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Monday, July 28, 2008

ARE THEY PILING ON?

Are we actually watching ‘Hate’ get played out in the media, add any adjective before it, “black hate”with Jesse Jackson and “white hate” with Reverand Wright, “green hate” enviousness with Geraldine Ferrraro, “intelligence hate” with Rush Limbaugh, Carl Rove and John Hannity. Open your eyes; there is a lot of hating going on people. And they call it politics as usual, the usual that Obama is asking everyone to stop. . .

Sitting in a FOX STUDIO (yes of all places to be in) with a live mic on, Jesse Jackson was allegedly recorded as "See, Barack's been talking down to black people ... I want to cut his nuts off."

Again, due to advanced technology we are allowed to see what is really going on behind closed doors. Was this an “OMG” conversation caught on tape. Yeah, it gave Jesse 15 minutes of attention but what does this tell us. Jesse needs attention this bad? Jesse doesn’t believe is passing the torch after 1984 and 1988 bids for the presidential office. Shouldn’t he be passing on the wisdom of his experience to rally with Obama?

I have watched for years the cannibalizing of the young while a graduate student at CSUC. What I couldn’t understand is where are the young supposed to go after they have been selectively nibbled and chomped on? The beauty of Obama has been his ability to awaken these nibbled and chomped on youth to listen, to come out, to register, to vote, to participate, to believe and to energize enthusiastically others to the polling places. The young who have been told time and time again, “watch me” as an euphemism for get out of my way”, or “sit still” for “you are moving too fast for my ability to comprehend and shut you down”, to “you are not ready yet” and meantime “I’m going to steal and take credit for all your ideas because I have run out a long time ago” BUT never taking the time to teach the young the skills they lack, providing the direction and facilitating the guidance to spark alternative approaches to help them get there.

Yes, there will always be those youngsters that misinterpret their teacher’s motivation. But I’m telling you first hand, that Jesse, Tavis, Al, and Cornell need to comprehend that there is a new political movement of assertive, convincing, intelligent, polished, savvy, sharp, spiritual and compassionate young people coming into their own and they aren’t going to be guilted, intimidated and kowtowed by the last generation that “didn’t get it done”. I watched the last generation boast and brag in the few luxuries that were available due to the second call of affirmative action. And for reasons I’m not sure of, they didn’t teach their children what we economically, politically, socially and spiritually moved through to come forward in the 21st Century.

This was a cruel mistake to our young because they have not only become economically bitter when they don’t get “stuff” when they want it, but a harsh realty befalls them that “the world doesn’t owe them” and they must prepare, groom and be ready for opportunity which will often require the assistance of a gatekeeper. When the young degrade their parents, their parents’ friends are often open jawed. I’ve watched this with the children of my own sister, brother and cousins who in their border-line workaholism provided all the materialistic objects they believed they were deprived of. I have seen the effects of not delaying gratification, not appreciating and what happens when they don’t respect their elders. However I don’t believe it makes them experts, but I do believe the experiences that now comfort those of us privy to their shoulders should not go unnoticed. I believe there is this known quantum called “kiss my ring” and pay me homage if you want my support. Yes, I have noticed that Jesse and Sharpton haven’t been out strongly supporting Obama as I would have wished, but maybe Obama knows that African American politics are larger than the two of them. Obama knows that though he is a democrat this world doesn’t run on highlighting only the African American community but a community of disenfranchised, ignored and repelled individuals who too have had generational absence at the polls. I have wondered why it has taken that generation so long to pick up the mantel Martin Luther King, Jr. left where he saw the global picture and saw how collaboration of like minds works better than guilting the masses for the irresponsibilities of those men who haven’t taken on responsibility for their actions, creating another generation of ill equipped, spiritually broken and economically wraught black children.
"For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize," Jackson said in a statement issued to CNN. "My support for Senator Obama’s campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal. I cherish this redemptive and historical moment."
"My appeal was for the moral content of his message to not only deal with the personal and moral responsibility of black males, but to deal with the collective moral responsibility of government and the public policy which would be a corrective action for the lack of good choices that often led to their irresponsibility," Jackson also said.

