Thursday, July 10, 2008

Check...check...one-two...check

Before making personal remarks to others, remarks not meant for public consumption, do you think public officials will ever learn to...

MAKE SURE THE MICROPHONE IS OFF?! 

Probably not, and that means we will continue to have a chance to watch them squirm as they try to justify, rectify, and deny deny deny. Of course, it's kind of hard to deny when you're caught on tape, isn't it?

Although you've all probably heard about it already, the Reverend Jesse Jackson was caught on tape saying sotto voce to an interviewer that Obama is "talking down to black people," and then proceeds to say, "I'd like to cut his nuts off." He follows that statement with a little gesture--I'm not sure if it's an Elvis-style fist jab or a cutting motion.

Good heavens. What happened to unity? Where is the love?

Well, apparently although Jackson is supporting the Obama campaign, the two are not close. I've also read speculation that Jackson resents Obama a bit, because obviously the torch has been passed in the black community. The "leaders" of the political movement are no longer Jackson or Al Sharpton. It's very much a case of out with the old and in with the new, and looks like Jesse might be just a little ticked off about that. Jackson's own son, who is working with the Obama campaign, had some pretty strong words for his father and denounced his rhetoric. Those darn kids!

I also think Jackson just doesn't get it. Although some might see it differently, I don't think Obama was talking down to black people. He was saying what he's been saying all along: no one is going to magically fix things for you. Sometimes you have to work hard to make your life better, and we all need to take personal responsibility. Notice I said "we." I include myself in that, because he wasn't speaking to a race, a religion, or any kind of particular group. He was speaking to Americans, and we all should take personal responsibility, both for our successes AND for our mistakes. I find absolutely nothing condescending in that message, and I totally agree with it.

As for the whole "cut off his nuts" thing...jeez, Jesse. That's harsh. The use of that particular imagery also makes me suspect that someone's manliness feels a tad bit threatened! I think that maybe Jackson feels that his time has come and gone, that he is irrelevant, and that this young upstart is stealing his thunder. That's not entirely true, of course, and Jackson obviously did a lot for the civil rights movement. But those are the kinds of thoughts that everyone struggles with as they get older, and Jackson's response (a rather childish one) is to want to emasculate Obama. Seems pretty obvious to me.

This certainly won't hurt Obama at all, and he accepted Jackson's apology...but it sure makes the Reverend Jackson look mean, petty, and downright juvenile. And it should serve as one more reminder to check your microphone.

 

15 comments:

dkb11161970 said...

{tap.tap.  is this thing on?}  ya know, i've felt some pretty hateful moments toward various folks in my lifetime, and i don't think i've ever thought about bodily dismemberment...harm none, ya know, harm none.  debra

blossomcat said...

Can you imagine the scandle if some Caucasian had said that.........They would have had him fired from his job and had to attemd sensitivity classes....

chat2missie said...

I hope you're enjoying your day.
Missie

frankandmary said...

I was getting ready to dis Rev Jackson for not checking the mike & then I remembered that the other day I posted something to my public journal that was supposed to be posted to my private. I should have CHECKED, but I didn't either.
I'm not a big fan of the Rev, but I do like his son, & was a little dismayed that the younger Jackson was so vocal against his dad about this. I'm not giving the Rev right, it was wrong, but  I think his son is a little too eager to show:  I haven't toadied to Dad's authority.
When I think of "talking down to" anyone I think: Slow, overstated tone you use with someone you believe to be an idiot.
I don't believe I've ever heard Mr Obama speak to anyone in that manner.  ~Mary

buckoclown said...

Just plain stupid.  Some people cannot hide their true natures when confronted with the fact that their time in the spotlight has passed :o)

eml625 said...

I could not believe this happened.
Can you imagine though if it were a "white" person that had said it.
Just amazing what people really think say when they think no one is listening.
Take Care
Ellen

mpnaz58 said...

Amen, sister!  Further...why even say things like that whether the mic is on or off...it was a totally uncalled for remark.  Perhaps Mr. Jackson even took it personally, considering his out of wedlock child he produced!  
xoxo ~Myra

markonit said...

... interesting POV ... the black community have been led by short sighted leaders for quite awhile now ... Dr. King was the last progressive social leader, and I will let you know that there is a conspiracy that there were some blacks who played a role in setting up him and Malcom X ...

...er, that is 'social Roswell' territory ... just wanted to exemplify how bitter the infighting is within the black social leadership and that they are more willing to control their fiefdoms than to advance any social change ... personal responsibilty means no longer playing the victim card ... but the small gains with it means larger gains for the 'talented tenth', and they are the ones who set the social agenda ...

... whew ..!

coelha said...

I agree with your opinion :)  I think Jesse is pretty embarrassed right now; as he should be....cut his nuts?  Pretty juvenile.  :)  Julie

rdautumnsage said...

Mistakes happen...The irony is after making a statement like that doing a complete turnabout and saying how much he supports Obams. So which is it? You want to cut his nuts off or your in his corner?
Then again even as foolish as Jesse Jackson has come across, his son doesn't look all that great in the limelight willing to sabotage his own father's rep. for his own gain. (Hugs)Indigo

bhbner2him said...

Gee, I hadn't even noticed Jesse said anything.  

Barbara

aimer said...

Oh Beth, you sum it all up so well. This is not JJ's first encounter with making what he assumed to be private remarks that became public. I can't recall the exact year but I think that it was in the 1970s when he used a derogatory term to refer to Jewish people. Regrettably, he didn't learn his lesson back then. I think that JJ's son was right on target to adamantly chastise his father for his ill chosen and vulgar words. As for Obama's message, I'm totally with you on that. Talking about personal responsibility is not talking down to people; it's encouraging them to strive, to push themselves, to move forward, and that's a good thinkg in my mind. Well said.--Sheria

aimer said...

P.S. Like the picture!--Sheria

queeniemart said...

I found it very interesting and NOT surprising at all when Jackson said what he said. I get so sick of the phonies in life and politics......most of the time i think all nominees will basically say whatever they think you want to hear and then when elected, throw dirt on you and do as they want.
XO

tsalagiman1 said...

Best policy is not to say anything out of the way around any mike.  You never know when it's been left on, or when it's coming back on.  Jackson really exposed himself on this one.  The liberal left does anything but subscribe to the idea that everyone is responsible for their actions.  Sounds like this was objectionable to Jackson. We live in a society where no one is responsible for anything they do, there are no absolutes, no definitive right and wrong.

Dirk