Thursday, July 10, 2008

Something We'd LIKE Jesse to Cut Out

There are certain people whose nuts we wouldn't mind cutting out, and even more people we consider badly in need of some nuts to start with.

Maybe this is why we're just not bothered by the most publicly controversial part of Jesse Jackson's latest indiscretion.   The "nuts" line ill-becomes a reverend, but Jackson isn't a real reverend anyway, so we can scarcely hold nuts-cutting aspirations against the old fraud.

What outrages us is JJ's other comment.

"Barack been talking down to black people ..."

No, Jesse.   Not "Barack been talking ..."

It's "Barack's been talking ... ", or "Barack has been talking ..."

We'll never understand why Jesse Jackson thought he could make a career as a kind of Mussolini of American blacks by sounding like the most vicious white racist's minstrel-show caricature of a black man.

A large part of Barack Obama's appeal is that he's a man whom parents of every ethnicity can commend to their children as someone to admire and emulate.   This probably is why Jackson resents him so bitterly.

We don't hold poor speech against people who didn't have much opportunity in life.   My grandparents had only limited education; they used "ain't" and "he don't" and similar constructions.   They did their best.

We're not even bugged that Jackson, a college graduate (or are you faking that, too, Jesse?), should know better.

What's upsetting is that for a generation and more he's put himself forward as a leader, and therefore, implicitly, as a role model.   Take on that job and you have a responsibility to do better.

To those of you getting ready to comment that this is just a tirade against "Black English" -- spare us.

You want to hear some "Black English?"

We refer you to the aforementioned Senator Barack Obama.   Or to thousands in our own community, in business or journalism, in a classroom or a laboratory, in medicine or law or government, in a cop car or fire engine, in a machine shop or driving a bus, or in myriad other endeavors of every stripe, whose ancestors came from Africa and to any of whom we'd point, and tell our children, "Be like this when you grow up."

Obama, by the way, was right when he said our kids should learn to speak Spanish.   He's too much of a gentleman to have added, yesterday, that Jesse Jackson should learn to speak English.


John back pain Austin said...

I was not shocked by the statement, but I was surprised he ended his sentence with the preposition "off". Shouldn't it be “I want to cut off his nuts”?

Exile said...

Indeed, if Jesse Jackson were really serious about the issues he espouses he would be applauding Obama's statements and the way in which he says them. This is depressing to see.