Streams

Obama and Jackson

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ta-Nehisi Coates, journalist and author of The Beautiful Struggle, and John McWhorter, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, discuss Jesse Jackson's comments that Barack Obama talks down to black audiences.

Guests:

Ta-Nehisi Coates and John McWhorter

The Morning Brief

Enter your email address and we’ll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.

Comments [134]

E from The Bronx

133

You reach a broad conclusion about me based on one statement I wrote. Is reaching such assumption wise? Helpful?

Jul. 11 2008 06:18 AM
eva

E-
I catch your drift, but, in my case, it's the Maternalistic, not the Paternalistic, perspective.
And I would argue that it's your limited focus on paternalistic policies, rather than maternalistic mentoring, that has perpetuated the problem as much as anything else.
As a member of a minority group who's spent a not-unlimited amount of time tutoring and assisting minorities on a pro bono basis (even model minorities) I say we're all in it together, and if one group slips behind, it's not entirely up to them - it's up to all of us. That is, it's up to them, and to the larger society, of which I am a part.

Jul. 10 2008 09:21 PM
E from The Bronx

"The question is how to pull those African-Americans who are in poverty up OUT of poverty, when they start with few educational and cash resources."

That paternalistic perspective perpetuates the problem.

Jul. 10 2008 08:20 PM
eva

#129, hjs, I'm sorry, but is your question serious?
That "maybe Af-american (sic) like poverty?"
That question kind of answers itself. Of course 99.999 percent of African-Americans dislike poverty. The question is how to pull those African-Americans who are in poverty up OUT of poverty, when they start with few educational and cash resources.
I like the lady on the previous page who counseled that black women should learn to keep their knees crossed. I think all women should learn to keep their knees crossed until marriage or a solid relationship. Or be on the pill. Unfortunately, common sense is not where white or black culture is at these days.

Jul. 10 2008 08:14 PM
E from The Bronx

the truth,

do you suffer from neck pain? if you'd take that big chip off your shoulder, i'd bet you'd feel better.

Jul. 10 2008 08:08 PM
hjs from 11211

AWM
well carrying the bitterness for 6 more generations won't help either. many immigrants come to this country and make it. maybe
Af-american like poverty?

Jul. 10 2008 05:49 PM
Bill from New York

AWM. I can buy that. Now if only liberals would stop helping the opposition. But Dems need victims as much as Republicans need threats to campaign around: different takes on the same status quo neither really has any interest in changing.

Jul. 10 2008 02:04 PM
Zora from nyc

Poor Jesse Jackson. I think two things account for his unfortunate remark: (1) Obama's speech hit too close to home because Jackson, himself, fathered a child about six or seven years ago outside of his marriage and; (2) it's as hard to step aside as it's hard for a prize fighter to know when to get out of the ring -- this, I believe, goes to issues of relevance and, perhaps, jealousy and in-the-spotlight addiction. I'm also surprised that, given the historical racial connotation of black castration, that Jackson would even give voice to such a sentiment. Jackson ought to participate in some personal introspection: take pride in whatever positives he leaves behind, analyze where he went wrong, find another mission in life, perhaps become a humanitariana, develop and evolve and move on already.

Jul. 10 2008 01:43 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

LOVE is blind.

Jul. 10 2008 01:28 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

JT,

I just saw the rest of your post...No I am not blind, in fact I have very good foresight. Thanks.

Jul. 10 2008 01:25 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

JT,

I agree. It was a response to Phoebe from page 1. She said Blacks put your pain behind you and move on.

But I agree the "blank" is what is best suited here.

Stings though doesn't it? I assume you are Jewish and thus the reason you responded the way you did.

Jul. 10 2008 01:23 PM
JT from NYC

Re: #117,

_____________(fill in the blank), put your pain behind you, and move on.

(guess "the truth" is blind)

Jul. 10 2008 01:20 PM
AWM from UWS

Bill,

It's also an ideology that the right uses to create a wedge between "Us & Them"

Actually, since Nixon, it's been more useful for them.

Jul. 10 2008 12:57 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Very well said Harlem Lady. I see there was intelligent convo taking place here while I was away.

Jul. 10 2008 12:56 PM
Hannah Podob from Flushing, New York

I listened to your program about Barak Obama and the Irag war. The fact that he has changed his stance on the way he'd bring the soldiers home.
Please fact check - his September '07 answer at one of the debates. He has said exactly the same thing that he's saying now.
Please, please, please don't follow all the news media that just parrot the sound bites from pundits.
Thank you.

Jul. 10 2008 12:52 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

HJS, Black people DO take care of their families, whether it is the father alone or the mother alone, father and mother or grandparents. Try not to be misleading with your comments please.

Jul. 10 2008 12:50 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Real mature Phoebe. Died in the war has nothing to do with the subject. Go back to your Barbie dream house and stop trying to match wits with me. You can NOT distract me with a sob story.

Oh and by the by my father and grandfather fought for this racist ass country too!

Jul. 10 2008 12:48 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Jews put the pain behind you and move on.

