Wednesday, July 16, 2008

HOPEFUL? Now take a bow.

Ever since Jesse Jackson put his whole foot and ankles into his mouth last week, by stating that he felt Barack Obama was speaking down to black people with his faith-based program initiative, and then went further by stating he wanted to cut his nuts off, I've been thinking.

I've been thinking that yes, my first instinct was indeed right.


I mean look at the facts....

Two black men

Both raised by their mothers, and grandmothers

Both raised lower class to middle class

Both went to good schools, and received great education

Both became pillars in Chicago politics

Both live on the southside of Chicago

Both ran for president

Both had platforms surrounding the idea of HOPE!

Yet, Barack became the nominee and by this time in '84 and then again in '88, we were watching Michael Dukakis smiling and shaking hands, while Jesse went fishing. While he has built an international name for himself, he has also somehow not done enough to have SUPERSTAR status!

There weren't celebrities writing songs about him. He certainly didn't break records by raising almost $55 million dollars within a month during his primary. He also never was able to defeat a political machine like the Clintons. Let's face it, you lose to Michael Dukakis, it's a wrap.

Yes, Jesse Jackson is the epitome of my parent's generation. All talk - no action! I say it all the time, our generation has to pick up the pieces left on the ground by our parents. Pieces that will somehow move our community forward instead of keeping us stagnant since the civil rights era. Jesse Jackson's message of change, come on now, we all know it: KEEP HOPE ALIVE! But once you get that hope, what do you do with it? Barack, on the other hand, said, we have the AUDACITY TO HOPE, and then took it further by saying, "Can we win the white house? YES WE CAN! His message is precise, hopeful, yet realistic. He is about taking a stand, and doing what needs to be done, truthfully by any means necessary, but in a calm and peaceful way. I imagine that infamous conversation that took place between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King served as the blueprint for the very message Obama is giving today.

Jesse Jackson had his moment - twice! He had his time during his prime, and he fell short. Perhaps, it wasn't the right time. Perhaps it wasn't enough. Either way, 20 years later, here we are again, except now, this hopefulness is working. So my advice to Jesse is to take a bow, be proud of the road you set, but stop HATING because the new flock is making it work. Not only are they making it work, but we have HOPE that it will bring the change we so desperately need.

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