I never knew this about Jesse but Barack Obama clarified it for me as he tried to explain what he meant when he threw his grandmother under the bus during his speech on race. Here, talking about Pastor Wright, is what Obama said during his speech.
I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.So he equates the hate filled rants of Pastor Wright to the "black community" and equates this Pastor's publicly spewed hate rants to the occasional "racial or ethnic stereotypes" his grandmother would utter in private.
I have worked with and for members of the "black community" and have never found them hate filled. I didn't know his grandmother so I am glad he explained himself yesterday.
Radio Station 610 WIP host Angelo Cataldi asked Obama about his Tuesday morning speech on race in which he referenced his own white grandmother and her prejudice. Obama told the host that:
"The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't. But she is a typical white person, who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know, you know, there's a reaction that's been bred in our experiences that don't go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way, and that's just the nature of race in our society."Interesting how she went from being afraid of "black men" to just being afraid of strangers. Aren't typical black women walking alone on the street equally fearful of strangers? Inserting "somebody on the street that she doesn't know" for "black men" in the original speech just doesn't seem to fit does it. I suspect he still meant black men but for some reason couldn't say it.
I find this clarification interesting for a couple of reasons. The obvious one is that he is doing exactly what he accused is grandmother of. He uttered a racial or ethnic stereotype in trying to explain his grandmother's utterances of racial or ethnic stereotypes.
Now there are some "typical white" people that would take offense to this use of stereotype. They might equate Senator Obama's stereotyping white people with some of the bigoted rants of Pastor Wright and think that maybe the Senator is aligned closer with Pastor Wright's theology of hate more then he admits.
Could this be a NAFTA situation? He told Ohio folks he would renegotiate NAFTA while simultaneously having his advisor tell Canada that it meant nothing, just campaign talk to get votes. Since he is prone to lying in his quest to pander for votes could he be condemning the words of his Pastor while at the same time agreeing with his philosophy? The answer is probably not. However as long has he doesn't confront why he stayed in a church for 20 years with Pastor Wright's bigoted philosophy at it's core we will never know for sure.
I almost forgot the title of this post. In 1996 Jesse Jackson said,
'There is nothing more painful for me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery -- and then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.''So Jesse Jackson is a "a typical white person" and Jesse's reaction was "a reaction that's been bred in" his experiences.as quoted in US News, 3/10/96
Thank you Senator Obama for clarifying that for me.