Jesse and Al or Al and Jesse

This should be easy.

If you’ve read my blog regularly, you know how I feel: for the most part I’m pro Jesse and Al. Perhaps Jesse does have a bit of a more “tainted” past if you want to call it that.  But, I still personally believe that Jesse has always publicly said what was right and appropriate (notwithstanding his castration comment).  And as far as Al is concerned, I definitely find no fault with him.

So….this is easy for you all.  Just comments from you all to the question:

Are your for or against Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? Do you just like one of them and not the other? Why or why not? Are the two synonymous with each other, or are they separate.

What say ye?

Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL

10 thoughts on “Jesse and Al or Al and Jesse

  1. i’m not a fan of either…i sometimes question the causes they decide to support. i think jesse believes he is due more public respect. they both talk too much for my liking…and al has a conk; a part of me can never trust a grown man with a conk.

  2. I’ll reserve my comments about both reverends for right now, but will pose the following questions:

    1) What is the major source of income for these two activists?
    2) What was the major source of income for an historical African-American activist like Malcolm X?
    3) Does the source of one’s income drive which issues are to be addressed and which are not? (It certainly seems to work this way in the US political system generally)
    4) If black folks didn’t “pay” for Sharpton or Jackson to represent us, what sway do we hold over them as far as accountability goes?
    5) If black folks didn’t “pay” for Sharpton or Jackson to represent us, is it possible that they’re representatives to us rather than for us?

    Just asking.


  3. An outsider’s perspective, if I may:

    Jackson and Sharpton are among the favorite boogeymen of lazy-minded people. Giving them this status both does them an injustice AND gives them credit they don’t deserve at the same time (yeah, I’m so not contradicting myself).

    Personally, I believe they belong to another time and have lost relevance because they (like many lefty activists of other colors) can’t get it through their heads that the protest era is OVER. If over a million mostly WHITE people marching against a war in 2003 didn’t make one lick of difference, what’s a few hundred black people led by widely villified and stereotyped activists like those two going to do except get people like Rush Limbaugh all hot n’ bothered? The Sixties are gone. ADAPT.

    I know that a lot probably goes on under the radar that is pretty low-level and local community-oriented, and that’s probably where their brand of activism can still be effective. But you never hear much about that kind of thing, so I don’t know either way.
    The grudge many hold against Sharpton over the Tawana Brawley clusterf@*&% is completely deserved. Until he surrenders the considerable amount of ego required to repent for that, he’ll be on the #$&! list.
    He sure is a fun Democratic candidate when he runs, though. He’s the ONLY one in the field who can call a lot things as they are, since he knows he has nothing to lose. The others (including a certain Mr. B. Obama,) are shackled.

    1. @ Marbles

      Perhaps I’ll finally do my whole blog as to why I still think Jackson and Sharpton relevant in the scheme of American politics. If for no other reason, Sharpton can rally votes and he did say that when homegirl ran in Massachusetts after Kennedy died, when he offered services to the Mass. Democratic Party to help campaign in the black neighborhoods in Boston that he was politely denied–and blacks didn’t come out to support her.

      That aside, I listen to Sharpton’s show as often as I’m in the car in the early afternoons 1-4pm down here in ATL and I must say, Sharpton is doing the damn thing. And Marbles, you know how hyper-critical I can be, but generally, there’s not much I disagree with Sharpton on. Now his callers are another thing, moreover, he’s able to clapback when he gets foolishness. And when random foolish callers just go off, he’ll say “thanks for your call. Next we have…” and keep it moving.

      I would encourage all who read this to actually listen to Sharpton’s show on a regular basis and then tell me what you think. Largely, Jackson and Sharpton have had public identities created by soundbytes through an already negatively skewed lens. When we hear bits and pieces of soundbytes and fail to listen and follow them consistently, then you have a skewed version of what it really is.

      Just ask Obama or Jeremiah Wright.

  4. Notwithstanding some of Jackson’s checkered backdoor deals and some of his gaffes . . . when it comes to both public figures, if not them, then who? You?

    “I know that a lot probably goes on under the radar that is pretty low-level and local community-oriented, and that’s probably where their brand of activism can still be effective. But you never hear much about that kind of thing, so I don’t know either way.” -Marbles

    @Marbles . . . That’s sentiment of many folks. Now I am not making a comparison, but many people quickly dismiss Ralph Nader because he has not adapted to the times. And they are not aware of his contribution to the way we live in America today.