Jul. 10 2008 12:46 PM
Bill from New York

AWM

I wish I had an answer for you. I think we can start, though, by exploring alternatives to identity politics. Multiculturalism is a liberal mainstay, but in my view it's deeply conservative and essentializing in practice, an ideology that practically obligates cultures, as they exist, to persist as they exist or risk some violation of natural law if they stray. It's an ideology by which white liberals get to show how generous and embracing they are while insisting those they embrace stay static. Food Court Conservatism for white liberal delectation. History is about change that the concept of persisting identities across history anachronizes. Modern day African Americans have more in common with me, more shared experiences and shared cultural references, than they do with southern plantation slaves, but the merest label, African American, the idea in general of group identities persisting across history, narrows empathies. That's what group identity is: selective empathy. I have nothing against any culture as such, I'm not worried for the future of American Culture at the hands of immigrants. Change will bring something new that will seem to those experiencing it as natural and right as that which some to day feel to be under threat. What I'm against is culturalism, especially a plurality of them. They're prescriptive rather than descriptive. There is no way anyone is supposed to act or be based on parentage.

Jul. 10 2008 12:41 PM
AWM from UWS

Bill,

We'll stop being descended from slaves when people acknowledege what that truly means.

Jul. 10 2008 12:32 PM
Bill from New York

HarlemLady: when will you ever not be descended from slaves? What does that mean to you and why does that sound like some new kind of exclusive club? "Obama is not one of us." I'm white and I'm descended from someone descended from slaves: my maternal grandmother was the illegitimate child of a married Jewish man (the slaves he was descended from can be read about in the Bible) who hung my great-grandmother out to dry. My maternal grandfather has Native American in his ancestry. I suppose I'm "one of them" too? There is also black ancestry in my family tree, as there is in "white" American aplenty. Slavery is currently rife in Africa. What do we know about Obama's distant African ancestry? Identity is exactly the problem here.

Jul. 10 2008 12:25 PM
AWM from UWS

Bill,

Well said. Now in what kind of environment can we develop a positive and constructive focus on the individual identity for children living in negative circumstances?

You have the ability to be introspective and contemplate your place in the world. So many kids can't even get to the starting gate. Rather they become a immersed in this uniform mass of doomed behavior. And they will be "parents" too.

Jul. 10 2008 12:20 PM
HarlemLady from Harlem New York

First - descendants of slaves also known as American Blacks, as we rush out to vote because he is Black please remember Obama is not one of us. One reason he is more palatable to white america, he is not one they have to apologize to. Second - his father is African and the custom of having more than one wife, more than one child is not unusual. Third his father went back to Africa, but there are photo's of him with his father at 10 years old so he evidently did not disappear all together. Let's stick to the issues that are important - economics is at the top of the list and sperm donors leaving their families is an economic topic. Yes Cosby has spoken on this topic and we need to be hounded on it until we fix it, mothers take some responsibility for raising your sons to be Men, even when their fathers are not in the household but Obama speak to us the same as you speak to other groups, we have sons and daughters in Iraq, we have health care issues as well as missing fathers.

Jul. 10 2008 12:10 PM
Bill from New York

Read my post again. That we don't live in a vacuum is implicit. I don't need to be explicit about it because it goes without saying. If my grandfather was ruined by another it affected my mother and it affected me; my father leaves my mother and offers little to no financial support, it affects my mother and me. Certainly those examples are paltry next to slavery and Jim Crow, but the point is that lost in all the talk of making things right is one's *own* responsibility to get over the past. Which is why I said "I think *part* of the answer to that is whether or not theirs is a culture of resentment." Of course we don't live in a vacuum. All our circumstances are just that, circumstances, and to the extent that they are beyond our control they are vastly so: they are the result of incalculable processes that safely-generalizable phenomenons like slavery and historic discrimination can't begin to address. So what can you control? Identify that and begin from there. If I find out tonight that I was adopted from, say, Jewish parents the weight of history doesn't suddenly fall upon my shoulders, but if I'd known my "provenance" from the beginning I might now be in different circumstances, ones dictated to me *in part* by my sense of identity, of kinship, with suffering I never in fact suffered. I have a hard enough time getting past the real disadvantages I *have* suffered. So, yes, I am trying. Trying harder all the time.

Jul. 10 2008 12:09 PM
chris o from new york city

Harry,
You said he was ignoring his black audience by going for the white liberals. I was pointing out that it was said in front of a black audience which make your remarks completely offbase. So I don't think it matters what audience he said this in front of except that it directly counters YOUR offbase remarks.

Jul. 10 2008 11:57 AM
AWM from UWS

#107,

So I guess that all of the economic and societal disparities that history has led us to today aren't a factor?

We don't live in a vaccum. Can someone please try to take into account that centuries of history and the present don't just separate themselves from one another because you think they should?

It's easier for the brain to tell your finger to wag at someone than think about uncomfortable realities. People like to tell others to try harder, YOU try harder.

Jul. 10 2008 11:51 AM
Harry from NYC

CHRIS O:
"...Seems like it worked for him..." It worked for him because he still had "traditional" role model parents in his grandparents, by the way even his goofy communist Mother left!
Secondly, What does it matter that he said this in a rare appearance in front of an almost exclusively black audience?

