> The problem with Jesse Jackson is he’d
> rather blame white people for all of black
> societies ills. Drug use, teen
> pregnancies, crime (like Decatur),
> unemployment, etc among the black
> community are out of control…
Jesse Jackson has hardly spent all of his life blaming white people for the problems of black society. In his early career, from about 1968 (just after Martin Luther King’s assassination) to 1984, he spent his time going to black churches and high schools preaching a gospel that was largely black self-improvement. He always made it clear that it was necessary both to eliminate discrimination against blacks and for blacks to then use that opportunity by working hard to advance themselves. Early on in his career though, he hadn’t reached the level of national recognition that allowed him to go to white leaders and chastise them about their lack of black representation, so he concentrated speaking to black organizations about self-improvement.
By 1984, the first time he ran for the Democratic nomination for President, he had achieved the sort of fame where he could get noticed. He became less interested in the work of talking to black churches and high schools and more interested in applying pressure to white organizations. In many cases, he was absolutely correct about the discrimination he saw in the white organizations. In other cases, particularly more recently, he was wrong.
It’s hard to tell what he thought he was accomplishing by his runs for the Presidency. He must have known that he didn’t really have much chance of getting the nomination. It appears that he was mostly concerned with making sure that the Democratic Party stayed in touch with black issues. If he had actually wanted to get into real political work, he could have (for instance) run for mayor of some big city in 1980 (when he was only 39 years old). He could have spent, say, two terms as a mayor and two or three terms as a governor or senator learning what real politics is about. That would have meant that this year (when he’s still only 59), he would have had the experience that could have made him a decent President. Instead, he’s hit a glass ceiling in his influence.
Incidentally, KM2, it’s not true that “drug use, teen pregnancies, crime (like Decatur), unemployment, etc among the black community are out of control…” All of those have been dropping among blacks since the early nineties and, what’s more, have been dropping faster among blacks than among whites. Look up the statistics yourself if you don’t believe me.