Jesse and Barack

Did I say I wasn’t going to say anything about nutsgate? Well I changed my mind, at least for this one time.

A lot of the debate seems to rage around one question regarding Barack Obama’s speech on black fatherhood on Father’s Day; was it legit, or was it political posturing for white people (Reagan Democrats love it when you tell it to black people)? My take on it is that it was probably a little of both. I have no doubt Obama meant what he said, and it was a natural thing to say on Father’s Day, but the man is running for President so there’s not very many things he does that doesn’t have some political calculation behind it.

That said, who the hell is Jesse Jackson to criticize Barack Obama on the issue of fatherhood? I don’t want to get too hard up on Jesse here because I think he gets a bad deal in a lot of circles, and the man has done a lot of things that have impacted a lot of lives that most of us will never realize, but seriously. Say what you want about Obama, so far as I know Obama hasn’t fathered any illegitmate children with an employee. I don’t really know the current situation there, so I’m not going to say anything more about it than that. But one thing I do know about Obama, he had a father who wasn’t there. He had a father who ran half way around the world and left his son to be raised by his white mother and white grandparents. And he has a father-in-law who was a model parent for anyone, black, white, brown, green or purple. I don’t know if anyone could have a starker understanding of the impact that has on a child than Obama, and I can’t think of anyone in a better position, in terms of stature or personal experience, to talk about it than Barack Obama. And there might be a lot to criticize about him, but this is one of those places where I don’t think very many people are in a position to be scolding Obama, least of all Jesse Jackson.