I am reluctant to lend advice to those whom I frequently disagree
with. With the Holidays upon us, I cannot seem to stop myself from
staying in the giving mood. With that, I wish to offer a special gift
to the Reverend Jesse Jackson this season.
You see, if I were from another planet (Al Gore, I've come to take you
home) and were to examine only the actions of Jesse Jackson as of
late, I would believe that racism is nonexistent in this country. This
obviously is not true, however it seems that Rev. Jackson has to
resort to manufacturing racial problems for him to get any airtime
these days. From his ridiculous claims in the Decatur, IL school
expulsions to his recent calls for "civil rights explosions"
in Florida, it appears that Jesse has run out of ways to help his
fellow African Americans. My gift to him is a few suggestions on ways
he can actually help the plight of black Americans...
First of all, stop the claims of under-representation of blacks on
television and actually address the way blacks are being
represented. One only need to look at daytime television to see the
negative stereotypes of black people on full display on Jerry, Ricki,
Maury, etc. Day in and day out, we are bludgeoned with black men with
5 different "ho's," black women who refuse to get off
welfare so they can keep dealing drugs, urban thugs who cannot master
the English language and a whole mess of people who cannot disagree
without resorting to mob mentality. These were the stereotypes that
black leaders fought so hard to dispel in years past. As a
libertarian, I am opposed to strong-arming the networks into dumping
these programs, however your dissenting voice may give them pause
before they continue to tailor their shows in this fashion.
Second, maybe you should consider offering hope, rather than stirring
the emotional angst of your followers. While it is impossible for me
to imagine what it would be like to grow up as a black man, I can
imagine what it would be like to grow up in a housing project,
attending failing schools and being told time and time again that the
system is against me. My outlook on life would be pretty bleak. Where
are the black success stories? Why, when given the opportunity, do you
feel it necessary to portray the message that the country is against
black people? Wouldn't it be preferable to bring the black business
owners or black authors out in front of black children and show them
what can be accomplished with hard work and a strong spirit?
Third, grab hold of the school voucher agenda and don't let go. I have
struggled to understand your opposition to this. If you are truly
concerned about the future of black children you would be leading the
way on this issue. The majority of black Americans support a school
voucher program. Why? Because public education has failed them and
they need a viable alternative. We have tried throwing more money at
the government controlled education system and have ended up with
lower scores in both language and math and a lot more bureaucracy. If
a school voucher program could help just a handful of kids, it should
be worth your consideration if not your full support.
Additionally, you should think about your causes. Things like more
black coaches and owners in professional sports sound nice on the
surface, but really isn't a good use of your time. I cannot understand
how having a multimillionaire former athlete becoming a head coach is
a big step forward. There are millions of inner city people looking
for real employment; meanwhile, you're working to get Isiah Thomas out
of the Jacuzzi and into the owner's suite. This is not social
progress, it's favoritism.
Finally, maybe you should consider going back to being 'apolitical'
Jesse. While your Marxist philosophies on social justice will not
allow you to separate from the Democratic party ideologically, you can
separate from them politically. I can go on for pages explaining to
you how collectivism does nothing for African Americans, but time and
space requirements prevent me from doing so. So let me just say that
aligning yourself with one party means you only have achieved only
half of your potential. Imagine the weight of your words if you could
not be so easily labeled a Democratic henchman. Your arrangement
of 'I'll give you votes if you give me a soapbox' with the Democratic
party has rendered you powerless with George Bush winning the White
House. A thirst for power can be blinding, but is it so blinding that
you should call for a riot if you don't get your way? Would a riot
similar to the Rodney King riots be good for this country? Would it
ease racial tensions? Is it really worth it?
What it comes down to is that your once promising career of civil
rights leadership has become a political joke. You have become a bad
impersonation of your former self and are nothing more than a
political pawn for the party you so blindly support. You are Saturday
Night Live fodder. You are the butt of several insider political
jokes. How are you going to advance civil rights in this country when
hardly anyone takes you seriously?
Many of my readers may now be wondering why I took the effort to point
these things out, as Jesse has become the burr in the saddle of race
relations in this country. Why not let him fade into the sunset? Why
not let him become the next spokesperson for Ronco's newest
infomercial for the Popeil Deluxe Rotisserie? ( It facilitates, it
irradiates, it can make a cake, it rotissirates; and you can have it
for 6 easy payments of $39.99).
The truth is, Jesse Jackson has done some good, if not great, things
in the name of racial equality. If he continues down the path he is on
now he will become irrelevant (if he is not there already). Normally,
I would be happy to see a roadblock to racial harmony removed in this
country, but without Jesse in the picture the next voice for black
America would be Al Sharpton.
Now that's scary.
Receive new column
updates and many extras by signing up for the Cynic's newsletter: Click
© The Cynic, 2000
Meanwhile, Back in the Swamp...
Kingfish sees a statesman. Guess who it ain't
Tonight, Al Gore has become a man. And Kirsten Andersen doesn't
like what she sees
View expressed are
those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Political