Friday, July 11, 2008

Hot Mike

Waiting to go on air at the O'Reilly Factor, the reverend jesse jackson whispered to Reid Tuckson, a vp at United Health Group, "See Barack, been uh, --, --, talkin down to black people on this faith base -- I wanna cut his nuts off. Barack's -- talkin down to black people [ -- tellin niggers how to behave." -- Suppressed by Fox News, leaked the following week.] How do we know? Hot mike -- not the name of a porn star, but rather a further witness to the reverend's corruption.

Should O'Reilly have released the tape? Was there a presumption of privacy? Well, every such comment is meant to be private. Yet we hear them. Macaca was public, but irrelevant. It undid a senatorial campaign. jackson knew where he was. That's why he was whispering. His whisper was heard, is all. Should has nothing to do with it. This game isn't about rules, it's about winning. Boo hoo.--

The reverend's non-apology has no inherent interest. It's his view on tactics that's so revealing. "You know better than ... anyone, how hurtful words can be," says one of his questioners. My my. His reputation precedes him. He is the word-hurt policeman. He has expertise nonpereil in extracting offense from verbiage. So pay the devil his dues. The reporter then queries how jackson could not say that the words he used were not demeaning to Obama. Not actually a well-formed question, but no matter.

"Well they were hurtful, they're wrong, that's the whole point, and that when you ... make mistakes you should ... not equivocate, you should be quick to go on the offensive, and not try to be ... evasive. And if it was said ... to him ... personally or in some public forum it would have been even more hurtful. In this case ... my error was, responding to a question before a live mike, and so, when he does hear them they will not be ... helpful, they will be hurtful, but we have a relationship that can survive this."

Very clarifying. Thank you, reverend. You explained about taking the offensive when you make a mistake, and demonstrated it by boldly not evading or equivocating about whatever it was you were talking about. And you explained about how if you said something to him personally it would be even more hurtful than behind his back. Cuz then he'd find out about your real opinion, I guess. And you admitted in clear unequivocating nonevasive language that your error was in responding to a question before a live mike. Elsewhere the reverend characterized his nuts remark as "regretfully crude" but "very private". Not so private after all. And I cannot help but think that the regret has less to do with the crude than with the private.

So what. jackson cannot be mistaken for a hero of integrity. The greater issue is, what is it that set jackson off in the first place. Talkin down to black people about faith base. Make of that what you will. I think it's jackson thinking he owns black people, and doesn't want them reading. Too crude? He doesn't want them hearing different ideas, such as those Obama was mouthing, about fathers' responsibility to their children. Ugly, my take? Very. I think it's correct.

It is so strange, that moral instruction is seen as talking down. I will give it to Obama. He has no special quality that recommends him for highest office, but he seems to be a genuine family man, and he gives every appearance of being a responsible father. That is moral authority, in the particular. Blathering platitudes about hope and change and si se puada, it's verbal prostitution. There is a way that it is so beautiful, his Yes We Can. When we see it not as a political speech, but as free-form poetry. But leadership is about more than talking, as I repeatedly repeat.

Well. Here it is. If Obama wants to be president, he should be president of the black people. They need his kind of leadership, that sounds good and sometimes says good things, but most of all would replace the moral vacuity that is jesse jackson. Let him get some experience that way, and then step up for a position of something more than symbolic power.


No comments: