Thursday, July 10, 2008

To Jesse and the lions of the civil rights movement

Wait...before I get started, I gotta put on a little Jill Scott:

If I gave you sanity
For the whole of humanity,
Had all the solutions
For the pain and pollution
No matter where I live,
Despite the things I give,
You'll always be this way
So go 'head and....

Hate on me, hater
Now or later
'Cuz I'm gonna do me
You'll be mad, baby
(Go 'head and hate)
Go 'head and hate on me, hate on
'Cuz I'm not afraid of it
What I got I paid for
You can hate on me

- From "Hate on Me" (Hear it)

Now, Jesse...I need to talk to you about this:

Successful young black people like me, like Barack Obama, owe you and other folks who marched with Dr. King a debt of gratitude. Because you all did the heavy lifting, faced the hoses, the dogs, the guns, I get to have a position of authority and sit in the board room at my job. Barack Obama, the son of an African man, may just be the next president of the United States. And that was Dr. King's dream right? At least part of it. So, I don't understand why, when you should be celebrating, some of ya'll are just...hating.

Now, no black person is obligated to like Barack Obama simply because he is a self-identified black man. But your criticisms? Man, they sound flimsy. First, we have Andrew Young snickering about how many black women Obama has slept with. Now, we have you bashing Obama's Father's Day speech. He's talking down to black people, you say. I call bullshit, Jesse. You know damned well that personal responsibility is as much as part of the movement for equality as marching and getting a foot in the halls of power. You've been preaching the same thing for the last 30-some years. Yes, the right has co-opted the notion of personal responsibility to use as a sledgehammer, but I know you're not fooled. And Barack Obama is your senator--he's been part of the fabric of Chicago politics for years--so I know you know he is qualified and the real deal.

Know what I think? I think that you and other members of the civil rights industrial complex (TM What About Our Daughters) are a little ticked that Barack Obama isn't one of your group. He didn't come up through your power structure. He hasn't kissed the appropriate rings...and asses. This is about power--yours not the people's. And it just goes to show that being a big shot for too long can go to anyone's head--even someone who started as a community leader in the streets with the people (Barack, are you taking notes?).

Jesse, ya'll can criticise Obama all you want. It's your right. But, next time you get the urge to whisper like a seventh grader, consider whether your criticisms are valid (there are many valid criticisms to be made) or whether you're just...hating.


Anonymous said...

You are right on!

rikyrah said...

you are on the money. Fox Noise? I would go under the assumption that the bathrooms are bugged. Jesse knows better.

MacDaddy said...

you're speaking the truth. And Jill Scott was perfect. I posted about the Right Rev. over at And I included Jessie Jackson's response on my sidebar. What a disappointment he was to his son. As you know, Tami, Jessie Jackson is the national Co-chair of Obama's presidential campaign. Sad.


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