Why Jesse Really Attacked Obama

Rev. Jackson,

Your vulgar tirade caught on tape by Fox News, in which you said you wanted to rip Barack Obama’s nuts off and accused him of talking down to black folks with moral lectures at churches, is simply the last straw for me and a growing number of African-Americans.

There are many blacks across the nation (myself included) who are appreciative of the work and contributions you have made in your civil rights career. But at this point in your career, you are hurting Black America and Senator Obama.

In September 2007, it was clear that you were frustrated by Senator Obama, when you stated in an interview in South Carolina that he needs to stop acting white, because you felt he was not engaged to your liking in the Jena 6 movement.

Rev. Jackson, your continued verbal attacks on Senator Obama are unwarranted. It is as if you’re jealous that he has eclipsed you and both of your campaigns for the Democratic nomination.

Senator Obama’s recent comments about Black fathers not abandoning their children and accepting moral responsibility is a lesson you apparently needed to learn when you were younger. If you had, it may not have caused you to cheat on your wife and father a child out of wedlock with a former staffer.

Maybe that’s what really bothered you about Senator Obama’s Father’s Day message urging Black fathers to be responsible for their children. You certainly haven’t been.

Living in Los Angeles, I have watched your ten year old daughter grow up. Over the years, I have had the pleasure to spend several holidays with your daughter including Christmas, her birthday parties and other milestones in her life. I will never turn my back on Ashley, her mom and their family. It is about providing friendship, support and love while you have been missing in action.

Your daughter has never traveled with you. You have an annual birthday party in Beverly Hills every year where your entire family is welcome, but your youngest child has only attended it once. She has had very little contact with her siblings and has never even met her big brother Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr, who apparently doesn’t want anything to do with her. Allegedly (I believe it to be true), he was the one to leak the scandal to the media concerning your affair.

Now don’t get me wrong, Senator Obama is not above reproach. He is a politician and is fair game to be fairly criticized by you or anyone else. But to personally attack him is crossing the line. Senator Obama is not talking down to Black people. He wants you and other dead beat dads to spend time with and care for your children properly.

The destruction of the black family and absentee fathers is a major problem in our community.

It’s a problem that Dr. King spoke about and fought against. Forty years after King’s murder, I can see why King didn’t trust you. If you can’t and won’t sincerely help Senator Obama in this historic run, then at least stop attacking him.

Listen to his message of being a responsible father and start with taking care of your own daughter.

Najee Ali is Executive Director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E, a national civil rights organization that advocates for the human rights of oppressed people regardless of race, gender or religion. He was selected by Wave Newspapers and Our Weekly Newspaper as one of the 25 most influential black leaders in Los Angeles. More information is available at: www.islamichope.org.

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July 10th, 2008 at 1:46 pm Byron Black says:

Excellent Points Brother Najee. I Refuse To Call Him Or Sharpton A Leader. Leaders Aren’t Self-Appointed. Jackson Has Never Spoken For Me. He Speaks For Himself. This Latest Controversy Is Yet Another In A Long Legacy Of Drama That This Self-Important Man Continues To Perpetuate On The Black Community. The Good He Has Done Has Long Been Overshadowed By The Ego. It Is A Shame.

July 10th, 2008 at 1:58 pm Kettle blk says:


July 10th, 2008 at 2:06 pm Mr Melody says:

Wow — you know his kid like that? Interesting… what a hypocrite

July 10th, 2008 at 2:15 pm pmatters says:

Wow I agree with you Mr. Ali. At this time in history we need to show unity not tear each other down every step of the way because our views may not be exactly the same. Shame on you Jessie Jackson.

July 10th, 2008 at 2:34 pm culturepop says:

I could spit nails I’m so upset. First - what is he even doing on FOX and second shut up!! Crabs in a damn barrel, I swear

July 10th, 2008 at 2:47 pm Lottie Markus says:

Anyone make a livin off other sufferin is due for whatever harm gonna come their way

July 10th, 2008 at 3:14 pm superjonsey1 says:

Jessie Jackson has been on enough talk shows and done enough interviews to know that the mic is always hot whether you are on the air or not. How could he be so careless, this is an uphill battle for Obama and his show of non support is not making it any easier.

July 10th, 2008 at 3:15 pm thelma says:

triffin’ opportunist jerk! his own kids don’t even like him. Yuck - Obama will overcome this too I can only hope. Showing white folks how divided we are is pissin me off

July 10th, 2008 at 3:18 pm Tina says:

Well said Brother Ali! Why is he upset anyway? It is not like he has not made very similar speeches in his day speaking to Black men and youth. I guess the truth is what made him so upset.

July 10th, 2008 at 3:29 pm buttabrown says:

Pull him off the stage because he is old, bitter and he is anything but a leader.

July 10th, 2008 at 3:30 pm Nubian CoCo says:

How crude to say someting like that anyway. Talking the truth is talking down? Come on man

July 10th, 2008 at 3:47 pm heatmizer says:

I was on FIRE when I saw that clip… I didn’t know all this about his daughter that is a shame. And look what HIS OWN SON said about him! Like, he didn’t even defend him!

