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My Christmas Present for Rev. Jackson
The Cynic


Usually, 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.

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The Cynic, 2024

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