Despite Rev. Jesse Jackson’s unfortunate fascination with Barack Obama’s testicles, I agree that the last thing we need is another brother pointing the finger at the black community in front of white folks. It smacks more of them staring down their nose in judgment of the community while seeking white folks approval than it does truly engaging in conversation. However, I don’t think this charge can stick to Barack Obama.

Obama wants to expand President Bush’s federal assistance for faith-based social service programs to allow those closest to the problems to be on the frontlines of being the solution. However, this comes on the heels of a speech Obama gave last month chastising black fathers who were “acting like boys instead of men,” and adding that “we need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child — it’s the courage to raise one.”

Obama gets it coming and going: first he doesn’t speak enough to the problems of the black community; and then it’s “oh, oh, oh, you can’t say that about us, that’s condescending” or “talking down to black people.” I think the issue is two fold: one, the nature of family meetings, and two, the best ways to address the problems facing the black community.

In recent years, some of our prominent leaders (though I don’t recall ever having these elections) have spoken about the problems the black community faces. Bill Cosby got batted around by some. Before that, even Jesse Jackson himself had a “family meeting” where he spoke about the problems we faced and what we had to do to solve them. Things have gotten so strange for me, I found myself agreeing with Al Sharpton when he said “The civil rights movement of the 21st century must be government accountability and personal responsibility.”

So I don’t think anyone’s quibbling with the message, per se, but rather where the family meeting is held and in front of whom, because no one wants dirty laundry/family business aired. Barack Obama’s not running for Preacher in Chief. He’s not running for Chief of Black Folks. He’s running for President. Of all of us. In the meantime, I’ll be here, not thinking about what I’d like to do to his testicles and still waiting on my 40 acres and a mule.

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