“I’m deeply outraged and disappointed in Reverend Jackson’s reckless statements about Senator Barack Obama. His divisive and demeaning comments about the presumptive Democratic nominee — and I believe the next president of the United States — contradict his inspiring and courageous career” (Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is the son of Rev. Jesse Jackson).

July 10th, 2008 at 4:09 pm Nation Builder says:

Deadbeat Dad representin “the black voice” when will the media learn??

July 10th, 2008 at 6:12 pm teradise says:

dude! why doesn’t he get a REAL job! He needs something to do! DAMN!

July 10th, 2008 at 7:04 pm Najee Ali says:

This was actually a tough piece to write
When i was growing up. Jesse was a real life Black super hero who was viewed as doing some amazaing civil rights work going all over the world freeing hostages and running for president in 84 & 88.( Run Jesse run ) was our battle cry. For him to sink this low in attacking Obama is sad for me. Jesse use to be the man the H.N.I.C(Head Negro in charge for you youngstas like Coach Renina (: But watching now is like watching Ali in his last couple of fights, or Michael Jordan playing for the wizards, or buying that last Michael Jackson album. the magic is gone your time is J.J. pass the baton and stop hatin on young leadership

July 10th, 2008 at 7:14 pm Cynthia Waldhoff says:

I am in total agreement. Mr. Jackson Sr. is a polarizing influence. This is a time when the Democratic party has a chance to stand up and be accountable, where all people need to step up to their responsibilities. As a growing up in the 60s there was a need for establishing some support to help our country move forward. I am so tired of everyone picking apart everything our candidate says. Political Correctness has killed a responsible dialog with EVERYONE regardless of color. Welcome to the new world Mr. Jackson Sr. - - Even your son realizes the importance of this election !!

July 10th, 2008 at 7:16 pm Ellene Miles says:

I totally agree, Najee. I was a kid in the 80s and Jesse definitely was the man! To see him reduced to even thinking this way, much less saying it makes no sense to me at all!

July 10th, 2008 at 7:59 pm ReNina Minter says:

Brother Najee,
You don’t have to call me a “youngsta” to get me to comment on your blog. lol : ) Great blog. I do remember Jesse in the 80’s, we all loved him. It’s just sad. I agree with Kettle Blk “why is it always a competition” and I also agree with CulturePop “crabs in a barrell”. Jesse needs to sit his jealousy aside and support Obama by allowing him to do something that Jesse was never able to do…truly run for president.

July 10th, 2008 at 8:23 pm Najee Ali says:

O.k…Sister ReNina but it worked lol I like hearing from blogmates as well and cant wait to read your next blog.

July 10th, 2008 at 8:29 pm Najee Ali says:

@ Byron, I feel you J.J.needs to retire play with child & grandchildren!
@ pm you can call me Najee Im not that old. im not your dad lol but thanks for the respect.
@ Tina Thanks sis ! @ Ellene my blog mate.My first time voting was for J.J. now I wish he would just sit his old butt down somewhere & just be proud that he, & and Shirly Chisolm helped pave the way for Obama.

July 10th, 2008 at 9:11 pm Miss Yaminah says:

Brother Najee, thank you for breaking it down!!! When he heard Obama’s message his ego said, “How dare you call me out on my BS!” And his reaction was to emasculate him.
If he thinks that way about Obama it’s no telling what violent thoughts, desires he has for Ms. Jackson’s mother. This is serious!

July 10th, 2008 at 9:22 pm Miss Yaminah says:

Not only that, Obama isn’t playing the game that some of our so called black leaders choose to play with white politicians. Jesse and some of his folks are accustomed to bargaining a portion of black morality, honor, integrity in order to get a seat at the table. Obama has a seat at the table and he got without their permission or their tactics. Obama doesn’t need them and that’s scary for folks like Jesse who have been masquerading around like they’re the leaders of our community. This is a huge issue because Obama, in Jesse’s eyes, is a threat to who he’s sold himself to be. Now that I think about it, Jesse’s comment isn’t just about feeling the sting of his words, it’s a culmination of him losing his identity, his power, his status and his source of income. This is a man who is fighting for his life so of course he’s going to hit the enemy where it hurts.

July 10th, 2008 at 9:25 pm Najee Ali says:

@ Sister Yaminah,Oh my God.. Another Blog mate co-signing (: Thanks sis.
Im just keeping it real. J.J.was out of pocket.And his ego is now his downfall. He also tried to go after Sharpton & tear him down as well when he felt that Sharpton was getting more national pub.
J.J. was the man back in the day though But now its like he’s a joke.Obama & those that are coming after him brothers and sisters are what King dreamed about! Were headed to the mountain top on Nov 4!
( Hey I like that. It sounds good don’t yall steal it Im using that line for a future blog lol ! )

July 10th, 2008 at 9:32 pm Najee Ali says:

@ Sister Amina, WOW.. you just put in down! Its great to me when i read posts by professional writers like you and Cameron just how great skills you have it keep me humble as well. Something J,J,should have learned and we all should. But to your point J.J.was & had been the H.N.I.C for 40 years. That day is now gone, and now he doesnt no what to do.

