Jesse Jackson says that Barack Obama has been “talking down to black people” and helpfully adds: “I want to cut his nuts off.”
According to CNN, Jackson
didn’t elaborate on the context of his remarks, except to say he was trying to explain that Obama was hurting his relationship with black voters by recently conducting “moral” lectures at African-American churches.
Jackson is probably referring to speeches like the one Obama gave at a church in Chicago, in which he said things like this:
Too many fathers are MIA. Too many fathers are AWOL. They’ve abandoned their responsibilities. They’re acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our family have suffered because of it. You and I know this is true everywhere, but nowhere is it more true than in the African-American community.
I’ve heard some audio from that speech. Obama properly noted that there has been a history of racial injustice in this country, and that this history is part of the reason for the breakdown of the family in black America. Obama added, however, that black people can’t keep using that as an excuse. He also said:
We need fathers to recognize their responsibility doesn’t just end at conception. Any fool can have a child. It’s the courage to raise a child that makes you a father.
Jackson might have taken such remarks personally, given that he had to announce in 1999 that he had had an out-of-wedlock child.
Ironically, the fullest transcript I found of Obama’s speech was at Rush Limbaugh’s site. (It was a quick search; if you find a better source, let me know.) From what I can tell, Obama predictably offers some tired liberal solutions to the problem.
Still, it’s wonderful that he said these things. America has been waiting for years for a politician to say this in a non-racist way — a way that fully acknowledges this country’s history of racial prejudice, but also insists that black Americans move beyond it and take responsibility for their families. It probably did take a black politician to say that. That he said it is a very good thing.
Conservatives should applaud Obama’s words, and resist the urge to reflexively find glee in the spectacle of a public figure like Jackson bashing Obama in such a vulgar way.
I oppose Obama because I don’t like what much of what he stands for. But on this issue, in the language I quote above, he’s right. Jesse Jackson represents the tired old way, and Barack Obama represents the new way. And in this area, it truly is a welcome message of change.