Wednesday, July 9, 2008

July 9: Always Assume the Mike Is On, Rev. Jackson

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Officially, we still haven't found out, as of this minute, exactly what Rev. Jesse Jackson said that was so crudely critical of Sen. Barack Obama. But it's probably safe to say it wasn't, "Gee, I agree with what Obama had to say about the responsibility of black males!"

In his statement apologizing to Obama for his comments, Jackson said he wanted the presumptive Democratic nominee for president to address the issue of government responsibility to the African American community.

There is a need for everyone's responsibility - both the government's, and the black community's.

Obama seems to recognize both. Jackson, whose son is the national co-chair of Obama's campaign, apparently needs to recognize more of the latter, and why Obama made his speech.

Jackson also needs to sit down and have a conversation with Obama. And he needs to remember an old rule for public figures, particularly in this age of YouTube: Always assume the microphone is on.

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