July 10th, 2008 at 9:37 pm Miss Yaminah says:

One more thing, Obama’s message has been about leading this country, not being our leader. That is changing the paradigm. He focuses on what needs to be done and his vision for getting it done more so than himself. Yes, he says he’s the man for the job, but it’s not egotistical. It allows us to focus on the work and not get caught up in the allure of that person. Having said that, do you think that back in the 80s blacks were ready to vote for Jesse because of who he was or his vision on how to create change? How do you think Obama has changed the way our community determine who is our “leader?”

July 10th, 2008 at 9:45 pm Miss Yaminah says:

Brother, I’m so glad we have you to bring this issue to light! It’s inspiring to know there is one more brother out there doing the work! Thank you.

July 10th, 2008 at 11:28 pm shalimar says:

bismillah ir rahmaan ir rahim,
i have never seen a head taken in such a clean manner. you najee are a true and talented sallidin. i rate your sword swift,excellent and sharp.
love to ngina.

July 11th, 2008 at 12:19 am hisherness says:

it’s interesting, isn’t it? in order for Obama to be a success, Jackson (despite his many successes and triumphs, despite his contributions) has to admit failure … at least in his own mind, it would seem. he can’t stand it. he can’t stand to be a contributor, a satellite. he sees himself becoming orbital.

i can’t countenance the lack of respect and decorum, but i can actually empathize with the difficulty of his position. it’s sad, but when you work so hard at something for so long, it’s also difficult to hand over the baton. did Joe Louis get out of the ring when he logically should have? certainly not. although i must say that he handled himself in a much more civilized fashion.

July 11th, 2008 at 3:17 am UncleD says:

Can I first say that I am completely into the depth of this blog and the comments of everybody. This is the exact example of why I come here. I’ve been coming here since UTC first started (I think the second week) and so I feel like I have some stake in this and I’m proud of this site.

Moving out of sentimentality and into the real deel, Najee, you are breaking it down like a bicyclist on a hill. The crux of your blog hits on a point that no mainstream media even knows enough about to point to - his out of wedlock daughter! The point you’ve made is blistering and cuts right to the heart of what is going on inside this man’s head. Your insights into the unfortunate personal history with his daughter hit home.
PLUS Byron Black reminding me of the long line of controversies (Hymie Town anyone?) and then Ms. Ahmad killing the game with the loss of identity and INCOME! INCOME people! Then HisHer with the satellite, orbiting idea! He MUST be the center of black leadership (whatver that means these days) or he will literally be off course (as we’ve seen).
THIS is how we need to operate at all times friends! Adding one idea to another to another, analyzing, building. Together! I’m into this.

All those comments back to back made a light bulb go off for me. Not only about Jackson but about our community. THIS - what we are doing here - is the future. THIS the path to change. THIS togetherness of smart black people talking it all out! Does anybody feel me on this?
Let me get off this soapbox. My back hurts.

July 11th, 2008 at 3:50 am Darryl M. Bell says:

Brother Ali, most respectfully, can we all just take a breath. Rev. Jackson’s mistake is inexcusable. Superjonsey is right on point. He’s far too experienced to be on a set, in front of a camera, with a mic on, to engage in any “private” conversation. All of the points on why he’s out of line for being so careless are cut and dry. However, respectfully, you say Rev Jackson shouldn’t attack Obama personally, but you seemed to have come at the Rev. VERY personally. You clearly have personal experience and insight to some of the Jackson family business. I’m have not talked to any of the Jackson family recently, but I know most of them. I am not speaking at their request or on their behalf. I’m speaking for fairness. Every family has complex relationships. The relationship between parents who cheat, their children and the innocent children born from an affair, are highly emotional and treacherous waters to navigate. It is a test of faith, loyalties between parents, loyalties between siblings, forgiveness and righteousness. I felt the gaff Rev. Jackson made wasn’t a consequence of his choices in his personal life. It made me feel uneasy reading details about the relationships between his children, who had nothing to do with his actions on the set. Again, with respect.

July 11th, 2008 at 4:06 am Coretta Scott Queen says:

Of course Najee will answer for himself. But since the remark is posed in our public family (?) forum I’ll take my moment to chime in too. :)

Darryl: In my humble, working-class woman opinion who doesn’t have the pleasure or fame to know any Jackson personally - Mr. Jackson relinquished his right to personal fairness when he so unfairly went after Mr. Obama. The ‘hot mic’ was not the first time by any means. Let us be clear that we have a so-called black leader sabatoging another black man with a true and real chance to lead this crumbling nation. In my view, Jackson deserves worse than he is getting. He betrayed himself and the community he so falsely says he serves.
Jackson is a professional divider who has built a career (and a fortune) on categories. He is now faced with a leader who has galvanized mliions to step outside of these categories for a common goal. How dare he threaten that with foolishness and ego?
In my book he deserves no fairness in respect to his personal life. If he wants to be out and about so brazenly and haphazarly, then we have a right to talk about him as we please.

