Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama’s Cohones

Jesse Jackson’s statement that Barack Obama’s “talking down to black people” makes him so angry that he “wants to cut his nuts out” has caused quite the stir.

Charles Hurt of the NY Post has the most concise report:

In a vulgar tirade caught on tape by Fox News, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said he wanted to “cut his [Barack Obama’s] nuts out” and he accused the fellow Chicagoan of “talking down to black folks” by giving moral lectures to African-Americans, source said Jackson’s shocking quotes were picked up by a hot mic before an interview on health care in Fox’s Chicago studio last Sunday. Fox planned to air the recording on Bill O’Reilly’s “The Factor” show.

Jackson has apologized for the remarks and the resulting hubbub, CNN reports.

Speaking to CNN Wednesday, Jackson said he feels “very distressed” over the comments.
“This is a sound bite in a broader conversation about urban policy and racial disparities. I feel very distressed because I’m supportive of this campaign and with the senator, what he has done and is doing,” he said. “I said he comes down as speaking down to black people. The moral message must be a much broader message. What we need really is racial justice and urban policy and jobs and health care. That’s a range of issues on the menu.

“Then I said something I regret was crude. It was very private. And very much a sound bite,” he also said.

In a statement issued earlier Wednesday to CNN, Jackson said, “For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize. My support for Senator Obama’s campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal. I cherish this redemptive and historical moment.”

My reaction was along the lines of Andrew Sullivan‘s: This is “the kind of electoral gift any politician dreams of. Obama gets his Sistah Souljah moment handed to him on a plate … by Bill O’Reilly.” Indeed, getting castigated by Jesse Jackson furthers the whole mainstream, articulate, bright and clean vibe.

I do wonder, however, what so peeved Jackson. In what way was Obama “talking down to blacks”? Simply because he channeled Bill Cosby in a speech and forgot to add the usual caveats about how everything is ultimately society’s fault?

I’m also a bit curious about Fox News’ editorial judgment. The event happened Sunday but they held off the tape until Wednesday? I could understand saving it for their Monday prime time lineup. But three days?

Meanwhile, Kate McMillan and her commenters amuse themselves with various plays on the “nuts” theme.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Patrick T McGuire says:

    Jackson is an idiot. He should know that Obama has no cojones.

  2. sam says:

    I do wonder, however, what so peeved Jackson. In what way was Obama “talking down to blacks”? Simply because he channeled Bill Cosby in a speech and forgot to add the usual caveats about how everything is ultimately society’s fault?

    Well, it’s the lack of caveats, as Sully intimated. I mean Jesse’s been dining out for years on the “society’s fault” thing, right?

    Sully: “Jackson still bristles with the politics of resentment; Obama, like many others, has moved on.”

  3. sam says:

    Jackson is an idiot. He should know that Obama has no cojones.

    Since this seems to be a recurrent rightwing meme, I thought I’d recount something I read in Clay Blair’s book, Silent Victory, a history of US submarine warfare in WWII. Seems the Navy, prior to war, had developed a profile of the ideal sub commander. Turns out that the man who most closely satisfied the profile froze on the scope in his first action. He was relieved by the XO and spent the rest of the cruise in his cabin. Blair contrasted this with the story of another sub commander. This man was USNR and before the war had been a stockbroker on Wall Street. This guy scared the shit out his crew because he never thought he was in close enough to take the shot and would take his boat in to the point where the crew was stuffing hankies in their mouths to keep from screaming.

    Moral: You never can tell.

  4. Bob says:

    Jackson is only partially correct. Obama “talks down” to EVERYONE; black, white, green and purple. It’s that liberal, elitist mentality.

  5. mike says:

    This only helps Jackson – he has to stay relevant somehow and if an african american makes it to the white house then Jackson and his blame society/woe is me politics will die out more and more – no one listens to Jackson anyway or believes in his racist politics except those who can make money off of it or make themselves feel better by it and these folks are becoming fewer and fewer.

  6. Obama-Mama says:

    Doesn’t Jackson have illegitimate children? Seems like the only nuts he should worry about are his own.

  7. c. wagener says:

    Sam,

    Your comment seems to be a meme itself. You could randomly pull some guy off a public bus that may in fact turn out to be an excellent president. The question is, is that a rational thing to do?

  8. Alyssa says:

    He would have gotten away with it too if it weren’t for you meddling kids. Ah well, there were a number of other things he could have said to get the same effect.