“Glad tidings of great joy.” That is the message of the Nativvity, preached from a thousand pulpits this Christmas. But for at least one of our clergy, Jesse Jackson, Sr. there is never a holiday so solemn that he can’t refrain from preaching about the ethereal to offer his opinion on the mundane. In his most recent foray, the Rev. Mr. Jackson decided to express his outrage at the “racist and anti-gay comments” that “Duck Dynasty” star, Phil Robertson made in his GQ interview.
Thanks to the controversy of Mr. Robertson’s remarks, there may only be a handful of people in the United States who have not seen one or more episodes of “Duck Dynasty.” I am one of them. If I want to watch reality television, I have only to step out on the streets and observe those who pass by. At least that is unscripted.
I’m not certain how many of us read the GQ interview. I have and would agree with those who found Mr. Robertson’s remarks to have been phrased in a less than poetic way. But those are the remarks he made and considering his background as a backwoodsman I’m sure that he expressed himself in the way which is familiar to him. That is hardly a reason for condemning the man. If it were, Vice President Biden would be under a gag order.
For those of us who subscribe to a Christian ethos,as I presume the Rev. Mr. Jackson does, there is no reason nor does any of us have the right to condemn anyone else. We leave that job to a higher authority. Subsequent to the interview, Mr. Robertson made it quite clear that he personally condemned no one personally. That is not his job.
What Jesse Jackson categorized as “anti-gay” remarks actually related to sexual activity outside the traditional marital relationship. Mr. Jackson should be aware that the Bible does condemn all sexual activity other than between a husband and wife, whether that is between two men or two women or a man and woman who are not married. We all transgress. The Rev. Mr. Jackson is no exception, having fathered a child outside his marriage. Hopefully he has mended his former ways. But it is hard to listen to his condemnation of another on this subject and not have some reservations about his sincerity or the worth of his words.
Then there is the second issue, Mr. Robertson’s “racist” remarks. As far as I could tell from the interview, Mr. Robertson merely described the condition and the attitudes of those blacks with whom he worked in the field. Whether his interpretation of their condition was accurate or not, none of us can truly say. But to categorize his belief that those blacks never expressed outrage at their conditions as being racist seems to be an overreach.
Racism – or for that matter – any form of prejudice is a horrible thing. All of us should pity those who make it the central point of their worldview. That includes Mr. Jackson and all others who profiteer by pitting one race against another. People who truly oppose racism, as Mr. Jackson did back in the ‘60’s should be equally outraged when anyone is attacked solely on the basis of that person’s skin color. Of course, back then, Mr. Jackson would not have attacked Phil Robertson for his position on homosexuality since he espoused exactly the same view..
Have we heard Mr. Jackson speak out about the “Knockout Game” in which predominantly black young hoodlums attack innocent, defenseless people and try to knock them unconscious with a single punch? Have we heard him protest the fact that most of the victims have been Jews? Has he spoken out about the tragic shooting murder last week of Brian Friedland in the Short Hills, NJ mall at the hands of four black thugs? Of course, this most recent murder might have been the unfortunate result of a car jacking, nothing more. But whenever a black is attacked by a white person, Mr. Jackson assumes that the motivating factor behind the attack is racism. Why doesn’t the same logic apply when the roles of assailant and victim are reversed?
Over the years I’ve watched Jesse Jackson morph from a committed advocate for the disadvantaged to a purveyor of racism for the sake of personal gain and prestige. That is perhaps the greatest tragedy – watching his perversion from a crusader to a succubus.
While his words once had meaning and his message had value, they are now little more than the vitriolic output of a mouth that once roared and whose passion once soared. And there are fewer people of conscience who bother to listen to him any more and worse, are embarrassed for him..