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I know most people who hear this story aren't going to know what the context was, so I've provided video... The 'nuts' part might have been rather crude. Or, as a friend said to me over the phone: "Seriously? How emasculating. That's some antebellum, 'Strange Fruit' shit right there. Score one for the white man." But. Jesse isn't wrong about the 'talking down to black people' part. That's what Barack has been doing on his personal responsibility tour. It's one of a few things he's been doing lately as the nominee that makes me feel uncomfortable. Poor black parents know their kids aren't gonna grow up to be rappers or ballers. But they also have to work crazy hours (if they can get a job) to put food on the table. It's all about priorities, and I don't think the blacks whom Obama is encouraging to 'do right' are purposely letting things slide in their homes. Sigh. Some things are getting hard to justify right now.

12 new thought(s):

Jon said...


A) The term "thinking Obama supporter" is now dutifully incorporated into my lexicon.

B) You put words to something that's been bothering me for a while; namely, the somewhat condescending nature of his advice to those in a lower socioeconomic class.

Still the love the man. But love, in politics, is not blind.

jameil1922 said...

whatever. jesse should not have been on fox news with that. there are forums for everything you say and that ain't it. he can do well to remember his myriad and sundry snafus. methinks he wants his job back as black spokesperson.

Uptown said...

I agree with Jameil. Even JJ Jr. called his dad out on the mess. It was neither the time of place for that comment and Jessie knows better. He is just bitter and hating. That was the root of that comment. Ain't no justification for ign'ance.

The Breaking Point said...

How is Obama guilty of "talking down" to black people?

If admonishing black sperm donors to actually be fathers to their children meets the criteria, there needs to be a profound paradigm shift.

CNEL said...

What the hell? I wondered to myself whether or not Jesse's crude comments represent a further need for new black leaders.

I understand that some AA's don't appreciate Barack Obama in a vain similar to Bill Cosby airing the dirty laundry. Is it that he can't say it or just not in certain forums?

I think it's one of those times when we must look at intent. Is the Senator's intent to disparage or encourage? Is he determined to put down or uplift?

I think as long as Obama is coming forth with solutions without just identifying the problem, and as long as he's willing to be part of the change he wishes to see he's headed in the right direction.

the joy said...

All I have to say is that its weird for me that he jumped straight to nuts. I mean, is anyone else thinking that he's said that on the daily as a kind of term he uses when he cares, but you're getting on his nerves? Like when my grandma said she'd wring your neck.

The important thing to hope for obama is that while he's encouraging personal responsibility, he's also creating opportunities. I think he can do that.

shani-o said...

@ Jon: I've been going through it lately when it comes to Obama. I still believe, and I think he has a right to say what he does, but at the same time I get this strange feeling that he's playing to the masses.

@ Jameil: What's puzzling is the fact that he's been so quiet up 'til now.

@ Uptown: of course JJJr called him out - he works for Obama.

@ LH: that's way too reductive.

@ CNel: good point. I don't think his intent is to upbraid or disparage... at least not as much as the Cos was.

@ Joy: I think it's a male thing. What's the worst thing you can do? Take away someone's manhood.

Uptown said...


JJJr. also works for his dad. Remember that whole Pepsi-Cola fiasco? Personally, I would find it hard to be on the side of my employer rather than my parent -- whether or not he or she was dead wrong. As is the case here.

The Breaking Point said...

Shanio, honestly, I've yet to hear or read anyone explain how admonishing black sperm donors to actually be fathers is tantamount to talking down to black people.

I can't help saying that the irony of a so-called reverend performing a rhetorical castration on a black man for his "faith based" condescension is enough to gag on. Where's the condescension?

The black community is in a state of emergency. All of us see the effects that various pathologies (e.g., crime, drug addiction, pervasive familial dysfunction) are having on the black community and yet Jesse Jackson is attacking Barack Obama?

The real problem is that Obama's comments cut too close to Jackson's bone. Bill Cosby has said everything that Obama said and "worse," yet he gets a pass from Jackson? Why?

Uptown said...

The breaking point: for one thing both Jackson and Cosby are publically been exposed for having children out of wedlock. It's the old boys club and these old boys aren't ready to step aside and let some youngblood in, yet. It's really sad because they have allowed our community to fall into disrepair under their watch.

The Breaking Point said...

uptown: Great point.

X Factor said...

I just don't understand how it can be said that either Bill Cosby or Barack Obama are "talking down to people." If white people can't say it without being labeled "racist" or "offensive," and Black people can't say without the words being deemed "pandering" or "talking down," then who is going to say it? Because please understand, IT NEEDS TO BE SAID. Sure, SOME Black parents aren't willingly throwing their children under the proverbial bus by being absentee fathers and overworked mothers- we all need to make a living. But I don't accept that a message to do better from someone who looks like me and has been to the places where I have been can ever be wrong. I do, however, think that we as people are quick to bristle when someone who has money tells someone who doesn't how to improve their lot. WHY SHOULDN'T THEY? Momma never sugarcoated shit, and neither should the people who are poised to become our leaders. I support Dr. Cosby and Senator Obama- they have a message that not only needs to be heard, but FOLLOWED. No, it isn't our "fault" that we are in some of the positions that we are in (e.g., centuries of slavery, racism, and oppression), but it sure will be if we are complacent to stay there.