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Racism, Affect-Laden Discourse

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 10, 2006
Latest Update: March 10, 2006

E-Mail Icon jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

Index of Topics on Site Randy's Discourse on Quieting the Affect

Randy wrote in Message No. 11104:

Jason;

Your pain and anger are understandable. I want to apologize to you if I have caused you any hurt. I am not in this group to defend anyone other than the right of conscience and the need for increasing our awareness of our oneness.

Reverend Jackson is a towering figure on the world's stage. His achievements and efforts on behalf of the Human condition are many. He is a man who has persevered against adversity, hatred and terror. These are facts that can be proven.

Greg made some statements re. Rev. Jackson having fathered a child with someone other than his wife. Greg's allegation is also corroborated by the facts, (http://www.salon.com/politics/feature/2001/01/19/jackson/index.html http://tinyurl.com/ojetz) Before I go any further I must confess that I have committed adultery, so I would be the last person on Earth to point fingers at anyone re. sexual immorality. Anyone that has been following my posts should know my feelings about our society's preoccupation with sexual immorality to the near exclusion of more pressing matters. However, this discussion is not about me, it is about what is the most productive way that we can communicate difficult and contentious issues to one another without increasing conflict.

Greg surely could have been more diplomatic in his use of the term "fraud", but a Reverend is someone who is "worthy of adoration or reverence" and I suspect that if a white reverend did the same thing, (http://tinyurl.com/jfnc3) Greg would use just as strong language. I'd be willing to bet that if Greg's own father was caught in some shenanigans, Greg would not only call him a fraud he'd renounce him. Now, it is true that the timing of the release of the allegations in the above story was probably politically motivated, but I don't see any malevolence in Greg's statement. At the time of the initial story some conservatives, Ward Connerly among them, refrained from making it an issue; "I don't believe you kick a person when he's down. This has to be a devastating thing to his family and a lot of other people who follow his guidance, but I don't want to pile on at this moment of personal anguish". Indeed, conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan suggested that the allegation could have been perceived as racist: "I'm not going to get up on a high horse about Jesse Jackson's personal woes," Sullivan writes on his Web site. "But I can't help wondering just how long it will take before he or a supporter describes the National Enquirer as the modern equivalent of Bull Connor, and the exposť as racially motivated. A day, maybe? A news cycle?"

Others weren't so reticent. Some conservatives seized upon the so- called liberal media's treatment of conservative clergy as evidence of Rev. Jackson being fair game in the, "your Rev. is a worse sinner than our Rev." game. As conservative lawyer Ann Coulter put it, "No one thought it was irrelevant or a political hit when Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker were caught with their pants down. Oh no. Then the media was full of self-righteous indignation about the rank hypocrisy of such men -- amid the snorts of laughter. Not only that, but the bad acts of those men were taken as evidence of the stupidity and hypocrisy of their flocks."

Greg also commented about the business interests of Rev. Jackson and his sons. Again, Greg speaks the truth as excerpted paragraphs below indicate; "Busch was having problems with the River North distributorship, both financial and racial. African-American employees complained that they were being denied promotions and were threatening to call in Jackson and Operation PUSH if Busch didn't satisfy their demands. The Busch family apparently assumed Jackson could now launch a successful boycott, because of public support from President Clinton, and sought to defuse the situation by winning him over as an ally. They began with a $10,000 contribution to Jackson's Citizenship Education Fund in 1997, and campaign cash to Jesse Jr. But in the end they preferred marriage to seduction, and in 1998 began exploring ways to sell the troubled beer distributorship to Jackson's own sons. In the meantime, Jesse had turned up the heat. In tandem with the Rev. James Meeks -- the powerful pastor of Salem Baptist Church, the fastest-growing black church in Chicago -- Jackson had been preaching anti-alcohol messages to the faithful in the heart of the River North Budweiser territory. "You had Jesse and Reverend Meeks saying the community needed to be dried up from alcohol at the same time Jesse's sons were looking to enter the beer business with Anheuser-Busch," recalls former Jackson associate Glen Bone III. "That type of hypocrisy didn't sit well in the community." But it worked like a charm with Augie Busch IV."
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_12_18/ai_84396673/pg_2
http://tinyurl.com/fbykp

Here's how one black conservative commentator views Rev. Jackson; "Here's hoping that more people will find the courage to stand up to Jackson's mafia tactics like Eddie Edwards so that others can see Jackson for what he really has become: a petty thug."

(Michael King is a member of the African-American leadership network Project 21 and an Internet and radio broadcaster in Atlanta, Georgia. He can be reached at mhking (at) bellsouth.net and http://www.geocities.com/mhking1/.)
http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVKingJackson801.html
http://tinyurl.com/hvmt5

Jason, so here we have black people making the same allegations as Greg and I have provided other sources to substantiate Greg's claims. As you may know from my other posts I am a black man, who grew up in the projects of the deep south in racist America. I don't think that you will accuse me of being a racist, will you? Although some have described me as being conservative, I doubt if you'd find many conservatives that would say that. In fairness to your analysis of Greg's post, I tried to convey to Greg some facts of modern American life and human society. I said, "in a society where standards are routinely discarded in service to money and power, your (Greg's) positions may be misinterpreted by some, especially since you tend to write in an unapologetic tone. Put another way, in a racist society that has not come clean from a history of divide and conquer, any attack on the leadership of people of color could draw charges of bias and racism. It is a lot easier to go after the indiscretions of the leaders of powerless people than to go after the leaders of the powerful. Yet, on this matter I suspect that Greg would go after powerful conservatives too if they strayed from their marriage or ethical business conduct. The problem is that powerful conservative people get to determine who is bad and who is good, to reward and punish. In attacking unrighteousness across the board without acknowledging differences in who has power and who doesn't and the existence of institutional racism deeply embedded in our society, Greg may have been unfair but I think that it is incorrect to call him a racist on the facts and as a matter of civil discourse on this wonderful resource for our reconciliation. What are your thoughts Jason? How about if you and Greg share a bag of fries and don't forget the ketchup. As you may know, it has natural mellowing agents.

Peas n luv, one people, one world, one life.

Randy

NAME wrote in Message No. NUMBER:

Text from message you want to discuss.

Will add more as Randy posts it, and as others respond. jeanne

Discussion Questions

  1. Text of question.

    Consider: WHAT I WAS THINKING ABOUT WHEN I WROTE THE QUESTION. AND LINKS TO SOURCES.

  2. Text of question.

    Consider: WHAT I WAS THINKING ABOUT WHEN I WROTE THE QUESTION. AND LINKS TO SOURCES.

References:

    Links that will lead us to more in-depth reading. I'll post these from the body of your message, Randy. jeanne

  • LINK Complete URL.

    Brief explanation of what we're supposed to see, like an unstated assumption, in the link, and how it relates to the issue we're discussing.

  • LINK Complete URL.

    Brief explanation of what we're supposed to see, like an unstated assumption, in the link, and how it relates to the issue we're discussing.



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