CHIT-CHAT by Geoyce Chatman ©12/15/08, gjc
AMERICA’S FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT DISSES AFRICAN-AMERICAN SEEKING TO REPLACE HIM IN THE SENATE!
Jesse Jackson, Jr., in my opinion, gave the best speech at the 2008 Democratic Convention. It was even more moving than Barack Obama’s “keynote” address at the 2004 convention, which in affect, introduced America to its first black President (and as if we weren’t already thinking it, reporters at the scene made sure they told us). I thought at the time that Jackson should have been the keynote speaker at the 2008 convention, but was not surprised that someone was picked who had no chance of overshadowing Obama’s tepid acceptance speech. Jackson’s support of Obama throughout the campaign was unquestioning. He dissed his own father when the senior Jackson made disparaging remarks near an open mic about the candidate!
So why didn’t the President-Elect who magnanimously buried the hatchet and selected Joe Biden as his running mate and Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State not have Jesse Jackson Jr. on his list of people he’d like to see take his Senate seat?
Does he perhaps feel threatened by this vibrant, electrifying young African-American (descendant of slaves) whose oratorical skills surpass every politician on the scene, outshine his father’s by far, and are approaching MLK’s? Many want us to believe that Barack Obama is the “dream” of the Civil Rights movement (and he is, on the “descendants of slave owners” side of the table), but Jesse Jackson, Jr. and a small cadre of up and coming young African-American politicians that includes Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Newark Mayor Corey Booker, and former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., really are the dream on the “descendants of slaves” side of the table.
While many in the media feel that Jackson’s chances to take Obama’s place in the Senate have been dashed due to the taped remarks by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich that “candidate 5’s” emissaries offered him a million bucks, the young Congressman’s candor and immediate statement declaring that he made no attempts to “pay to play” may garner him respect from his constituents in the long run. The same media pundits who’ve doomed Jackson’s Senate chances seem reluctant to comment on the President-Elect’s slowness to make any statements regarding any contacts between his people and Rod Blagojevich. Unless you’re watching Morning Joe on MSNBC, or, God forbid, Fox News Channel, you probably won’t hear any calls for our future President to straighten out this matter once and for all. (Did anyone see our President-Elect walk off the stage when he finally consented to call on a Fox reporter at one of his many recent press conferences? Since he can’t get by with answering “present” any more, I guess President-Elect Obama decided the best course of action was to not be present!)
As was pointed out by columnist Eugene Robinson from The Washington Post, it is perfectly natural for the President-Elect’s staff to submit a list of people he’d like to see take his place in the Senate. Which brings us back to my original question: Why wasn’t Jesse Jackson on Obama’s list of people he’d like to be considered to replace in him the Senate? (Wonder what part of Obama’s body Jesse Sr. wants to cut off now!) I see a pattern by President-Elect Obama regarding African-American men. First he talks about African-American men, not men in general, taking more responsibility for their families, despite a glowing example of an African-American man who did just that in his own wife’s father, as well as countless others if he just looked past his own personal experience. Now, despite having appointed several African-American males to his cabinet, he has failed to recommend a qualified African-American male to take his Senate seat.
On the one hand, he is willing to accept the support of African-American males, but he is not willing to give those who are especially capable and may actually be his equal or better as a politician his support. Sounds like a narcissist to me! Look at this definition of narcissistic personality disorder from the Mayo Clinic:
“Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. They believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings. But behind this mask of ultra-confidence lies a fragile self-esteem, vulnerable to the slightest criticism.” The italics are mine and would explain, if our President-Elect does have this psychological disorder (as I suspect), why he would not want Jesse Jackson to advance. (I bolded the part about the narcissist’s reaction to criticism because it was evident, to me at least, during the campaign that Obama could not abide any criticism whatsoever – remember how he kept talking about Sarah Palin for two whole weeks after the Republican Convention when she did her job as veep and attacked him?)
Another trait of narcissistic personality disorder is envy and/or jealousy of others. Whether or not Obama has this disorder or not, he has some personality or character flaw that forbade him from giving a nod to a loyal supporter and I think we need to ask why. I also think somebody (not the media that’s been in the tank for him from the beginning!) should be investigating just what went on in Chicago that allowed our “change we can believe in” President-Elect to endorse a governor who was already being accused of corruption two years ago. Like they said on Morning Joe this morning, maybe if the networks had sent as many reporters to Chicago during the campaign as they sent to Wasilla, Alaska, we’d know more about Obama’s relationship with
Rod Blagojevich and why he’s not following Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s lead and denying any part of the “pay to play” debacle. I think when it’s all said and done, Jackson will be the one who will be lauded for his immediate respond while our Commander in Chief to be will be criticized (not by the mainstream media!) for doing what he did when he was in the Illinois Senate: just being “present.”