July 11th, 2008 at 4:40 am Darryl M. Bell says:

Coretta Scott Queen, all you’ve said is fine. Any and all comments on Jesse, his leadership, his politics and his remarks about Obama are fair game. His children should be off limits. Brother Ali shared family details that I don’t believe have been reported anywhere else. Including FOX and other outlets who don’t like Jesse. That’s just standard practice. Unless a child becomes a story, like President Bush’s daughter being cited for alcohol possession, children of public figures are off limits. Again, respectfully.

July 11th, 2008 at 7:56 am Najee Ali says:

@ Brother Darryl M. Bell,good to see you in Leimert Park at the Obama rally and straight to your point. I dont feel i personally attacked J.J.and yes I do beleive children are off limits but In the context that i brought them up I thought it was revelant. I have met all the Jackson children over the years and their good people. But their dad has is not the person i thought he was when i looked up to him as as a role model and mentor to me. I have watched his youngest child Ashley grow up. She is in a single parent household with a missing in action daddy. That’s a problem Obama talked about. I think it struck a nerve with J.J. because he was hearing an inconvient truth.

July 11th, 2008 at 8:10 am ain'tmad says:

hmmm, Jesse Jackson, reverend of the no known church has had the world as his bully pulpit and that’s been OK until now. Now, we have a bi-racial male raised and socialized as a black male in America who is attempting to break the ultimate glass ceiling in America: Obama. Obama has been telling folks from the grass roots up to the senate and through his primary run, that we are the change that we have been waiting for and that we are responsible and accountable for what is right and what is wrong in our lives. Obama couples his change message with concern that government be transparent so that citizens will know the positive and negative impact of governance on their efforts for accountability and responsibility. Jesse Jackson has been taken off guard by these approaches and is concerned that he and other members of the old guard are not consulted to vet the approaches. Jesse Jackson along with the rest of the old guard can get on board with this change or get left behind.

July 11th, 2008 at 8:13 am Najee Ali says:

Last comment before i get work.(:
J.J.and his actions on the set are tied into his being a hypocrite. (That’s why I mentioned his youngest child.)He mad at Obama for getting on Black dads who arent there. And he’s not there that’s why i think he’s fair game on this.I can remember watching J.J.on TV with the the mother of his youngest child about 4 years ago and Bill Cosby was the guest speaker at PUSH. he talked about deadbeat dads and J.J.rose to his feet clapping. The mom and my eyes met as we fell out laughing because we knew Cosby was talking about J.J. I dont respect no man who only sends a check but will not allow their child to be a part of his family and life. J.J.travels all around the world. yet his baby hasnt been out of the city with him.What kind of dad,/ Rev. is that?

July 11th, 2008 at 9:48 am StillIRise says:

As an African American baby boomer myself and a veteran, so to speak, of the Civil Rights era, Jesse Jackson’s contributions to the African American community and to the country itself cannot be overstated. I was very disappointed in his remarks about Senator Obama, but that does not diminish my respect for all that he has done for all Americans, at home and abroad.

July 11th, 2008 at 11:20 am Destah Owens says:

Jesse has become the embodiment of one of Chris Rock’s stereotypes about bitter, old black men. I cringe whenever he is put in front of a microphone. I remember being a naive adolescent in the 80s and thinking that this man spoke for “Us” and that he was worthy of my reverance. As a college student, I remember running into him on the street in Washington, D.C. and respecting his wish to not draw any attention to him (our eyes met, and he acknowledged me, but gave me that look like, “nobody else has seen me yet, so please don’t draw any attention to me”) and another time exchanging some small talk in the security line at O’Hare International, and thinking that I was in the presence of an important man. However, his conduct over the years has made him a virtual non-entity in my eyes at this point. I wish he would just go away. It’s sad that he can’t get behind Obama and be glad that in our lifetime a black man is poised to be a serious presidential candidate, and not just doing the “ralph nader thing” that Jesse was doing in 84 and 88. He’s starting to remind me of the old cat that hates black people on The Boondocks. Just bitter, and apparently in some serious denial.

July 11th, 2008 at 11:36 am Darryl M. Bell says:

Brother Ali, it was good seeing you at the Obama rally as well! I’ve already gone on too much, so I’ll let this be my last comment so I’m not bogarting your comments. :-) I understand the connection and context of your comments. The question is where do we as “online journalist” have to draw a line. Keep in mind this wasn’t a Don Imus mistake. Rev. wasn’t on a show expressing his issue with Obama for public consumption. He got caught in what he thought was a private conversation. In my humble opinion, unless Rev mentioned his children by name, thereby opening the door, the subject is out of bounds and the inside details seem too cross the line to me. I also have to say beyond Rev it’s not ideal or a victory worthy of praise, but sending a check is worth my respect. We all know plenty of fathers who do NOTHING for their children or worse than that, they actually inflict harm. These kind of family relationships are far too complex to really get into adequately, within the context of our comments. So, I’ll stop there and look forward to the next time we sit down so we can share our thoughts about why and where we draw the line.

July 11th, 2008 at 12:24 pm Elsa Harkins says:

Um Darryl. Did you just write that sending a check is worthy of respect? Wow. Not the smartest comment you’ve made.

