Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson and Political Expectations

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In the studios of Fox News, Rev. Jesse Jackson did not know the microphone was on, but was recorded saying to another guest, "Barack's been talking down to black people." Then he added a crude remark about wanting to cut off part of Barack Obama's anatomy. Even Jackson's own son, Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr, a co-chair of Obama's campaign, said the original comments were out of line.  Jackson apologized quickly for the crude way he criticized Obama, but the sentiment behind his comments is shared by other black Americans. Some say that Obama's unexpected success leaves them with a sense of "vertigo." Should he talk more about correcting the legacy of slavery and discrimination?  Does his nomination mean that black "victimhood" is a thing of the past?



  • Lester Spence - Johns Hopkins University - @LesterSpence
  • Amiri Baraka - poet, playwright and community activist
  • Erin Aubry Kaplan - contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, former columnist for the LA Times, author of the book “Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches From a Black Journalista”
  • Joe Hicks - Community Advocates - @Project21News
  • Peniel Joseph - historian and professor at the University of Texas at Austin, founder of the school’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy - @PenielJoseph


Warren Olney