Jul. 10 2008 11:51 AM
Bill from New York

Why does what any of your ancestors went through matter? You can generalize along identitarian lines but there are always exceptions to the rule in specifics. Did some individual through ill will ruin my grandfather? Should I demand satisfaction from the generations he's produced? What slights could his grandchildren find in their pasts at some other's person's hands? Our ancestors are gone and can neither seek satisfaction nor make amends. Live in the now and identify how you can live well and responsibly in the world you currently live. In answer to a question posed somewhere above: why do some immigrant groups perform better than others, despite comparable levels of poverty? I think *part* of the answer to that is whether or not theirs is a culture of resentment. Inherited bitterness. You can show your ancestors respect by acknowledging their trials, but at some point they've done you a great disservice by passing their resentments on to you--or you've done yourself a disservice by taking their burdens on as your own.

Jul. 10 2008 11:43 AM
AWM from UWS

#97,

You've got a lot of nerve.

Just wave away a lineage of oppression and get on with it, huh?

What a shallow perspective.

Jul. 10 2008 11:40 AM
Nikos from Manhattan

I'm wondering why Obama, or anyone else, doesn't address the responsibility of women in the conception, birth and raising of their children.
It's just too easy to blame the male. Women have the power (when they take it) to not allow the event to take place. Or, to only take place under specific conditions.
I can't wait for a Mother's Day speech where this is addressed. Yeah, right!

Jul. 10 2008 11:30 AM
AWM from UWS

#87,

A white face didn't bring entitlement?

Slavery & segregation were the largest and most profound entitlement programs in the history of this country, by far.

Why does what your ancestors went through negate what mine did? You are lost.

Jul. 10 2008 11:23 AM
AWM from UWS

#82

OK, excluding the genocide and displacement of native Americans, nothing that has happened in the history of this country has been more damaging and discriminatory than slavery, which was a societal and institutional foundation in this country for well over a century and a half, and the subsequent segregation that followed for decades after and ended within the last 40 years. There is no comparison.

Jul. 10 2008 11:20 AM
BORED

Also can we stop with the lie that Obamas fathers day speech was given to a mostly black audience. It was biled as a Address on fatherhood and the national media was there and they reported on it that night and in the next day newspapers.

Jul. 10 2008 11:15 AM
BORED

@ phoebe again how does a black person like me blend in. Whatever your grandparents were when they came, once they learned to read and write they too became white and benefited from Things like the New Deal which Native Blacks were denied. So get your facts straight before you start with the "we had it as bad as you" its lame and its not true.

Jul. 10 2008 11:13 AM
chris o from new york city

And Harry,
Get your facts straight in your first post. The speech was given before a mostly black audience. Duh.

Jul. 10 2008 11:12 AM
chris o from new york city

Harry,
I said Obama's father left him when he was 2 years old. You say my facts are wrong. Sorry buddy but what I wrote is a fact.

Jul. 10 2008 11:12 AM
Theresa

I'd like to get a bit more prosaic here, and say: Jackson would be at Fox Studios, and be so unguarded, *regardless* of whether or not his mike was on? WTF!!!???!!
Dude! That is ENEMY TERRITORY. Whether you are black, white, Oreo, old school, retro, paleo, blood red, pale pink, yellow or blue dog. If you are any kind of liberal activist, you are on enemy ground, and you have got to have your damn wits about you.
Which leads me to the unpleasant supposition that perhaps-- just perhaps-- for reasons I don't completely understand-- the "gaffe" was a deliberate one.

Jul. 10 2008 11:10 AM
hjs from 11211

truth
if u have 2 mill than ur better off than i am so what's your point.
blacks - time to move on and take care of your families, put the pain behind you and act like an adult

Jul. 10 2008 11:09 AM
Harry from NYC

Chris O...Another great comment! HAHAHA
Obama was raised by his MARRIED grandmother and grandfather!
Get your facts straight!

Jul. 10 2008 11:08 AM
Phoebe from NJ

The Truth: How it fits, in any society... get an education, dress well, speak well, take responsibility for your own actions, behave in a manner which is fitting to your social status. This transcends race.

Jul. 10 2008 11:05 AM
Phoebe from NJ

Actually, he died in the trenches in WW1. Great favor. Stick to your victimhood, and enjoy.

Jul. 10 2008 11:03 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Phoebe,

Listen to what you are saying "then they BLENDED into white mainstream society" How does that work for mine?

Jul. 10 2008 11:02 AM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ

the truth,

Nope, no sarcasim. Just asking the question. That’s why I put in the "Devil’s advocate" disclosure because I don’t know the answer.

Jul. 10 2008 11:02 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Phoebe, keep researching, I bet your great grandfather received more "favor" than mine. I bet you $2mil right now.

Jul. 10 2008 11:02 AM
chris o from new york city

Obama's father left him behind when he was 2 (I do not know the details). Seems like it worked for him, although he is an exceptional individual.

Jul. 10 2008 11:01 AM
bill from montclair nj

Brilliant show! Brian, your capacity to faciltate meaning dialogue on issues and to include multiple perspectives is extraordinary.

What I like about Obama is actually quite similar. I think he has the abiity to recognize that there are multiple perspectives on complex issues, and there may be some validity to many of the various points of view. So he can discuss issues (like fatherhood in the black community) from these multiple perspectives while seeking common ground for solutions. Is addressing personal responsibilty a key element in dealing with the issue? Absolutely. But my guess is that he also believes that part oof the solution includes dealaing with the overall economy and yes, addressing issues of systemic or historical racism. (For example, I believe he continues to support affirmative action).