"That was the context of my private conversation and it does not reflect any disparagement on my part for the historic event in which we are involved or my pride in Senator Barack Obama, who is leading it, whom I have supported by crisscrossing this nation in every level of media and audience from the beginning in absolute terms."
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We want to get right back to another story we're following. Breaking news, the Reverend Jesse Jackson saying some very, very disparaging words about Senator Barack Obama, even though he supports him for president of the United States. CNN's Don Lemon has been working this story, together with a lot of us. First of all, Don, I know you're watching this story. Senator -- Reverend Jackson is about to join us on the phone. But just remind us, before you start talking to Reverend Jackson, what exactly he said on an open mic that's causing so much distress right now.

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Well what he said to me earlier, and we're going to talk to him in just a little bit, we just got him on the phone, Wolf. The crude and hurtful comments he would much rather have made to the senator in private. He did not know the microphone was open. He said it was a hot mike, didn't realize it.

And what he said was that he wanted to -- he thinks that the lectures that Barack Obama has been giving lately to black churches and to black people, he thinks it needs to be a broader context. It's much broader than what the senator is saying.

But what is much better is probably that we get the words from the Reverend Jesse Jackson right now. Reverend Jesse Jackson is joining us from Chicago. Thank you very much, sir.

VOICE OF REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: Well, Don, how are you?

LEMON: I'm doing well. How are you is the question -- but first, I want to ask what you said, and why did you say it?

JACKSON: Well, you know, let me say first, this is a sound bite within a broader conversation about urban policy and racial disparities. And I -- feel very distressed because I'm supportive of this campaign and with what the senator has done and is doing.

I was in a conversation with a fellow guest at Fox on Sunday. He asked about Barack's speeches lately at the black churches. I said he can come off 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 healthcare. There is a range of issues on the menu.

And frankly, I think that is his basic urban policy position. No one else has put one together except him in the situation.

And then I said something I felt regret for -- it was crude. It was very private, and very much a sound bite -- and a live mic. And so I feel -- I find no comfort in it, I find no joy in it. So I immediately called the senator's campaign to send my statement of apology to repair the harm or hurt that this may have caused his campaign, because I support it unequivocally.

LEMON: OK, Reverend.

And Barack Obama's campaign, of course, is saying that they don't have a comment now. And you know how quickly this spreads. We got -- I got the word through another source and then called you. And Wolf Blitzer also tried to get you on the phone.

And Wolf has some questions for you as well -- Wolf?

BLITZER: Reverend Jackson, why did you say these things? Because it's so crude, we can't even repeat it on the air right now, what you said on this open mike.

What was going through your mind?

JACKSON: Well, when I was asked about it, there was already some kind of (INAUDIBLE) reaction. The appeal in black America is record levels of unemployment, home foreclosure crisis, records of murders, and all kind of reprehensible actions for black America. A million blacks are in jail even as we talk today and 900,000 young black men. So we have some real serious issues, and not just moral issues --

BLITZER: Well then let me interrupt, Reverend Jackson.

JACKSON: -- Structural inequality.

BLITZER: Reverend Jackson, are you suggesting that Senator Obama isn't concerned about these issues? Is that what you are saying?

JACKSON: Not -- by any means (ph). He has dealt with it more effectively than anyone else has. Each time he gives one of these messages at a black church, it appears to be targeted and the media takes it and runs with it as a solution to a structural crisis -- you know -- his moral behavior.

To me it's like putting a size 10 foot in a size eight shoe. You need some structure, not just some challenges on -- which he understands so well, and that's why I regret so much this statement, which could be exploited or could be used to exploit our relationship and the campaign.

LEMON: Reverend -- and I want to jump in here and ask you this question because there has been some talk in the media, and also on the blogs, about the Reverend -- about Barack Obama playing to the middle, and not necessarily addressing issues that are important to the black community as sternly and as matter-of-factly as he should. And in some way, and I don't know if this is your opinion, that he may be shying away from this because he's concerned that it might hurt him in his run for the presidency.

JACKSON: The basic issues he raises about an urban policy and jobs, no one else has addressed, has broad application. The crisis we've faced today, besides, you know, behaving better and doing the right thing, is jobs and investors leaving and drugs and guns are coming. The murder rate is up, taxes up, services down, first class jail, second class schools.

That requires some real heavy lifting that has to take place. When you are speaking to a black church, or to labor hall, or to a university, I'm appealing really for a much broader discussion. And I would say again, probably because of regard for him and the campaign, and I would hate it to be lifted out of context really on a live mike statement.

