If all crime in America were to end tomorrow, 800,000 people would be pretty pissed. Those 800,000 are all cops. And without anyone to arrest, it wouldn’t be long before that 800,000 began to swell the unemployment rolls. As time elapsed and the existing prison population either died or got paroled or released, the 46.3 billion dollars generated annually by the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) would begin to dwindle. This would leave a whole host of guards, wardens, cooks, librarians and other prison officials and local townspeople pissed off too. The unemployment rolls swell again. And what about all those former criminals? There’s no more crime so they’ll have to find work too.
Similarly, if all racism, sexism and homophobia were to end tomorrow, a lot of people would be pissed. These would be the people that have made their livings either looking for any and all traces of racism, sexism or homophobia, or they’ve screamed from the rooftops whenever any traces of the earlier listed were uncovered. Victims of racism, sexism and homophobia are all deaf mutes you see, so they need a person at the forefront of their cause to articulate their grievances to power. But now with no more grievances, those forefront people would have no choice but to get out and look for work. And some of those forefront people have never worked a day in their lives.
I don’t like Jesse Jackson, but that’s personal and I’ll get to it. The issue at hand is the fact that a few days ago, it was revealed that Jesse Jackson said about Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama that he wanted to “cut his nuts out.” Jackson said this apparently because he disagreed with some of the comments that Barack Obama has made recently in Black churches where he’s suggested that Black people need to take more responsibility over their own lives. Jackson also made this statement while being unaware that the microphone that he was standing before was live.
Immediately, the symbolism is shocking. Immediately, we think of castration as being the method that white supremacist used on Black lynching victims when it was clear that the Black phallus terrified them so thoroughly that they seemingly felt the need to remove it even from a corpse. But in making this statement, what was Jesse really telling us that we didn’t already know about him? Even more shockingly: nothing.
I’ve always personally maintained that the term “Black leader” is a misnomer. “Leadership” implies movement and with that understood, there’s only been one real leader in Black American history: Marcus Garvey. This is not to disparage the work of the greatest orator this hemisphere has ever known, The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., or to discredit his “movement,” but just to say simply and honestly that the people that usually stand at the forefront of Black organizations and groups would be more accurately referred to as “spokespersons.”
Now back to that asshole, Jackson. It’s been long rumored that right after the great Dr. King was shot on that balcony in Memphis that the good reverend Jackson ran from his post on the ground level and smeared the blood from Dr. King’s wound on his shirt just so that he could say the he was “there when it happened.” A two-time failed Democratic presidential candidate himself, Jackson’s planned platform of universal Black support and some white guilt, was interesting, but turned out to be a bust. And it should be no surprise that a man of Jackson’s immense vanity fathered a lovechild with staffer Karin Stanford in 1999 despite being married to Jacqueline Lavinia Brown since 1962. And I don’t like him because once, while I was still NYC’s top bike messenger, I saw the great reverend Jackson standing in front of 333 7th Avenue while I was about to drop off a package. Still appropriately reverential of the icons of the Black rights movement, I greeted him with an awed “Reverend Jackson!?”
His response to me was, “How you doin’, Mac?”
I remembered thinking, “’Mac’? Jesus washed his disciples feet and you greet me as if I’m an Eastern European cab driver? You pompous piece of shit!”
So that was it, no more respect for that bozo. And I’m not surprised with what happened between him and Barack. It’s the chickens coming home to roost. And chickens coming home to roost, in the words of another great Black spokesman, never made me mad. In fact, they only made me glad.