I think many people want to put him in a box that makes it easy to pigeon hold or label him: flip flopper! progressive! betrayer of progressives! tax and spend liberal! But Obama is more complex than any of these easy labels.I hope he continues in his efforts to clarify and articulate his nuanced views on difficult issues.

Jul. 10 2008 10:59 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Jon P.

Nothing wrong with asking questions. Unless you were of course being sarcastic.

Jul. 10 2008 10:57 AM
Phoebe from NJ

@80: Not at all true. Research the issues all immigrant groups have faced in moving to the US. They banded together, helped one-another, and eventually blended into the (white) mainstream. But all faced discrimination on entry to the country, and a "white face" brought no entitlement.

Jul. 10 2008 10:57 AM
Stan from New Jersey

Senator Obama is running for President of the United States of America, not of the NAACP or Urban League.

None of the various clergy persons recently defamed by some in the media are running for President.

Neither Presidential candidate is running for God.

The truth may often be "inconvenient."

However, it is time to face the facts and act accordingly and constructively for the sake of our posterity and posteriors.

People have and make choices, and choices do have consequences.

Please continue your responsible use of the media, discussing the issues rather than irrelevant distractions.


"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

- Dr Martin Luther King, Jr (1963)

--30--

Jul. 10 2008 10:57 AM
Bill from New York

#62: Why doesn't that go without saying? Of course a single-parent household is preferable to a two-parent household marked by abuse.

#66: If patriarchy's a delusion the community labors under then by all means appeal to it to get men to be responsible. All-or-nothing idealism gets no one anywhere. Be willing to take steps. As I said above, I wasn't disadvantaged by the absence of a father figure as such, but my workingclass, single-mother household put us both at a disadvantage, so burdened was she by the responsibilities, financial and parental, that would otherwise have been shared by two. If some toxic household would have resulted from my parents staying together could that have been worse? No doubt. But I don't see how it isn't obvious that the problem this segment was concerned with isn't a cycle that needs to stop somewhere: son of broken family father's broken family, etc. Anyone who thinks these guests really think this is a panacea is making the sweeping generalizations themselves.

Jul. 10 2008 10:56 AM
Harry from NYC

mike humphreys:
That is because they are invested in hate. They hate tradition, they hate the family, they hate patriotism or anything that calls on them for responsibility or duty, in short narcissists. Both my wife and I work and we share responsibility for our young children. It would be nearly impossible for either of us to provide a good supervised and purposeful environment if we were single parents!

Jul. 10 2008 10:55 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

BORED...what are you challenged?

Black Father + White Mother = Bi-Racial

Jul. 10 2008 10:55 AM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ

AWN,

That’s why I asked... What do you do when you have question you don’t know the answer to? Do you sit there remain ignorant?

Jul. 10 2008 10:54 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Again,

This is not a racial issue. This is about Barack speaking on one specific issue, on father's day, in a predominately Black church.

annnnd, here is more of what is wrong with this country..Black Church, White Church, Chinese Church, Jewish Synagogue!!

Jul. 10 2008 10:54 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Phoebe,

But they settled here in the US!! Their white faces bought them entitlement.

Jul. 10 2008 10:53 AM
BORED

What is bi racial.

Jul. 10 2008 10:52 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

HJS,

Nope and they don't force the hispanics, jews, Germans, Islandics or Scotts to either. But everything is relative and trickles down to what the childs home life is...granted some, just simply give up and leave.

Jul. 10 2008 10:50 AM
AWM from UWS

#60,

The problem is that you don't know the answer to your question.

Jul. 10 2008 10:49 AM
Phoebe from NJ

@69: Slavery ended in the US a LONG time ago, so there has been no "kidnapping from their true home". Couldn't the same also be said of the Irish, Polish, Jewish, Italians who were unwillingly forced to leave their homes and emigrate through famine & purges in Europe?

Jul. 10 2008 10:48 AM
Dominique from Bronx

First of all, one black man should NEVER talk about castrating another black man if he know ANYTHING about the history of Africans in America! Jesse Jackson should be a shamed.

Secondly Barack Obama's black father did leave him and had lots of children with lots of different women. So it's possible that his resentment towards his father led to these comments. If he's talking down to black people then so is Cosby and every other black person who makes suck comments about black fatherhood. (Just a thought)

Finally, Mr. Lehrer's guest talked about white parents walking behind carriages on the Upper West Side. WRONG! Black women are walking behind both sets of carriages as single mothers AND as Nannies! Let's get some historical and social context Brotha! Don't just talk out the side of your neck.

Jul. 10 2008 10:48 AM
jonathanpberger from 11211

The Obama News of the morning has NOTHING to do with Jesse Jackson's comments. Let's talk about something that matters to America: FISA capitulation. C'mon Lehrer, you can do better.

Jul. 10 2008 10:48 AM
hjs from 11211

truth
do whites force black to drop out of high school?

Jul. 10 2008 10:47 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

you RARELY see white couples with their children, you USUALLY see the white children with their black nannies..