July 11th, 2008 at 6:20 pm thelma says:

Wow this room is brewing with some good ole debate! I really love it. And I tend to agree with both Darryl and Najee… On one hand, being a deadbeat dad has no good excuse in my book.Also -this child is not being harmed. She of all people knows how absent her Daddy is from her life. But, yet and still she is a child and that is a sensitive area in general. Either way, you wrong Jesse - you wrong!

July 11th, 2008 at 9:06 pm Xoloxlan says:

Yeaman Darryl not with giving props for taking care of your seed financially. You don’t get credit for doing your duty. That’s way warped. But maybe you come from a different background I don’t know but that ain’t cool.

July 11th, 2008 at 9:12 pm lolalove says:

get off the buss jesse! no i just think his words were not to be said period

July 11th, 2008 at 9:25 pm buttabrown says:

I was so touched that Obama spoke out about the isses with black fatherhood.
And I didn’t even know Jesse’s kids didn’t care for him or he wasn’t down for his out of wedlock kid! That is a SO NOT RIGHT. He calls himself REVEREND?

July 12th, 2008 at 12:39 am Darryl M. Bell says:

Nothing I like more than being challenged on whether something I said was “smart”. Add in for good measure the idea that I’m giving “props” to fathers who only write checks and we have the beginnings of a vigorous exchange. So, respectfully, Sister Elsa and Brother Xo, let’s talk.
I didn’t say fathers who only send a check are worth my respect in a vacuum. I prefaced it by saying all family relationships are complex and difficult to examine adequately in the context of our comments. I also said that only sending a check wasn’t ideal, or a victory worthy of praise. In other words, no props given. Respect has many definitions. I used the word to suggest consideration. For example, I respect John McCain. I disagree with him on almost every substantive issue. I am doing all that I can within my power to ensure that he loses the up coming election. I don’t have to like him, I don’t support him, I don’t agree with his decisions or his vision for our future. But I respect him. I’m sure all of us have respect for someone or some institutions that we don’t like or who’s morals and values don’t match our own.
So let’s get more tangible. According to a report released by the US Census Bureau in August 2007, 84% of single parents are mothers. 27.7% of those women live in poverty. In 2005, the last year of the report, 7 million mothers were awarded child support. 6.1 million of them are owed child support. Only 2.9 million received the full amount due and another 4.4 million were awarded no child support at all. Fathers who pay child support are more likely to be involved in the child’s life.
For single parent mothers, most of whom have to work and pay for child care while they’re at work, providing life’s basics, food, clothes and shelter is a tremendous financial hardship. The data says most of them receive little to no help. One survey quoted 78% of absentee fathers do NOTHING for their children.
Take a look at the countless data available on domestic violence and abusive fathers and the long term effects on their children.
Xo, I come from a family that has worked in the public school systems. I have friends who work in the court system with Family and Child Protective Services. I’ve been to a facility for children who are wards of the Los Angeles courts and were abused physically and sexually by parents and or family members.
So I’m neither praising absentee fathers nor speaking without the benefit of an educated opinion backed by real life experience. When contrasted against fathers who do NOTHING for their children or worse, harm their children, absent any knowledge of their family circumstances, I can respect a man who at least takes care of the basic responsibility to provide for the child and support the mother financially. Again, Sister Elsa and Brother Xo, with respect.

July 12th, 2008 at 2:52 am StillIRise says:

Nice save, Darryl.

July 12th, 2008 at 10:13 am RitaR says:

Preach Najee!!!!!

I love your name @ StillIRise!

July 12th, 2008 at 10:18 am Jaime Sez says:

love the blog.
love the building.

July 12th, 2008 at 11:47 am chica22 says:

Respectfully Darryl - that looooong explanation sounds like a whole bunch of excuses to justify a comment that you’re now backing off from. You wrote before that the ACT of “sending a check is worthy” of your respect. Now you’re saying that you respect PEOPLE. Duh, yeah we know that. But that isn’t what you said previously. Your previous statement said you respected the ACTION in the context of a man who doesn’t see his kids but sends a check. No stats can account for a smart black man saying in essence that sending a check is enough. You are one of our shining black princes. As such, you are expected to fight for your sisters and the black family’s children. Sending a check is NOT ENOUGH BY A LONG SHOT BROTHER no matter how many tolerant MccCain references, data and other stuff you load us up with. Not cool and quite disaapointing.

July 12th, 2008 at 11:47 am chica22 says:

Keep fightin for us, Najee

July 12th, 2008 at 12:04 pm hisherness says:

Mr. Bell, i know you’re usual topic is focused on television and so forth, but i’m interested in your views on the ethics of journalism in the information-saturated internet age. any chance of a post on that topic?

it would be nifty to see head-to-head posts on that from Mr Ali and Mr Bell, actually. well, *i’d* be interested, anyway …

July 12th, 2008 at 12:11 pm Najee Ali says:

@RitaR thanks sis..@chica22 I read all your posts and you are really finding your voice in a good way on UTC!

