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Archive for July 10th, 2008

Jesse vs. Barack

Man, Jesse Jackson has gotten himself into another fine mess. But is it really what it seems? This latest Obama-drama hit last night: Jackson caught speaking disparagingly, and rather crudely, to a friend about Obama during a Fox News broadcast break when he thought the mic was off.

The full quote went something like, “Barack has been talking down to black people about this faith-based … I want to cut his nuts off.” A very crude remark, indeed. And perhaps one that a man from a certain generation might use in the company of his homeboys. But shouldn’t Jackson have known better than to bring that out in a Fox News studio, even if it was in a whisper during a commercial break?

Actually, my conspiracy theory side kicked in when I heard about this story last night. While I’m sure this isn’t the case, wouldn’t it be interesting if Jackson spoke those words on purpose to help assuage the white public’s fear of Obama? Think about it from the perspective of some folks, “If Jesse Jackson—a guy we really hate—doesn’t like Obama for telling black people that they need to take personal responsibility, then maybe Obama isn’t that bad after all.”

Let’s face it, Jackson is very media savvy. He knows how to get a message out there. He’s a smart man who’s been doing this stuff for a long time. Even though he’s not that close to Obama, it’s clear that he wants him to be the next president—probably for many reasons (first African American president, Democrat, Chicago roots, one of us in the White House, etc). Could Jesse be sacrificing himself in order to help skeptical people give a closer listen to the good things Obama is saying?

I’m not sure I really believe this, but I thought I’d offer it up for your consideration anyway.

Update: At least one Chicago columnist has a similar theory about the possible impact of Jackson’s words. And The Root posted an interesting piece as well.

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