What, is this something new?

Jul. 10 2008 10:47 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

BORED,

Senator Obama is Bi-Racial, he represents diverse America, not Black America.

Jul. 10 2008 10:46 AM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ

Thank you Harry. And I gather these same people didn’t grow with just one parent. You can be raised right by just one parent put its real hard if there is no outside support system like other family members or if the parent is never around because they are working to jobs just to make ends meet as single parent.

Jul. 10 2008 10:44 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Jon P. The males of the other groups were economically empowered to take care of their family units. Whites shut that down for Blacks, specifically the men.

For a time this government would only take care of the Black family if there was no male in the household.

We remind white people too much of the devastation their ancestors caused and they have tried everything to get our ancestors to "go back where they came from" so they wouldn't be reminded of that everyday. even though they kidnapped them from their true home.

There are still alot of older Blacks who this hatred was instilled in for a long time and and they passed it on through the generations
but it is changing, slowly.

Jul. 10 2008 10:44 AM
mike humphreys from central harlem

As a black man, I don't understand why anyone would not agree with Barracks message to black men. I would prefer the discussion shift to the shameful role racism plays politically inside America i.e kentucky and west virginia and the disgusting religious xenophobia of many Americans.

Jul. 10 2008 10:43 AM
hjs from 11211

Karen,
but Murphy Brown could afford the best for her child unlike in any poor woman.

Jul. 10 2008 10:42 AM
Its_just_me

Bill, #57 - You are way off ... This could be an opportunity for the black community to make a societal impact that transends all groups, but unfortunately, instead is just adapting this patriarchical worshipping of the man - Can we stop commodit-izing the male as an all important "figure" that determines everybody's fate, and give the power to the women and children!!

Jul. 10 2008 10:41 AM
Micheal from UES

I dont know about the upper west side but here on the upper east side you RARELY see white couples with their children, you USUALLY see the white children with their black nannies.. How about some speeches emphasizing the upper middle class obligations to THEIR kids. If you want to see whole families.. go to Queens and see the (native) Mexican families. P.S. now if Barak can get Farakhan and Sharpton to say the same thing as Jackson he wil be REALLY getting a subset of white folks on his side...

Jul. 10 2008 10:41 AM
BORED

@ kev does Barack Obama now represent Black America?

Jul. 10 2008 10:40 AM
Harry from NYC

Oh yes, single parent households are just great!
I gather some who comment like this here on this don't have children.

Jul. 10 2008 10:39 AM
Jocko Homo Devo from Forest Hills

#58 is right. Sweeping statements. Two parent home is not good if a parent is molesting a child, abusing the child, cheating on the spouse and the parents are constantly fighting, emotionally distant from the family and not involved.

Every situation is different. What is best for the child. On the flip side, if a parent whether in a two parent or a single parent home, are you a emotionally and mentally healthy adult? Do you take care of yourself as well as the child?

Jul. 10 2008 10:38 AM
Karen from Brooklyn, NY

Remember when Dan Quayle was berated and mocked for commenting on the Murphy Brown character having a child without a father? The fact is that, regardless of race, children do better in 2 parent families.

Jul. 10 2008 10:38 AM
Jon P. from Hewitt, NJ

I don’t know the answer to this question so I’m just being the devil’s advocate. Why is it that other ethnic groups who are just as discriminated against if not more then black folks (like the Chinese who built the railroads in the 1800’s under slave type labor conditions) seem to be able to prosper and have more intact family units and lower incarceration rates? Again, I don’t know the answer, I’m just asking.

Jul. 10 2008 10:37 AM
BORED

@ AWM
You mean that thisc was the topic that Obama was going to win on.HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

Jul. 10 2008 10:36 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

I disagree, two parent homes are NOT guaranteed better than one parent homes! People stop making sweeping comments like that. Several one parent homes are that way for reasons of abuse, death etc... think before you speak please.

Jul. 10 2008 10:35 AM
Bill from New York

That last caller was off base. Single-mother, single-income households don't have an effect a child's upbringing? White or black doesn't matter. Of course it impacts. I'm white and it impacted me (but, pace #40 above, not necessarily because I lacked a father figure per se). But no one says addressing the issue is some kind of panacea. Sure plicy's important as well.

Jul. 10 2008 10:34 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

John McWhorter's claim about studies regarding two-parent families is simply FALSE. The studies in the US to which he is referring are _all_ funded by groups or done by groups with a "pro-family" axe to grind.

There are many countries, mostly in Europe, with far higher divorce rates that do not see the problems the US does.

Part of the problem in the US is that when one parent is gone, our society offers very nearly NOTHING by way of public support, particularly, again, in comparison to European countries.

This notion that a bad marriage is better than a good divorce is grossly laden with religious and political bias in the US.

Moreover, one can still make a case for two parent involvement even if two parents don't live together.

Jul. 10 2008 10:33 AM
GIBSON

This campaign on all sides has been played in snipets. So I am going with my gut. Bill Cosby was right. Barack is right. We can do better as a people. What is so wrong with saying that.

Jul. 10 2008 10:33 AM
hjs from 11211

call is off the mark
of course 2 parent homes are better than one parent homes!

