived on the block and impregnated his teenage mother...

There are many issues that have NOTHING to do with Obama's speech that Jesse Sr may need to work through...

@ Anonymous 3:05PM

His son spoke against the remarks made in that ONE INCIDENT...he never said he was ashamed of his father as a father or as a man or as a leader....let's not get it twisted.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

New Black Woman said...

That was brilliant, Daddy.

MacDaddy said...

Newblackwoman: Thanks.
Lisa: Thanks for the added info and perspective about Rev. Jackson. You are wise. The daddy learns a lot from the people who come to this blog. Blessings.

Nun in the Hood said...

Hi, MacDaddy....Have you thought of doing a comparitive piece on REV. JESSE JACKSON & BILL COSBY?
THEY BOTH COMMENT ON PARENTING......I'd like to get your critique....

SagaciousHillbilly said...

As per usual when you address sociopolitical issues, you take a complex topic and lay it out thoroughly but clearly.
Yes, when we criticize Rev. Jackson, we have to remember that he also deserves much respect and honor for the voice he has raised no matter what public opinion handed him.
Thanks for the perspective.

Oh, and I too would love to hear you views on Cosby's book.
Myself; read it, had mixed thoughts.

sdg1844 said...

Daddy. I read it again and once again, it is well done. It just makes me shake my head that we can't disagree w/out being disagreeable.