Some of you may remember seeing this phrase back in 1984 & 1988, but today I’m afraid that I have to place a different meaning to it. Before I get started with this I must say a few things.
First, I sincerely regret finding myself in the need to comment in this manner towards someone whom I respect for the years of service and dedication to equality and democracy. It is out of that respect I feel that I must comment about the unfortunate statements made.
I have so much honor, reverence and respect for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. it runs over into the individuals of his inner circle. It has been my opinion that anyone who was privileged to be apart of his inner circle had to be remarkable in their own way.
Occasionally I may disagree with a minor point or a way it was presented, but generally understood where they were coming from. So you may understand why it hurts a little offering the harsh criticism that I’m about to give towards someone I respect.
Personally, I like Jesse Jackson. He has inspired millions of people and continue to contribute great works for humanity, not just Black Americans. He’s more than a Black Leader or a Civil Rights Leader, he’s a leader. Some find the need to lump Black public figures into one big black bucket. This is true for every minority group in America. Some are trying to do that now to Barack Obama. Yes, he will be the first Black President, just like George W. Bush is the 43rd White President. Although some in the U.S. enjoy slicing and dicing the population into neat little groups, we are all only apart of one group. Barack Obama will be The President, not the Black President, White President, but The President.
Their comes a time when a leader has to follow. I’m not suggesting that he needs to sit down and never say or do anything again. I agree that if a leader sins unintentionally he is still guilty (Paraphrase from Leviticus 4:22), but I believe he sincerely regrets what he has said. My question is why did you even speak life into these words in the first place?
Whenever you’re in a lion’s den such as FOX NEWS you don’t throw them a steak to chew on. IT’S FOX NEWS. You must be on your guard at all times while in their presence. Never let your guard down around these propagandists for the right if you’re on the left or center. They’re smiling in your face, but looking for ANYTHING to use against you and/or anyone who threatens their distorted grip of reality.
Rev. Jackson (big sigh). You of all people should understand the implications of your comments. “…cut his nuts off.” I won’t even go into the racial history of that type of statement.
Next, what’s wrong with what Barack embracing the Faith-based initiatives started by President Bush? It shows his willingness to have a dialog and clarify his stance on the topic. Now don’t choke on this one, but Bush had a good idea, but politicized it for his own gain. Preachers like money, some use it for goodwill and some for personal gain. I believe Barack will expand the initiative in the way that it is inclusive.
Nothing is wrong with father’s being fathers to their children. I’m a Black father and was fortunate enough to have a great father who has been a positive influence in my life since birth. I’ve heard not only Barack Obama, Bill Cosby, my own father and other ministers all over this country has frequently talk about the unfortunate things SOME Black men are not doing. Their critical words comes out of love for the community. I personally experience the struggles a Black man faces and the perceptions of being Black in America on a daily basis. But I refuse to allow it define who I am. You must rise above what others think of you.
Hell yeah it’s unfair, difficult and frustrating. Yes you get tired of being second guessed, ignored or perceived as a threat on everything. I quote Dr. King, “if it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go on out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures; sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music; sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry; sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well“. You have to be the master your own life in order to be a positive influence to your kid(s).
I still believe that Rev. Jackson is a good man. I can easily forgive the lack of good judgment. We all get caught up for time to time. You shouldn’t criticize the efforts of an upcoming leader because he offer some harsh words towards a community they love and are apart of themselves. You’re not unpatriotic if you disagree with war.
The relay isn’t over for Rev. Jackson, but the 4th man running in this race has his hand out and has already started to sprint, it’s time to pass the baton so we can win the race. We as an American people for truth, equality and democracy.
It is because of your efforts Rev. Jackson in 1984 & 1988 that Barack will win in 2008. Let’s not drop the baton now, the race is close but we can win it.
As you said at the Democratic Convention in Atlanta in 1988, “The good of our Nation is at stake. It’s commitment to working men and women, to the poor and the vulnerable, to the many in the world. Common good is finding commitment to new priorities to expansion and inclusion. A commitment to expanded participation in the Democratic Party at every level. A commitment to a shared national campaign strategy and involvement at every level. A commitment to new priorities that insure that hope will be kept alive.”
If we all are going to change the direction of this country towards truth, democracy and true equality we can’t make statements like this.
In closing I quote you again, Rev. Jackson out of great respect for your good works, because I believe that if we are to win this race we must “Pull the patches and the pieces together, bound by a common thread. When we form a great quilt of unity and common ground, we’ll have the power to bring about health care and housing and jobs and education and hope to our Nation. We, the people, can win.”
Run Barack Run.