Jul. 10 2008 10:33 AM
norman from nyc

The caller is right. There are economic problems in this country that affect all people, and being warm and fuzzy towards your children won't help that. If you gave every black man a well-paid job, they would get married.

You should read today's Wall Street Journal about a community in Arizona in which 20% of the men are in prison, and consequently mothers and grandmotehrs must bring up children.

Jul. 10 2008 10:32 AM
JoAnne from Montclair

Further to my last comment on Jackson:

Operation PUSH, an acronym for People United to Save (later Serve) Humanity, was an organization which advocated black self-help and achieved a broad audience for its liberal stances on issues of social justice and civil rights.[1]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow/PUSH

Jul. 10 2008 10:32 AM
Harry from NYC

This caller Michael is wrong. Black illegitimacy was at 18% in 1962 and two parent households were proportionately high as well, now it is is over 65% and the single parenthood is well over that due to divorce. It certainly has grown. Don't manufacture your own facts!

Jul. 10 2008 10:31 AM
kev from NYC

on the side. new york is not the richest city in the world. zurich and geneva are just two 'richer' cities. i hate when people throw around phrases like that.

http://www.citymayors.com/economics/richest_cities.html

Jul. 10 2008 10:31 AM
Bobby G from East village

I think the caller from Huntington is wrong. Obama can take the Black Community for granted. I would bet that at least 95% of blacks vote for Obama and that is how he calculates his campaign strategy. He doesn't want to scare whites or Hispanics.

Jul. 10 2008 10:31 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

to Post 31 - When Obama becomes President, he will be picked on and picked apart a lot more! Trust me, I am sure he is expecting it and probably already accustomed to it by now.

Jul. 10 2008 10:30 AM
D Scales from West Chester PA

I think Jesse Jackson's remark had less to do with fatherhood and more to do with Obama taking away from Jackson's franchise as the moth called to any black incident. Jackson is losing clout to Obama and he doesn't like it.

Jul. 10 2008 10:30 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Mr. Jackson respectfully to you I say "A hit dog will holler!"

Jul. 10 2008 10:29 AM
Julia Chance from Brooklyn

Jackson is fighting to remain relevant.

Julia Chance

Jul. 10 2008 10:29 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Let's not take any of the responsibility away from the women in these situations. "Knees together ladies" Having a baby for a man will not keep him in your life. Protect your womb! Young women need to know this and young men need to hear what Senator Obama said also!

Jul. 10 2008 10:29 AM
MG from Park Slope

I couldn't agree more with Ida!!

Jul. 10 2008 10:28 AM
Barbara from Brooklyn

Although the Moynihan Report, William Julius Wilson (The Truly Disadvantaged) and others set the tone that increasing the pool of marriageable men in the African American community can rest at the heart of social policy to address poverty, doesn’t this just give us a way to gloss over the deeper social issues?

Jul. 10 2008 10:28 AM
AWM from UWS

BORED,

Yeah. You get it, we don't.
Now provide us and Obama with another theme, a realistic alternative to his message that won't flush his chances down the toilet.

Jul. 10 2008 10:28 AM
Its_just_me

I'm a single mom by choice...I'm not African American, but all this talk about fathers ... implying of negative repercussions when absent makes me irritated. My family is a matriarchy, and my child is not missing anything, nor will suffer for any lack of father.

Jul. 10 2008 10:28 AM
jim fouratt from Greenwich Village

Where is the voice of black women in this discussion .. they are the people left holding the responsibility of raising children when men walk away from their responsibility.

Jesse jackson is correct in raising the issues of putting into context the role racism as it works in the job market and lack of resources that face black men.. Jesse and Barack are balencieng out each others ideas .. not in opposition.

As to your having a conservative middle class Sun Newspaper writer to comment and allowing him to be unchallenged when he implies "younger" black men and women are not concerned with the issues that the "older generation" of Jesse Jackson is .. is just butting on Clarence Thomas glass and looking at the opportunities the world offers to black men and women who suck upi to the white establishment. Jackson was smart in quickly taking charge of the way the story would be played in white tabloids.

Jul. 10 2008 10:28 AM
RC

Obama is pulling a Clinton circa 1992. Remember when he attacked Sister Soliga?

Whites like seeing someone give blacks a stern lecture. When Obama does it, it makes him more palatable to whites like Bill Cosby.

Plus, Jackson's vulgar comments will help Obama. A lot of whites probably don't like him. So the attitude of whites will be "well if Jesse Jackson has an issue with him, he can't be that bad"

I think Jesse Jackson knows this and probably said what he said on purpose, to help Obama.

Jul. 10 2008 10:27 AM
Stanley Conrad from Manhattan

Please stop calling Jackson's remark a "vulgarity."

It was a common slangy colloquialism.

YOU should try to avoid talking down to your audience.

Jul. 10 2008 10:27 AM
mike from manhattan

What about the possiblity that Obama was presenting his actual beliefs about the social problems blacks face? Why does all this have be seen as posturing?

Jul. 10 2008 10:27 AM
Harry from NYC

Gibson #13,
Wasn't Father's Day almost 2 months ago...That's a long time for a "supporter" to carry around this vitriol. What was more interesting was the facial reaction of Reid Tuckson. Tuckson looked a little put off by Jackson!