July 12th, 2008 at 1:49 pm Darryl M. Bell says:

Sister Chica, who would have thought something so straight forward as “respect” would be so controversial?
But first, congrats to Brother Najee on the Huff Post!
Now, Sister Chica, I did not, nor will I back off my “worthy of respect” comment. I said it near the top of my “long” post and again at the end.
So let me share my disappointment.
You quote me on “respect”. You ignore that I said it’s not ideal. You ignore that I said it’s not worthy of praise. You ignore the complexities of fragmented families. You ignore the heart and substance of the point which is “consider” fathers who pay the full amount versus those who do nothing or harm their children.
Throw out the McCain references, which were solely to put the usage of respect in context and seem to be clouding the issue.
I’m a child advocate. Speak to me about the harsh realities for single mothers and their children based on your experiences.
Feel free to ignore the “stats” if you like. But don’t ignore that I have seen the effects of fathers who do nothing or worse. I know single mothers who’s child’s father doesn’t pay a dime. I know children who’ve been abused by their fathers and don’t pay a dime. I know fathers who barely make ends meet, but work multiple jobs to make sure they pay full child support every month. Speak to me about ALL of that.
I say with respect.

July 12th, 2008 at 2:05 pm Najee Ali says:

@Brother Darryl a sincere thanks.
@Sister Chica,I actually see your point but I also can admire and understand Brother Darryl’s as well along with his love and compassion for children and our community. I can remember meeting Russell Simmons in D.C.years ago and we have had public disagreements over hip hop. But at the end of the day we gave each other dap as he told me we both want whats right we may just have a different path or see it in another context.

July 12th, 2008 at 2:10 pm Najee Ali says:

@hisherness, Im down if Brother Darryl is. As always its just a matter of time.
Were all busy But U.T.C is a special place four us all. Lets make it grow and keep the conversation alive so we can all grow

July 12th, 2008 at 2:13 pm chica22 says:

This reminds me of something the great Jay Leno said a few nights back about the effect of the economy on Americans. He said that everyone across the board -is affected by the high price of gas. So much so that even celebrities were looking for ways to save money and fuel, and that he saw Jesse Jackson backpeddling down the street just that day. LAUGHING OUT LOUD. ‘Nuff said.

July 12th, 2008 at 2:38 pm Edwardo Jackson says:

Good GRAVY, Najee! Way to put your foot in it and remind Jesse of them dang glass houses!


July 12th, 2008 at 2:44 pm CeaseNYC says:

A = Props to my man Najee Ali. Giving the real deal scoop on the real deal news. WIT that!

B = I agree w/ Darryl Bell’s point on the original blog in feeling uncomfortable. But my thought was that the little girl’s name was mentioned and not knowing if permission was given by the mother to do that. My misgiving have nothing to do though w/ discussing the family interactions. Jackson invited that in more ways that we can count.

C = Uncle D I feel your excitement to the max. Reel spit. I feel the same way bruh.

D = Darryl I winced when I read your first mention of the respect thing. I’m a single father who is on straight struggle. Struggle my man. The fact that I pay for my daughter don’t deserve no more respect than respecting me for breathing this air I’m breathing yo. Real world.

E = Chica. Will you marry me? Ha! Stay your course, ma. Najee is righton w/ you finding your voice. You say your peace n don’t back down as good as some of these professionals up in here. I feel you fighting for what you think is right n’ wrong. I think that is dope. You rght. No justification for the whole respecting deadbeats thing. Only paying is a deadbeat to any real man. Word to God. Know some of us men agree w/ you loud n clear.

July 12th, 2008 at 3:02 pm young clean bastard says:

ohhh chica burned on the backpeddle. a subtle slight rug burn LMABAO i don’t think ppl got that but i did LMFAO.

July 12th, 2008 at 3:09 pm kamalp says:


July 12th, 2008 at 3:49 pm kamalp says:

Dayum this took me a minute to read thru it but glad I did bcuz everybody is coming with it for real. Darryl didn’t mean no harm. I just don’t think it came out right and he not admitting it but its cool we all do it - I do a lot bcuz I’ma hardass too. Chica the same, she ain’t backdown neither - its cool even tho I don’t think she really listening to ole boy bcuz he is going in circles but he didn’t mean no harm.
I really only care about the topic Najee got us into and Jesse Jackson cutting down another black man trying to do right. It ain’t right. It ain’t a good example. It is selfish/ egotistical like people are saying and I’m over that cat.

July 12th, 2008 at 4:43 pm Friendlee says:

A very thorough examination of the main issue and I enjoyed all the debates and tangents!

July 12th, 2008 at 5:47 pm Najee Fan says:

To Najee,
Brotha you should feel good about yourself this week! Squashing Tec Nigga! Hitting the net with a great expose on Jackson! And I just saw you on Huffington Post and almost screamed!
You’re doing you and you’re doin it big!
Bountiful Blessings!
A Longtime Najee Fan

July 12th, 2008 at 6:01 pm Maya Rainwright says:

1 question = why’re we still calling this joker reverend? i have a list as long as my arm of all the ungodly mess he’s done in last 15 years. one can’t live on past glory and righteousness 4ever.