    If anything else . . . please understand as Sharpton once said, YOU HAVE TO PLAY THE GAME.

    1. @ VEe
      I can’t really comment on the Nader comparison because I don’t really know much about his day-to-day hustle. (Even less than I know about Jackson or Sharpton’s routine when the national spotlight isn’t on them at a given moment.)

      I just think that Sharpton and Jackson are more polarizing than constructive. Whether that’s because of their tactics themselves or because of how their tactics are PERCEIVED (a la the constant de-contextualization of Reverend Wright’s “God Damn America” and Michelle Obama’s “proud of my country” quotes), I don’t know. Probably a little of both. I don’t know where to go from here, because while I strongly believe that people shouldn’t compromise their principles, I’m also of the mind that if you’re as polarizing as those two, you need to step back and reconsider your style. But of course, that’s BS in a way. Look at Obama. In a sane political climate, that schmoe would not be one fiftieth as polarizing as he is. People have been trained in this Pavlovian way to explode with rage whenever he says the word “the”, for God’s sake. It’s nuts. None of this is because of HIM. So I do think that Jackson and Sharpton, to a certain extent, are victims of the same kneejerk unthinking anger. Tawana Brawley aside (and that’s a BIG aside), I very much doubt whether most of the people who hiss and spit at the mention of his name could list any solid rationale for their disgust.

      I still think the protest era is dead, though. It may seem unrelated, but Jesus Christ, look at what Limbaugh just said about health care reform. I thought Melissa Harris-Lacewell made a very interesting point—the grabber wasn’t his predictable “reparations bill” schtick, it was his use of “civil rights” in the same breath, using it as a slur. As she pointed out, if there’s one thing most people could be said to generally agree on, it’s that civil rights are a good thing. With framing like this coming into play, “civil rights” could become another buzzword on par with “communist.” Yes, I believe Americans are stupid enough to fall for such a thing. And in an environment where that’s possible, people like Jackson and Sharpton who wear “civil rights” on their sleeves are irrelvant at best and public enemies no. 1 & 2 at worst.
      I hope this rambling has made some sense—there are so many variables involved with this issue that it’s hard to pin it down exactly.

  5. Wow, tsboddy pretty much took the words right out of my mouth. I think they both serve their purpose from time-to-time (i.e. to bring attention), but I too question what and when they choose to support and what they choose to ignore. I’ve seen both shy away from doing “the right thing” when it’s not popular enough & there aren’t enough TV cameras. It makes me question their true motives, no matter what they say. As a whole, I can’t say I’m “for” either of them, but if you put a gun to my head, I’d probably choose Jesse over Al, just because Jesse doesn’t have “a process”. I question how much Black hair dye he’s using to keep ONLY HIS TEMPLES GRAY, but something about Al Sharpton’s perm always told me that he’s not to be taken too seriously, no matter what! LOL. Honestly, I believe IT IS A NEW DAY, and it’s time for both of them to sit down somewhere. I’m now ready for the people UNDER 40 TO STEP UP AND LEAD! I’m sick and tired of folks over 50 making too many decisions that effect me without my feedback or approval!

  6. MARBLES, where were you during the time Dr. King Died? Where were you during the Poor People’s March? Where were you when Woolworth’s said, “NO! N—–s can’t sit at this counter?

    From wherever you were, did you fight to correct those wrongs? Were you out front or under the kitchen sink? Rev. Jackson was out front! Brother Sharpton was on the street bellowing out the message. That’s why you can clown on this forum and and Mr. 25 years old who wants someone do what his own bloodline is supposed to do…like leave him a legacy or he’s supposed to build it himself.

    Talk about people wanting something for nothing..Dr. King has already completed the March on Washington and the Garbage Strike, Mrs. Parks has already completed the “bus seat” issue, Roy Wilkes has already formed the NAACP, Marcus Garvey and Harriett Tubman has already done the do, Paul Robeson has already told them where to go, Malcolm X has already corrected his issue, Vivian has already done what she came here to do, Hattie McDaniel has already won the Award and put “Mammy” to rest, Dr. Cosby has already demonstrated that we are professionals, Tavis has proven that we are great journalists and can ask the tough questions, and Obama is President…NOW! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

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