Crabs In A Barrel

     There is a saying in the black community that blacks cannot improve as a people because like crabs in a barrel whenever one tries to climb out of the barrel the other ones will pull him back down. The reaction of some of the so-called black leaders to the success of Senator Barack Obama seems to bear out this analogy. It seems like the closer he gets to making history the more the "haters" try to sabotage him. The sad part about this whole episode is that the same leaders who are critical of the Senator today, should he get elected will be at the White House the day after the inauguration looking for handouts.

    The latest in the purveyors of the "crab mentality" is Jesse Jackson, his comments being aired on Fox News about Senator Obama are indicative of this phenomenon. Now I have written extensively about the exploits of Mr. Jackson. From his reshaping of his relationship to Dr. King, to his corporate boycotts that seem to benefit his family, to his love child exploits; Mr. Jackson has demonstrated a lack of personal integrity in my opinion. His recent comments caught on a hot mic during an interview concerning health care policy where he appeared to be promoting the castration of Senator Obama is just the latest in a long line of comments that Mr. Jackson has been allowing to "slip" since it became clear that Senator Obama was going to make a serious run at the nomination.

Jesse Jackson reportedly ripped presidential candidate Barack Obama for "acting like he's white," according to The State newspaper in South Carolina, but the civil rights leader says he doesn't recall making any such comment...He later told the newspaper that he did not remember making the remark, but State reporter Roddie Burris told FOX News that Jackson's "acting like he's white" comment came during a 45-minute, one-on-one interview Tuesday after an hour-long speech at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. Burris said he stands by his report. Fox News

    These comments were made back in September of 2007, when the Senator would not bring attention to a rally Mr. Jackson and Al Sharpton were holding for the Jena Six. While the Senator wanted to draw attention to the larger role of race in America, according to Mr. Jackson because Senator Obama didn't follow his lead then he was acting white. When did Jesse Jackson become the barometer of blackness in America? The comments made by Jackson then and echoed today are representative of more than the generational differences between the two men, but also represent the envy and jealously that is being barely contained on the part of Mr. Jackson.

    There are two aspects to the cause of the continued "slips of the tongue" that has plagued Mr. Jackson; the first is the generational gap between the two and how it plays out in their views of America. Mr. Jackson wants Senator Obama to be a black man who is running for President, while Senator Obama views himself as a man who happens to be black running for office. Those seemingly subtle differences in language bridge decades of black life in America.  Senator Obama can not win running as a black candidate, just as Jesse Jackson could not win. Why Mr. Jackson would want to insure the defeat of Senator Obama is beyond me.  Mr. Jackson still views the nation in terms of the old struggles with the old answers.

According to the article, Jackson called the incident in Jena "a defining moment, just like Selma was a defining moment," and said Obama's failure to seize the opportunity to highlight what he describes as a disparate approach to prosecuting whites and blacks demonstrates his weaknesses as a candidate.

"If I were a candidate, I'd be all over Jena," Jackson said at the historically black college. Fox News

    Is there still racism in America? Of course there is, but it's forms have changed over the years and so it's alleviation will require new tactics. Tactics Mr. Jackson is either unwilling or unable to grasp. In standing by the old methods of delivering money to urban organizations to mete out to the uneducated masses of poor inner-city people, Mr. Jackson stands to fill his coffers at the expense of his less fortunate brothers and sisters. It is no wonder he is opposed to any new concepts for attacking the problems of the inner-city.

    We should consider which man is really "talking down" to black people. The man who speaks of realizing new possiblities and dreaming new dreams with straight talk about those things we are doing to help perpetuate our lack of success or someone who uses simple slogans and rhymes with no details of how to bring about any real change.

    Senator Obama will be our next President not because of people like Jesse Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, or the many new "black" Republican commentators who have suddenly been discovered by the MSM, but in spite of them. There is a train leaving the station in America and there will be some folks who won't get onboard for various reasons, but the train will leave with or without them.

    Richard Pryor had a joke he told that encapsulates the current state of black support for Senator Obama from the old guard of civil rights movement. He is not one of them and so he isn't beholden to any of them. Richard said he use to go home and when his old friends would see him they would say, "Man you ain't nothing, you wasn't ever nothing, you was telling them same ole jokes back then, loan me a dollar.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

The Disputed Truth

Tags: Barack Obama, blacks, Jena, Jeremiah Wright, Jesse Jackson (all tags)

Comments

14 Comments

Re: Crabs In A Barrel

Well, at least now I understand why some people took such offense at Bill Clinton's mention of Jesse Jackson. Some people really hate him.