July 12th, 2008 at 11:28 pm Najee Ali says:

@Najee Fan.Thank you I’m humbled by your compliments and support.

To my fellow blogmates, I know your busy with your own lives & blogs but thanks for taking time to post on mine and adding to the disscussion with a special spotlight on Bro. Darryl who helped spark the first U.T.C.Civil war.lol

seriously this is the beauty of our site this dialouge was awesome! I love and appreciate everyone in the U.T.C. family & please share this post and invite others on your E-mail list to join our party !

July 12th, 2008 at 11:54 pm Najee Ali says:

@Destah Owens, I just saw your post, and we both feel that way about J.J. In full disclousure.

Being a civil rights activist, J.J.was my hero early on life I first met him when i was in college and volunteered on his campaign.To make long story short.

Darryl is from the entertainment world and they have their own world & club. Well the civil rights community is the same way we all know each other. over the years I have been arrested and shared the same jail cell with Sharpton, Dick Gregory, Martin Luther King,the third, etc.etc,. My point is I see J.J.from a different perspective because i have been in meetings behind closed doors and conferences, and protests with him all over the nation.

J.J.is out for himself He undermines any threat which is why he came after Sharpon with small digs to win but J.J. Still undermined him because Sharpton actually won all those debates and made a better name for himself nationally

J.J. has undermined me and other young leaders he cant use or control. which is why if you ask someone to name somebody else in his group Push.And i dare and bet anybody on this post to do it you cant! Because its not about us or the movement its about J.J.!Which is why him and the old guard or scared to death of Obama & this new model of leadership. There all out!

July 13th, 2008 at 12:18 am hisherness says:

clash *ching* of the Titans …

what i think we’re failing to see is that Mr. Bell is right. sending a check is worth something. ask anyone who has to skip school to work for under the the table pay (being too young to work legitimately) in order to contribute to rent and food. that check is worth something.

as worthy of respect as breathing? perhaps. but, when two people are in the same difficult situation, and one commits suicide over the strain … doesn’t the one who keeps breathing get a little respect? Mr. Bell is speaking comparatively, i think. not ideally, but comparatively. i expect he’s as sad as anyone that this comparison exists, but it does.

July 13th, 2008 at 2:40 am Ginger says:

WoW! A GREAT Blog and a Great Exchange of Ideas! I don’t have anything Profound to add so all I can say is how much I was Inspired, Entertained (?), Provoked to think by this. Thank you everyone involved.-

July 13th, 2008 at 2:09 pm ReNina Minter says:

Mr. Ali (lol),
I am proud of you as a fellow blogger. You took a chance and spoke the truth about Jackson…the whole truth. You also said what we were all thinking, “There are many blacks across the nation (myself included) who are appreciative of the work and contributions you [Jackson] have made in your civil rights career. But at this point in your career, you are hurting Black America and Senator Obama.” For that I say THANK YOU!

July 13th, 2008 at 2:34 pm ReNina Minter says:

@Darryl Bell,
I do see your point. Like Hisherness said, “Mr. Bell is speaking comparatively, Not ideally, but comparatively.” It is sometimes just a matter of semantics that we are debating (our definitions or the meaning of words). By Chica22 and others’ definition of RESPECT maybe its harder to get respect. I can see both sides. No need to back pedal. It seems as if you were just trying to explain your definition.

I think Jackson deserves RESPECT for a lot of things that he has done in the past, but perhaps not for his treatment of his youngest daughter. I do understand how one (Darryl Bell) may want to respect him for what he DOES do…send a check. We don’t have to agree with the point to understand it.

I love the exchange of different opinions and I feel very grateful to be a part of UTC.

July 13th, 2008 at 3:15 pm Najee Ali says:

@ReNina…Thanks youngsta.lol

July 13th, 2008 at 6:27 pm Chatty Cathy says:

LOL @ Najee on the FIRST UTC CIVIL WAR line. Wow its true huh?!

July 14th, 2008 at 5:54 pm Mo Diva says:

Brother Ali,

When I first read this post, I was like, “dayum!” But, then, I reread, and have had it forwarded it to me as probably the most forwarded email in the black community over the last week and I think, “damn.”

The open letter is really inside and feels incredibly personal. I understand that what Mr. Jackson did was completely unacceptable, but is there another way to have discussed this (especially now that your open letter is living a life of its own in so many other outlets) in a manner that feels, I don’t know, “more responsible?”

I understand airing “dirty laundry” so that clothes can be cleaned, but is there a way to get the dirt out without condemning the person as just plain dirty?

It’s only July… As we near November, things are going to get much hotter. Today, the New Yorker just published one of the worst “satires” I’ve ever seen and who even knows what’s coming tomorrow?

Hence, my larger question: what kind of etiquette are we going to exhibit?

I know the US has blatantly ignored many aspects of the Geneva Convention (which asserts humanity for purported enemies), but what about us?

I realize that many may argue that we are not physically on the battlefield, but does that completely discount the force of Nommo (or the power of the word)?

As blogging continues to expand at exponential rates and the comments of those marginalized in America begin to take more of a center stage (like this letter in the Huff Post), we may need to decide what is fair and foul in “calling someone on the carpet?”