Jul. 10 2008 10:27 AM
kev from NYC

as a young black man, this incident just confirms my view that the older "black leaders" are stuck in the politics, egos and rhetoric of yesterday. the truth is, while there is young black americans understand the past, we see the obamas as more representative of modern black life than folks like jackson and sharpton.

the press needs to stop lazy journalism and recognize that jesse jackson no longer represents "black america". it may be hard for rev. jackson to accept it, but please can the media stop feeding his ego.

Jul. 10 2008 10:27 AM
Lisa from New York, NY

Maybe Mr. Obama has ovbiously touched on something MR. Jackson who has to admit having an extra matrial affair inwhich he fathered a child "Out of Wedlock" a few years ago. Jackson is nothing but a hypocrite

TOO MANY FATHERS ARE MISSING - HALF OF ALL BLACK CHILDREN LIVE IN SINGLE PARENTS HOME. What he is doing with the child he fathered out of wedlock

Jul. 10 2008 10:26 AM
April Tucker from Queens, New York

I am surprised that Jesse Jackson was so taken aback by Sen. Obama's comments because I saw him on the stage with Bill Cosby who was making similar statements not too long ago. Jesse sat on the stage and nodded in agreement.

Jul. 10 2008 10:25 AM
Jocko Homo Devo from Forest Hills

If Obama becomes President, he will probably get picked on a lot worse, it goes with the territory of being in politics. I listen to a Progressive radio commentator and they make comments about Republicans just as Republican commentators make comments about Obama.

SNL will probably have a field day with this one.

And Obama is right that too many fathers are missing. 9 children, 3 with 1 woman, and again and again, dad can't be there for all of them.

Obama is telling men to be men and grow up. Good for him, he's got the cajones to be President. He has gone up a lot in my opinion.

Jul. 10 2008 10:25 AM
chris o from new york city

Pathetic people sitting home, disparaging Jackson who has accomplished more than they ever will, who has fought and worked harder than they ever will; disparaging Obama, who has more decency and intelligence than they ever will, just disparaging. I must disparage you, you who have done what exactly?

Jul. 10 2008 10:23 AM
Marsha Andrews from New York

Please remember ... this was FATHER'S DAY!! He was speaking to keep the theme of the day.

Jul. 10 2008 10:22 AM
MoNYC from Sunnyside

Thank you BL show for focusing on the most constructive of Jackson's comment and for inviting such informed guests to speak on this issue. I've thoroughly enjoyed their assessments thus far.

Jul. 10 2008 10:21 AM
markbnj from www.sos-newdeal.blogspot.com

OK. First of all.. I'm white.

Second of all... Yeah, so what? I don't see hip-hop reducing the out of wedlock birthrate.

Perhaps a strategic answer (a massive job retraining program) which gives ALL americans a SKILLed trade would be a good start
(look here for details on what is a good start
sos-newdeal.blogspot.com/2008/07/mandatory-draft-alternative-service.html )
PS: I agree that Jackson is fro

Jul. 10 2008 10:20 AM
Marc from Glen Ridge NJ

I think that what you are seeing here as that African-Americans have the same divide between
Boomers and Millennials that White Americans do. The new generation of all races just sees race and gender in a different way and Obama is part of that. He is not inclined toward the incredible divisions of us boomers and I, for one, see that as a very positive development. We need to come together on values we share and policies we need, not continue the same old, same old. I speak, by the way, as a White boomer who worked with kids in the same Chicago neighborhood where he did community organizing--when he was probably about eight years old.

Jul. 10 2008 10:19 AM
Tara from New York, NY

As someone who is part of a minority group that historically has been extremely unjustly treated by the US government; I still must say that being constantly reminded of the victimization and injustice is ultimately not helpful. It is important to work for social change and understand one's history but it is equally important to believe and be reminded of one's personal power to influence and chart the course of your own life. Too many well meaning white liberals and non-whites with misguided or shady agendas constantly drill in the victimization mind set and the result one gets from this is that non-whites are completely powerless over the circumstances of their own lives.

Jul. 10 2008 10:18 AM
BORED

@ You miss the point, He spoke with Cameras from all the major networks there.

Jul. 10 2008 10:18 AM
Steve from NYC

How stupid was Jackson to make comments like that in a studio near a mic -- Fox loves to trip people up and he should've realized the potential. Obama was right to say what he did. The truth ain't always pretty and the black community went after Bill Cosby a few years ago when he said basically the same thing. Jesse Jackson, while prominent on the national political scene, is hardly the paragon of virtue when it comes to stellar moral actions.

Jul. 10 2008 10:18 AM
EGB from Brooklyn, New York

This "social context" argument doesn't work. It was a speech about personal responsibility. Referencing potential "excuses" would have detracted from the force of his arguments. This is about Jesse Jackson's frustration that he is becoming increasingly less significant.

Jul. 10 2008 10:17 AM
Peter from Park Slope

Jackson's remarks are silly. However, Obama talks of taking responsibility, but has he?

Campaign financing - flip flop.

Israel - flip flop.

NAFTA - flip flop.

Wire tapping - flip flop.

I was never a Muslim - I was born a Muslim.

I am the President of all America - Muslims, stay out of my photo ops.

