Jackson’s Graceless Exit

Jesse Jackson’s remarks suggesting he wanted to castrate Obama not only demonstrate his self-loathing and envy over Obama’s ascendancy to the national stage, they are a stark reminder of the vast difference between the two. Jesse Jackson, who is supposedly a man of the cloth, should never have made such remarks privately — although, as far back as his “Hymietown” remarks about New York Jews, he has been known to issue nasty personal attacks.

Obama, who had to lighten the sandbags on his sagging presidential hopes by casting the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his church overboard, nonetheless continues to enjoy overwhelming popularity in all communities across the American spectrum. Moreover, his recent play to faith-based initiatives could further endear him to the Christians.

All this must be highly disturbing to Jackson, a former Clinton backer, who suddenly finds himself without a card to play (i.e., delivering the black masses to a white politician). His vitriolic statements are rooted in his disappointment over becoming irrelevant on the political stage.

Let’s face it: Jackson represents a strategy for political empowerment that long ago lost its effectiveness. But instead of embracing the new generation, what does he do? He decides to turn on them instead. Jackson’s offhand remarks stating that Obama is merely the latest leg in a 54-year relay echo remarks by some black leaders about conservatives such as Justice Clarence Thomas. Why can’t these once-dominant power players and policy shapers realize that the time has now come for the changing of the guard?


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