I rarely post anything political here, but I can't resist a comment or two. If you have not heard the ruckus, the Rev. Jesse Jackson is in a bit of a pickle because of crude remarks about presidential candidate Barack Obama. He recently commented (in a mic he did not realize was on) "He talks down to Black people. I'd like to rip his n**s off." Some say he said, "out."
With friends like that...well you know the rest.
Jackson has issued the expected apology. He is "sorry" he says, "for harm my remarks might have caused." Obama accepted the apology from Jackson. But a spokesman said Obama would not refrain from calling upon fathers to take greater responsibility in their children's lives.
As for Jackson's apology, he also had this to say on CNN, "And then I said something... regretfully crude but it was very private and very much a sound bite and a live mic."
This is not the first time that Jackson's private mouth has caused him trouble.
In 1984, he called New York City "Hymietown," referring to the city's large Jewish population. He later acknowledged it was wrong to use the term (darn those live microphones!) but said he did so in private to a reporter. Seems he tends to forget that Someone is always listening.
My church family is familiar with me illustrating what it means to "repent" as I march one direction on the platform, then say, "I repent" and turn and march the other way. It is clear that Jackson is sorry--that he mic was on. But does it not remind you of the parental admonition, "It is one thing to be sorry you got caught, and another to change your behavior"? Maybe little Jesse wasn't listening.
Every one of us has said something we wish we had not. I certainly have, more than I like to think about. However, as a very public clergyperson, perhaps Jackson needs to remember Jesus' words in Luke 6:45 "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."
Jesse Jackson is often referred to as having been one of a number of young African Americans who were mentored by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A recent news article called him an "acolyte" of Dr. King. What has he done with that? A national platform comes with responsibility.
Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy
I can't speak for the Black community in America, obviously. But I can speak as one who also has the title "Reverend" in front of my name (though I don't often use it). I cringe that he is always referred to as "the Reverend Jesse Jackson." In my opinion, he is an embarrassment to America and to people of faith, and to Christians, and to clergy. It is time for his microphone to be turned off permanently.