Thursday, March 29, 2007

Jesse Jackson Endorses Barack Obama

CHICAGO — Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Thursday he's backing Democrat Barack Obama in his presidential bid, giving his support to a new generation of black politicians. "He has my vote," the Rev. Jackson told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Jackson sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988, winning 13 primaries and caucuses in 1988. His son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, has already endorsed Obama.

Politically, I find this very intriguing. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton for a while were distancing themselves from Obama. There was speculation that they felt that Obama was an interloper to their claims of being spokespeople for the African-American community.

I find that whole concept a bit offensive anyways. Nobody voted for Jackson or Sharpton to be the official spokespeople anyways. I would not have been mad if Jackson endorsed Edwards, who seems to share a great interest in issues of poverty and worker disenfranchisement with Jackson. We shall see how Al Sharpton responds.

I wish we could get to a point where race didn't matter, to paraphrase Cornell West. However, a story today that has been rehashed out of Paris, Texas about inequal justice under the law reminds me, and should remind us all that we aren't living in a color blind society, and we fool ourselves into thinking we have evolved all that much. I encourage everybody to click on that link.