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Obama's nuts!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-07-13 07:46:55
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A comment like ‘I want to cut his nuts off’ from one of the leaders of the Democratic Party weeks before the confirmation of Barack Obama’s candidacy for the Presidency of the United States is both pathetic and ridiculous, especially when this figure is powerful among the black voters of the Democratic Party, namely civil rights leader, Reverent Jesse Jackson.

What provoked this comment obviously has to do with the earlier comments from another religious leader of the black community and close to Sen. Obama, Reverent Jeremiah Wright, but what really made an experienced politician say something like that will long be a mystery and I’m sorry but I don’t believe that has anything to do with how American is Rev. Wright or how American is Rev. Jackson. To be honest, I believe it was the long hidden bitterness of an old man who met the defeat back in the '80s because of his colour and nowadays sees a young man taking everything so easily.

You just have to remember that Jesse Jackson unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party presidential nomination twice, in 1984 and 1988; both times losing and both times the excuse was that America was not ready for a black president. My opinion is, and do forgive me to have an opinion because I lived both elections very closely, that the whole thing had nothing to do with the Americans but with the status quo of the American political life that was not ready for that kind of change - a status quo that lives on a planet far-far away from the average American and is called Capitol Hill.

The bad thing is that the man who lived from inside all this ugliness, the man who had to fight this status quo with all its sides, including the unbelievable dirt that had been thrown at him, has become part of this status quo; Jesse Jackson became part of the system he fought, another gear of the machine that likes to control. Jesse Jackson didn’t understand what a few analysts saw at the time that the system didn’t want him and colour was just an excuse.

At the time, the system felt that he was unpredictable and difficult to control. Don’t worry when I’m referring to the status quo or the system I’m not referring to any conspiracy theory but the conservative and old often having to do with the name of the family and not with ideas - spirit that has ruled the political parties in USA for the last decades. Do you think Abraham Lincoln would have any chance today? The poor lawyer, son of uneducated farmers without the millions and the connections would ever have a chance today? The answer is definitely not.

When Jesse Jackson first appeared, the Democratic Party only had the support of the people; the people voluntarily worked for him and funded him. For the ones who controlled the Democratic Party behind the curtains that was unaccepted. But nowadays Rev. Jesse Jackson has become this status quo, this system that in the name of the Democratic Party feel that they have become protectors and defenders of its past and future. And what I’m saying is not something indefinite you can see it if you look carefully through his own words, Rev. Jesse Jackson has often suggested that Obama is patronizing the black people going one step further saying that Obama ‘has been talking down to black people;’ shocking words when they are coming from the mouth of a leader of the civil rights. Patronizing words from somebody who thinks he knows what the black people of USA need.

At least that’s how I felt reading these words and reading his later apologetic statement. "Anything I said in a hot-mic statement that's interpreted as a distraction, I offer apologies for that,'' Jackson said at a news conference. "I have supported Barack's campaign with passion from the very beginning. I thought the very idea made sense. We've been there all the way, because I think this campaign is a redemptive moment for America and a great opportunity to redefine America." Is that his apology to Barack Obama or the black people of the USA?

I have the feeling that Rev. Jesse Jackson was the beginning and we will see more to follow, more of this status quo that is afraid of the air of change Obama is bringing. And yes I was supporting Hillary Clinton in the beginning but the more things like that I get the more angry and stubborn I get in supporting the only man who can obviously make the difference. The only one who can actually beat the status quo of the Capital Hill with just the support of the people. A man who obviously has …nuts!

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Emanuel Paparella2008-07-13 09:49:56
Indeed, as Freud used to say, when asked what was the symbolism of the long cigars he used to smoke daily, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” Pari passu, sometimes nuts are just nuts; which is to say, and I think Freud would agree, that politicians often operate from the realm of the subconscious. Be careful of what you think you’ll end up saying it. Be careful of what you say, you’ll end up doing it; and then we’ll have another messy case of Abelard who refused to stick to theology and venture into other endeavors.

Emanuel Paparella2008-07-13 09:51:23
(continued from above)

Musings. However I do have a slightly different take on the paradox of the secret outburst of Jesse Jackson and it resides in the very names of the two protagonists. Most African Americans have an English last name, often an English first name also. When I was teaching at the University of Puerto Rico, the Department of English interviewed by phone and expert on African-American Literature and hired him. They fully expected to see a Black man arrive on the scene but to their surprise the man who arrived was lily white. Malcolm X saw this paradox of the former slave carrying the name of his former master while wishing to assert his African origins and correctly decided to change his name to X. Unfortunately when a man runs for president in the modern era he has to show his face. A telephone interview will not do. And so Jesse Jackson lost two times despite his famed rainbow coalition. It would appear that the either the English name was not as important as the color of one’s skin with the electorate, or worse that the English name carried by an African American only exacerbated the guilt of the descendants of the former masters. This analysis of course does not apply to those immigrants who entered the USA after its civil war and never owned slaves.

Emanuel Paparella2008-07-13 09:55:46
(continued from above)

Enter Barrack Obama:a biracial man, with no civil right [olitical baggage, with no chips on his shoulder, with no rhetorical guilt trip to give to the white former masters, with the audacity of hope in his soul, with soul power in his heart, with eloquence on his lips, and outrage of outrage, with an African father and an African name to boot; and he handily becomes the nominee for president beating the old guard, the Clintons, and will probably handily become the next president of the US: the first African-American president but not with an English name but with an African name revealing no ghost of former masters. Is it any wonder that the old civil rights guard both white and Black feels cheated? Yes it is a generational shift. The torch has been passed and the old guard ought to consider changing their names to an African one which better reflects their origins and identity. Freud had a point: sometimes nuts are just nuts.

Emanuel Paparella2008-07-13 23:46:19
Confirmation that the torch has been passed to a new generation is the fact that Jesse Jackson's own son, who is a US Congressman, was less forgiving of hiw own father, even after he apologized for the gaff, than Obama himself.

Emanuel Paparella2008-07-14 00:48:40
Here is an insightful statement, with which Freud would probably agree,in the sense that much of what men, who wish to give the impression that they are in control of our brave new world (our politicians that is, masters of the earth), actually do escapes their mastery since it issues from their deep troubled sub-conscious and shadow world. That is true at the personal as well as the social-global level:

“We are now, admittedly, the masters of the Earth and the world, but our very mastery seems to escape our mastery. We have all things in hand, but we do not control our actions. Everything happens as though our powers escape our powers. Our consequences outstrip our deliberate intentions. So, it no longer depends on us that everything depends on us. We have resolved the Cartesian question: ‘How can we dominate the world?’ We will now have to resolve the next one: ‘How can we dominate our domination; or how can we master our own mastery?’” – Michel Serres (1995: 171—172)

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