Sunday, May 23, 2010

A true American hero?


Are we going to wait until Reverend Jesse Jackson is gone to celebrate his life and what he has done for us and America? That's the question I asked myself this past week as I remembered El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz on his birthday.

The mainstream media has done its best over the past decade or two to destroy the reputation and legacy of Jesse Jackson. It has made fun of him, it has called him a civil rights leader for hire, it has even made fun of the way he talks. And unfortunately many of us have happily jumped on the media bandwagon and attacked the reverend as well.

And yes, I know that Reverend Jackson had a child out of wedlock back in 1999. That certainly was not a good thing. But why are we so quick to attack our heroes and tear them down? Mainstream America still celebrates Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, both of whom held enslaved Africans. Jefferson was even a rapist. Raping Sally Hemming for most of her life. And yet America defends both as heroes.

Jackson was also attacked prior to the 2008 Presidential election for a statement he made about then candidate Barack Obama.*

Reverend Jackson made mistakes but that should not discount his fight for our rights over the last 5 decades. Jesse Jackson stood with Martin Luther King, risking his life. And after Dr. King was gone Jesse kept fighting and he's still fighting.


Most people have stated that there could be no President Barack Obama without there being Martin Luther King. But the truth of the matter is that there could have been no President Obama had there not been Presidential candidate Jackson in the 1980's.

The list of Reverend Jackson's accomplishments, including running twice for President of the United States, are too long to list here. But it should be noted that Reverend Jackson defended and fought for civil rights all over the planet for all sorts of people. He never ran from a fight for civil rights.

So now Reverend Jackson is getting up there in years, he's 68 years-old. He won't be around forever. So I ask again; are we going to wait until Reverend Jackson is gone to remember and celebrate his life's work? Will we continue to allow attacks on him now only to pretend that we didn't after he's gone?

Reverend Jackson should be honored and revered not only in the African American communities of this country but by this country as a whole. His work has not only benefited African Americans but all Americans.

I won't wait until he's gone. Thank you Reverend Jackson for taking the risks and fighting the good fight for all of these years on our behalf. You are a true American hero.

Read about Revered Jackson's work here

*Much was made of a statement Jesse Jackson made that was caught on camera about Barack Obama and how he thought Obama condescended to African Americans. Reverend Jackson was attacked relentlessly for making that statement. But after a little time has passed many of us know that he was right, that Barack Obama the candidate and the President, is very condescending to African Americans. The President has repeatedly preached to us like we're children, that we should be responsible. Note the President never gives that be responsible speech to anyone other than African Americans.


10 comments:

Reggie said...

Val I believe that Jesse Jackson is a man; whether or not he's a good one is left up to individual interpretation.

Val I don't forgive any of the founding fathers you mentioned, but Jesse hasn't done himself any favors either. He's done more than just have an affair and a child out of wedlock...and if that's the standard for not being a good man, then a lot of men out there would have to just STFU. Of course Jesse himself was a product of a teenage unwed mother and a married man. But it's hard to forget about the racist comments and some of the other stuff. Yeah Barack condescends at times, but he shouldn't have said that. There was a time when he was viewed more favorably. I remember shaking his hand when he was running for president and being totally moved by the man.

I think he's been a great activist and a great American, even if he's not perfect........who is?!?

It's my hope that history is kind to him.

Desertflower said...

I totally agree with you!

No man is without blemish and Mr Jackson has placed himself on the frontlines for many a decade. His battles hace secured opportunities for all minorities.

He is an American hero.

Val said...

@Reggie

But why wait for history. We should recognize him for what he has done now.

I disagree with you about the statement he was caught making. I think he should have actually said that in the light of day rather than supposedly off camera because it's true.


@Desertflower

Yep, he has been and still is on the frontlines. I also agree that he has fought for everyone, moreso than most people realize.

Nice to have you back!

Don said...

Get your hands out of my pocket @ it has called him a civil rights leader for hire Ha.