Too bad, for all his flaws Jesse Jackson is a decent man who challenged and fundamentally changed the Democratic party. A real change candidate.

by souvarine 2008-07-16 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Crabs In A Barrel

How has Jesse Jackson fundamentally changed the Democratic party?

by ReillyDiefenbach 2008-07-16 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Crabs In A Barrel

His 1984 and 1988 campaigns brought African Americans into leadership positions in the Democratic party establishment. Especially '88 where he was a front-runner for a period in the primaries. He integrated the previously white, old-boy network that ran the party.

by souvarine 2008-07-16 07:03AM | 0 recs
It's weird that you'd see this post

as "hate". With such a broad definition, I suppose someone could also see Rev Jackon's comments as "hateful". Since presumably criticism = hate.

Personally, I see this post and the Rev's comments as expressions of two sides of an issue. But then, I reserve the "hate" term for actual hatred.

by Neef 2008-07-16 06:48AM | 0 recs
Re: It's weird that you'd see this post

Now I have written extensively about the exploits of Mr. Jackson. From his reshaping of his relationship to Dr. King, to his corporate boycotts that seem to benefit his family, to his love child exploits; Mr. Jackson has demonstrated a lack of personal integrity in my opinion.

Yeah, real hard to see how calling someone morally and politically corrupt qualifies as hatred. Let's just say the diarist really doesn't like Jackson.

by souvarine 2008-07-16 07:06AM | 0 recs
Yes, it's real hard

I think the Bush Admin is corrupt. I don't hate them. I wouldn't wish them harm.

But fine, I realize how pointless this is. I retract my nitpicking of your terminology.

by Neef 2008-07-16 07:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Crabs In A Barrel

I don't believe you actually think that the reason people objected to Bill Clinton's statement was because they "hate" Jesse Jackson.

by Jess81 2008-07-16 03:07PM | 0 recs
Mr. Jackson should stop talking to Fox News

Funny that all the evidence against him seems to be from Fox News.  

Jackson has done a lot for the party; Obama would not have been able to run the primary strategy that he did without Jackson's push for proportional allocation of delegates.

I see no reason to discount what Jackson has accomplished, or to dwell on something that obviously wasn't meant for public consumption.  We all say things sometimes that we wouldn't want made public.

I criticized The Scotsman for publishing Samantha Power's "monster" comment which was clearly meant to be off the record, and I'll criticized Fox News here.  

by Dracomicron 2008-07-16 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Mr. Jackson should stop talking to Fox News

You can criticize whom you will, but what's in you is gonna come out and when it does, then who is to blame?

by Forgiven 2008-07-16 08:32AM | 0 recs
I'm for personal responsibility, to be sure

He needs to own up to what he said; it's nobody else's fault that he said it.  He did, in fact, own up to what he said, however, and yet here we are still talking about it.

Mr. Jackson is to blame for making a stupid and insensitive comment around people who would inevitably use it to hurt him, but Fox is to blame for reporting it as news, and we, collectively, are to blame for blowing it out of proportion.

by Dracomicron 2008-07-16 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm for personal responsibility, to be sure

Blowing it out of proportion? One of the "so-called" senior black leaders discusses castrating the man he is suppose to be whole-heartedly supporting, who just so happens to be another black man with a real opportunity to secure the Presidency and make history and you say blowing it out of proportion...

by Forgiven 2008-07-16 01:19PM | 0 recs
Cripes

I also said that we were blowing the Clinton comments about RFK's assassination out of proportion.  We were.  We are.

Jackson wasn't talking about really castrating Obama.  Like, with a knife.  You know it, and so do I.  So does Fox.  It was a figure of speech to indicate how angry he was with Obama for whatever reason.  Don't pretend that you've never said anything, in private, that would sound bad if brodcast to the world at prime time.

by Dracomicron 2008-07-16 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Cripes

Again, whatever is in you will come out. Whether it was suppose to be said in private or shouted from the rooftops. It is irrelevant that he was speaking figuratively and not literally, what is relevant is the motivation behind the speaking. So, what is the motivation?

by Forgiven 2008-07-16 02:22PM | 0 recs
The mind boggles

He was probably pissed that Obama was succeeding where he failed, ultimately.  I don't see how it matters one whit.

by Dracomicron 2008-07-16 05:32PM | 0 recs

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