BLITZER: And -- Reverend Jackson, we're out of time, but a very quick -- if you could right now, speak directly to Senator Obama from your heart, what would you say to him?

JACKSON: That any hurt or harm I caused his campaign, I apologize, because I have such high regard for him. And this redemptive moment. I'm a part of it. And I cherish his role -- the role he's played in making the nation better and making the world rejoice.

BLITZER: Reverend Jackson, thank you for joining us for a few moments. We'll continue to watch this story.

Don Lemon, thanks to you as well.

This is a story that clearly is going to cause some controversy out there.

LEMON: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Thank you.
But I have also said, “does Obama require Sharpton and Jess to welcome him to the party or is Obama attending a soiree that Sharpton and Jesse only wish they could attend?
Rep. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., D-Ill. just released the following statement as a reaction to the crude and disparaging remarks his father -- the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.

Says Jackson JUNIOR in a statement: "I'm deeply outraged and disappointed in Reverend Jackson's reckless statements about Senator Barack Obama. His divisive and demeaning comments about the presumptive Democratic nominee -- and I believe the next president of the United States -- contradict his inspiring and courageous career. Instead of tearing others down, Barack Obama wants to build the country up and bring people together so that we can move forward, together -- as one nation. The remarks like those uttered on Fox by Revered Jackson do not advance the campaign's cause of building a more perfect Union."

Concludes Rep. Jackson, Jr.: "Revered Jackson is my dad and I'll always love him. He should know how hard that I've worked for the last year and a half as a national co-chair of Barack Obama's presidential campaign. So, I thoroughly reject and repudiate his ugly rhetoric. He should keep hope alive and any personal attacks and insults to himself." The Obama campaign issued a statement late Wednesday, accepting the apology but continuing the underlying message. "As someone who grew up without a father in the home, Senator Obama has spoken and written for many years about the issue of parental responsibility, including the importance of fathers participating in their children's lives. He also discusses our responsibility as a society to provide jobs, justice, and opportunity for all. He will continue to speak out about our responsibilities to ourselves and each other, and he of course accepts Reverend Jackson's apology," said spokesman Bill Burton.


Minerva Williams

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Walk in the Park – No More

During my afternoon walk I noticed that while walking along part of the perimeter of Castaic Lake park that there was this big fence. It looked like it had just appeared out of nowhere. As I was walking I was wondering to myself if I had just not noticed it before and if it had been there all along. Perhaps it was just something I hadn’t really looked at previously, and now for some reason I was just noticing it. As I was mulling this over and contemplating my apparently not so great memory, I came to a point where I normally enter the park when I take my morning hikes over the weekend. There it was; the entrance was fenced completely off. They sure got this fence up fast! I’d never really thought about it before, but I would have normally thought of a fence like that as something that would take at least a week or so to put up. It sure as heck wasn’t there yesterday. I went out a little later to look at a couple other entrances to the park and they were also fenced off. I was wondering if the hikes I take Saturday mornings would no longer be possible. Will I now have to pay at the gate to walk into the park; I know they have always charged for vehicles to enter, but I’d always thought it was free to just walk or hike through. I then went to the guard at the gate and asked her; she assured me that they were only charging walk-ins for the Fourth of July event tomorrow, but not normally. Is all this new fencing just so they make certain no one gets in free for the Fourth of July event, no matter what! I looked at the fencing and noticed how ugly it looks. I suppose it’s not a total loss; heck with all the carefully guarded entrances and this nice new imposing barrier, maybe they could house inmates to help stem the prison overflow, build a training facility for Blackwater, or maybe if they get really ambitious they could build that ever-elusive Castaic High. All that’s needed is a little barbed wire and a few Rottweilers!

Scenic trails with a view of the lake have always proven excellent for hiking and jogging. Now I’m wondering if these ‘instant’ fences are going to start showing up within the park; so even if you can get past the gate, you’ll still just come to another fence. I am quite disappointed. When I moved here a couple years ago and discovered all the nice hiking trails I figured I’d come to the right place. Now I might as well move back to the San Fernando Valley. The little parks there are canopied with the brown haze of LA smog and are not nearly as picturesque, but at least they’re not all fenced off.

Todd Hoover
Castaic