Racism must end - just forget about my 20 years attending a racist church.

Such a shame that Jackson doesn't take Obama on for his real faults, not for silly jealousies.

Jul. 10 2008 10:17 AM
JoAnne from Montclair

We lived in Chicago during the late 60s early 70s and I was very impressed that Rev. Jackson's Operation Push message was just that - personal responsibility. Has he forgotten that?

Jul. 10 2008 10:17 AM
BORED

So now the sheep have found a new leader. Black people are doomed we have bought hook line and sinker what white conservatives have been selling America. Jesse jackson is saying the same thing ralph nader said, when does Obama speak to the White power establishment. When does he speak to power instead of kicking the powerless.

Jul. 10 2008 10:16 AM
Leo in NYC from Soho

It's not that his remarks were condescending towards blacks, it's that they were uninspired and uninteresting. This debate -- personal responsibility vs. structural racism is soooo tired! We need new paradigms that actually resonate with young black men, and Obama AND Jesse are missing an opportunity to capitalize on the excitement generated by Obama's candidacy.

Jul. 10 2008 10:16 AM
AWM from UWS

"Ignores poor blacks"

"Picks on poor blacks?"

Please. So no black leaders can disparage the negative behavior of our people? I think he's acknowledged and spoken intelligently about the history of black people in this country and it's implications and consequences. But you don't want to hear that, for some reason you want him to say things that a man running for president can't say just to assuage your rage.

Jul. 10 2008 10:16 AM
Jocko Homo Devo from Forest Hills

Go Obama,

let's talk about personal responsibility! hello, people, wake up and be responsible.

Jul. 10 2008 10:15 AM
Greg from Jamaica, Queens

Two words: Jessesaurus Rex. Jesse is damn near an extinct species.

Jul. 10 2008 10:15 AM
Chris from NJ

Yes, Mr Jackson thrives on victimhood. He is yesterday's news.

Jul. 10 2008 10:14 AM
GIBSON

BORED AND HARRY ARE BOTH OFF OF THE POINT. He was speaking in a black church on Fathers Day. Should he have been talking about Iran? It was appropriate Jesse Jackson is simply jealous, and old.

Jul. 10 2008 10:14 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

Could there be another political calculation here? Might it be that Obama is trying to speak to black women (who might understand very well what he's saying), particularly with an eye to black women turning out in greater numbers to vote than black men?

Jul. 10 2008 10:13 AM
Lionel from Avenel, NJ

What's with Jesse Jackson and open mikes? Remember Hymietown.

Jul. 10 2008 10:12 AM
kd from New York

Once again, so-called establish "black leaders" issuing an apologia for unacceptable behavior by blacks (men and women) as it relates to responsibility to their family and community. Obama's comments show precisely why he will be the presidential nominee and Jackson could not succeed when he tried.

Jul. 10 2008 10:11 AM
mvc from manhattan

What's Jackson doing on Fox news to begin with?

Jul. 10 2008 10:10 AM
Harry from NYC

Jesse Jackson...a good Christian man? Compare him to Clarence Thomas' grandfather who raised him. No comparison!

Jul. 10 2008 10:09 AM
JJ from WaHI

Wow, good for Obama. Sounds like he may know people in NYC who live above 125th St. Obama should ask Bill Cosby to join his team.

Jul. 10 2008 10:09 AM
Jocko Homo Devo from Forest Hills

Big deal. So Jesse Jackson said this. It is not a big deal. Our society is getting so bad someone can't sneeze. This is a free society. Anyone can say anything to anyone.

Hasn't anyone else ever made a mistake? Did you ever tell off your boss and wish you hadn't or snap at your spouse or partner and hit below the belt and felt remorseful afterwards.

Give me a break! I think it is kind of funny.

Jul. 10 2008 10:09 AM
Phoebe from NJ

Barack Obama is running an inclusive campaign, which addresses all races, classes...

Jesse Jackson thrives on victimhood, and Barack Obama is a direct threat to his "business". How quickly would Barack's campaign crumble if he were to address only African Amercian issues?

Jul. 10 2008 10:09 AM
BORED

I agree Harry. When Obama finally decides to challenge america he picks on poor blacks. Why not challenge American's on its imperialistic tendencies, economic inequality instead of pandering to poor ( yes they atre poor not middle class) white Americans with screwed up notions of what America means.

Jul. 10 2008 10:09 AM
michael winslow from INWOOD

Jesse Jackson is a bumbling old idiot.

Even his son wants nothing to do with him.

Jackson is irrelevent.

What Jackson does or says is meaningless.

Jul. 10 2008 10:08 AM
Tara from New York, NY

Jesse Jackson's dislike of Obama can only help him in the election. I do not believe that Jackson's comments have any merit at all and the underlying motivation for Jackson's venom is jealousy in my opinion. This is not the first time that Jackson has made negative comments about Obama. Jackson's attitude and cooments have actually caused ongoing friction between Jackson and his son (who is part of Obama's campaign).

Jul. 10 2008 10:06 AM
Harry from NYC

I think Obama has largely ignored his black audience in favor of white liberals at first and now white moderates. I would guess he is counting on them, and why shouldn't he, they support him by over 90% !

Jul. 10 2008 10:02 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.