Editor's note: Eric Easter writes about politics, culture and technology for ebonyjet.com
Chief of Digital Strategy for Johnson Publishing
Jesse Jackson made a mistake and he has appropriately apologized. His language was unnecessary, his timing off and the venue (Fox News of all places) gave the comment an illegitimate quality that marred the underlying point Jackson was making, though the castration analogy didn’t exactly help either. It’s all about context. In another setting, stated another way to a different group of people, his comment could have had the power to begin a dialogue to address some of the concerns about Obama’s appeal to mainstream voters and what that means.
But of course, it’s not just what you say, it’s where, how, when and to whom that matter as well. He learned a lesson. But according to quite a number of prominent black activists who are strong Obama supporters but “lovingly critical”, Obama should learn a lesson about what he says and to whom as well.
Far from some sign of a rift between Jackson and Obama, what Jackson said was repeated many times in various forms at the recent Rainbow PUSH Coalition by many thoughtful Black activists who, while supportive of Obama, also choose to be “lovingly critical” to ensure that Obama lives up to the promise he presents.
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