Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Word Sandwiches are Hard to swallow but even more Difficult to Digest

As a news editor I receive press releases from many news sources. The following is a press release I received from Rainbow PUSH regarding some inflammatory statements made by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. about Senator Barack Obama while speaking in confidence to Julian Bond during a FOX News segment in Chicago. Apparently the remarks were inflammatory and caused him embarrassment and negative media coverage. Rev. Jackson, while still mic'd, believed he was not 'live' as he whispered to Mr. Bond. The full audio was captured and FOX news did not hesitate to make the video and audio tapes available to other news sources across the country.

Rev. Jackson Apologizes for ‘Hurtful Words’

The following is an official statement from Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

Madrid (July 16, 2008) - “I am deeply saddened and distressed by the pain and sorrow that I have caused as a result of my hurtful words. I apologize again to Senator Barrack Obama, Michelle Obama, their children as well as to the American public. There really is no justification for my comments and I hope that the Obama family and the American public will forgive me. I also pray that we, as a nation, can move on to address the real issues that affect the American people.”

Rev. Jackson,
Let me begin by telling you that every since I was a little girl, and went to hear you speak at a church on 46th and King Drive along with Dr. ML King, Jr., I have been a fan and a supporter. You are the same age as my parents. Over the years our paths have crossed on many ocassions. Each time was very memorable and without incident and became the source of very fond reflections.

I watched with dismay, several news accounts of the things you are credited with saying about Sen. Barrack Obama and the African American community. I watched these stories without judgement (which is very hard for a person to do because it's not natural to have no opinion). I understand your assertion that you thought you were not "live". I realize that you and Julian are friends and you were doing private sharing in a public venue. Not only were your words recorded, but because you were seated in a tv newsroom they took the liberty of videotaping you while you spoke. You did not cover your mouth as you spoke so lip readers could see your words as they flowed from your lips. As soon as you made the comments I sense you regretted you had. I concluded that you were not to blame, but the 'littlest' member of your body betrayed you.

In fact, you are not to blame at all because your occupation betrayed you. You are a 'spokesperson' and spokepersons speak--it's what they do. Because of your vast and colorful vocabulary, your intellect betrayed you. Of all the words that could've been used to decribe what you meant, you used the simplest--just like Jesus would do.

So you're not to blame at all; it was the Jesus in you that betrayed you. And what I am most impressed by is that even though it was not your fault in any way, shape or form--you were still a big enough person to eat an entire 'word sandwich'--that is, to issue an entire public apology if what you said was offensive or hurtful to Sen Obama, his wife, or his kids. You can truly tell that you are a real man of GOD. Attaboy Rev. Jackson! Go ahead and take a bow.