Imagine, for a moment, the catastrophic political fallout that would occur if white political leaders and journalists decried the possibility of a black person winning “their” seat in Congress and labeled it a “terrible loss in many ways” to “lose a white voice in Congress.” The media would call it racism- and they would be right.
So, my question is why is it okay to say these blatantly racist things when there is the threat of a white person winning the seat previously held by Jesse Jackson Jr.?
Answer: it’s not. It’s still racism.
Rep. Jesse Jackson, the son of professional race-baiter Rev. Jesse Jackson, has recently resigned to receive treatment for mental health issues. The special election to replace him has been set for February 26th, but the thought that a Caucasian might win the seat has bigots fretting.
“Black leaders are growing increasingly worried that a white candidate might seize the seat of former Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson in the upcoming Illinois special election.
With a host of black candidates announcing their intention to run, the concern is that they could split the African-American vote and provide a plurality to a white contender. The worries escalated this week after former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, a white Democrat and veteran of suburban Chicago politics, threw her hat into the ring.
Losing Jackson’s seat would be a blow to the black establishment. Chicago, long a center of black cultural and political power — it’s the home of the first black president, Barack Obama, and the first black member of Congress in modern congressional history, Oscar De Priest — would see its delegation in the Congressional Black Caucus diminish from three seats to two. And there’s Jackson background as the son of iconic civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson…
‘The battle we have is that we can’t afford to lose a black voice in Congress,’ [Democratic consultant Delmarie Cobb] added ‘It would be a terrible loss in many ways.’”
So because Chicago was one of the first cities to welcome black leaders, we are expected to tolerate racial prejudice? If we imagine the inverse situation, where people were greatly concerned a black person might win a seat in Congress, the seething bigotry becomes readily obvious.
Enough is enough. While we hear ludicrous, conspiracy-minded accusations of covert racism with “code words” and “dog whistles” from media personalities and political leaders, the fact is we have racism embedded within our political system, out in the open, and nobody in government or the media is calling them on it!
It is time for America to reset and no longer tiptoe around the issue of race. We must be willing to readjust our thinking and realize that the modern genesis of racism is certainly not confined to Caucasians. If we are going to have an equal society, we must hold political leaders to a uniform standard.