So, Brother Ali, I appreciate you for opening a larger door. There’s a larger question, and one that Mr. Bell initially argued, at play: what are acceptable rules of engagement in the blogging world?

Any takers?

July 15th, 2008 at 10:56 am Kymberlee says:

WOOOO HOOO speak on it brotha!!

July 18th, 2008 at 10:22 pm Dread 1 says:

I am an Obama supporter, and fully endorse his candidacy and love the fact that I can say to my two sons, you really could be president. That said, let keep it real. The Senators message has never been directed towards us. He is, as he must, aiming the bulk of his message at drawing in middle of road white support. So in some of his few messages directed to our people, he chose to point our flaws as a people (of which we are well aware) and not to present the aspects of his plan that will make our lives better - the way he does with his white and mixed audiences. So the beef is when do we hear our part of the message, the part that says how our lives will improve under his regime and not another tirade on some of the many ills that plague our community. No excuse for Rev. Jackson who should certainly know better. Especially after the “Hymie town” debacle. But, brother and sisters, lets not fall victim to our short memory again. Rev. Jackson has earned our respect and some latitude. For us to deny him that is to play into the hands of those white people who would maintain the status quo. Not many people can say that they have been involved in struggling for us for so long, against so many attacks. I have chosen to interpret Rev. Jackson’s comments as frustration with Sen Obama’s calculated lack of interaction with the black community, exacerbated by the little interaction being a critique instead of a plan. It is a desire for our people to get the same respect as voters that the other communities are getting when the (hopefully) future president speaks to them. The Senator has my vote without question, but I hope that he still acts as if he needs to earn it and not that it is a given reqardless of how he treats me.
So people cut the personal attacks on the Rev. He has his flaws, but don’t disregard his long long history of struggling and sacrificing for our people before many of you were even a thought. Try to cut him some slack and don’t allow anyone’s efforts to let poor judgement divide us further succeed.

July 20th, 2008 at 8:38 am Brown Sugar says:

This particular blog has been very interesting to hear everyone’s comments. I’ve been fortunate in my life to have met Dr. King his family, Malcolm X, Jesse Jackson , Sharpton, and to personally know the author of this Blog. However, I was always raised to know that the only one who judges us is “GOD”. we are all given a path in life and we choose on how to walk that path. There is saying that I live by and that is “There are always three sides to a story “yours, mine and the TRUTH” . Dr. King had a dream that is about to be realized and that is the much bigger picture. Everyone has the right agree to disagree but it’s not what you do it’s how you do it. On August 28th it will be 25 years that Dr. King spoke these words.

“I have a dream”

I started out reading the speech, and read it down to a point. The audience’s response was wonderful that day, and all of a sudden this thing came to me. The previous June, following a peaceful assemblage of thousands of people through the streets of downtown Detroit, Michigan, I had delivered a speech in Cobo Hall, in which I used the phrase “I have a dream.” I had used it many times before. and I just felt that I wanted to use it here. I don’t know why. I hadn’t thought about it before the speech. I used the phrase, and at that point I just turned aside from the manuscript altogether and didn’t come back to it.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves, who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It cam as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land.

And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. In a sense, we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.

There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: in the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating “For Whites Only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends: so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed-we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.

With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning: “My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!” And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that.
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from hill and molehill of Mississippi, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”

Let’s live his dream and uplift our people, the time has come and future of our children of a greater world.

My opinion and my comments.

Peace and Blessings to everyone. I’m always Keeping it Real.

July 20th, 2008 at 9:13 am Brown Sugar says:

Correction to my last post it was 45 years ago not 25 excuse the typo.

July 23rd, 2008 at 7:05 pm MYJohnson says:

I know this is late, but I just ran cross this blog…

Messy Jesse’s Mistress speaks up…


Okay, how much credibility she has? Ahhh, not so much. She is the mistress, and it’s Jesse-friggin’-Jackson, she KNEW he was a married man. So both of ‘em are not very bright. So that being said, the mother of Jesse’s 9 year old daughter, Ashley, speaks to The National Enquirer (yes, also not the most credible) about Jesse’s hatred toward Obama’s nuts…

According to Jesse’s former mistress, when Barack said, “We need fathers to recognize that responsibility doesn’t just end at conception”, Karin believes, “Somewhere in the back of his mind, Rev Jackson has to acknowledge that he has his own responsibility to his daughter.” Karin told The Enquirer, “My daughter Ashley, who is 9 years old, has very little contact with her siblings. And although Jesse takes care of her financially and has a relationship with Ashley, she is still not considered a part of that family. And to tell you the truth, even if Jesse took Ashley to see his family, it would have to be a chaperoned visit because I would literally be afraid to leave my baby alone with them. They are so dysfunctional, there is no telling what they would do or say to her.”

July 28th, 2008 at 7:40 am Kellene says:

It’s about time the African American community recognized him as a parasite and got some antibiotics to get over him and his hype. Now if the main stream media would stop having this man and his buddy Al on shows representing the black voice it would be great!