What Jesse Said

The New Republic

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JULY 10, 2008

What Jesse Said

Interesting African-American perspective on Jesse Jackson's nut-cutting musings:

But the Father’s Day speech is only indicative of a broader issue. Rightly or wrongly, some Black progressives are deeply suspicious of the change in white America that has led to Obama’s position. Specifically that white people don’t just want political change, they want a change in the racial dynamic. And hearing about black problems does not fit into their idea of this new America that will be created when Obama becomes president. There are equal parts of truth, paranoia and resistance to change in that suspicion. That’s one of the reasons Jackson said what he did.No one realistically expects that the first Black man with a real shot at President of the United States was going to be the reincarnation of Stokely Carmichael, but to the extent that some highly visible supporters are worried that Obama’s move to the center is a move away from urban issues and the community suffering from those issues, Senator Obama has reason to be concerned. Inelegantly, rudely and stupidly, that’s what Jesse Jackson was suggesting. That don’t make him wrong though.

--Michael Crowley

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