Yes, I am guilty of this, with both Jackson and Al Sharpton. My disdain with Jesse Jackson goes back to a personal incident which took place in '94 in Atlanta. I looked the man in his eyes on a particular matter and it was as if I were talking to the wall.

Not that I harbor hatred towards the two men, but their compassion has always appeared camera-ready and scripted, and never struck a chord with myself. I could be the problem, but I don't think so.

Yes, Thomas Jefferson's involvement with Sally Hemming was legendary, although it's not largely criticized, as you stated.

Agreed - Mistakes are subject to understanding and forgiveness. It doesn't appear the sentiment is being afforded to Reverend Jesse Jackson. It should be.



Val... @ But after a little time has passed many of us know that he was right, that Barack Obama the candidate and the President, is very condescending to African Americans.

Val said...

@Don

Do you really think Jesse should be put in the same category as Al Sharpton?

I'd love to hear your Jesse Jackson story.


"Get your hands out of my pocket" Is that from a movie?

Citizen Ojo said...

Al Sharpton is getting better in his old age. He knows what to say and what not to. Back in the day he wasn't wise enough to be opening his mouth. Jesse has resentment that people aren't coming thru to kiss the ring. The 08 presidential election proved that much. I think you can't compare Al and Jesse. Just my humble opinion. Sure Jesse has done some great things but his recent behavior has shown something different. My opinion..

Reggie said...

Maybe, but we're not supposed to always say what's true. The last time my grandmother kissed me her breath was kicking........but I kept my mouth shut.

Don said...

@ val: no, when it comes to their place in the context of history, I don't believe the two men should be considered as one of the same. This is simply how I personally view the two men, based off the vibes received.

I honestly believe that both men care and have good intentions but, at the same time, it appears they are "picking battles."


The quote comes from the movie Malcolm X, the assassination scene. Where the two men began an argument used to create distraction long enough for the gunmen to act.

2:15 mark of video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7JM782UdLY&feature=related

Also, while searching for this clip I came across another movie based on the life of Malcolm X, portrayed by Morgan Freeman. Thank God that Spike Lee made the version with Denzel Washington and Angela Bassett.

Val said...

@CO

What's wrong with wanting his ring kissed? All he wanted was a simple recognition of the work he's done? I think he's earned that.

@Reggie

A true revolutionary speaks truth to power, even when it's unpopular to do so. I think it was brave of Jesse to criticize Obama considering his, Obama's, popularity at the time.

@Don

I knew I remembered that but I wasn't sure where it was from. Lol@the Morgan Freeman film.

Don said...

I cannot understand why my hotmail is no longer receiving comment notifications.

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Soldier Of Love

I've lost the use of my heart
But I'm still alive
Still looking for the life
The endless pool on the other side
It's a wild wild west
I'm doing my best

I'm at the borderline of my faith,
I'm at the hinterland of my devotion
In the frontline of this battle of mine
But I'm still alive

I'm a soldier of love.
Every day and night
I'm soldier of love
All the days of my life

I've been torn up inside (oh!)
I've been left behind (oh!)
So I ride
I have the will to survive

In the wild wild west,
Trying my hardest
Doing my best
To stay alive

I am love's soldier!

I wait for the sound
(oooh oohhh)

I know that love will come (that love will come)
Turn it all around

I'm a soldier of love (soldier of love)
Every day and night
I'm a soldier of love
All the days of my life

I am lost
But I don't doubt (oh!)
So I ride
I have the will to survive

In the wild wild west,
Trying my hardest
Doing my best
To stay alive

I am love's soldier!

I wait for the sound

I know that love will come
I know that love will come
Turn it all around

I'm a soldier of love
I'm a soldier

Still waiting for love to come
Turn it all around
(4x)

I'm a soldier of love
I'm a soldier

Still waiting for love to come
Turn it all around
(3x)

Still waiting for love to come

Miss Keri Baby!

Tracee!

Solange!

Solange!
The only interesting Knowles

un·for·get·ta·ble: Earning a permanent place in the memory; memorable: an unforgettable experience.

Alicia says...

Rest in Peace Mitrice

Rest in Peace Mitrice
Mitrice Richardson