FanDuel - WFBC

July 12, 2010

Jesse Jackson: Gilbert Thinks LeBron Was His Slave: In a press release for his civil rights group, the Rev. Jesse Jackson accused Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert of having a "slave master mentality" for his tirade against LeBron James. "He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers," said Jackson. "His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. "He sees LeBron as a runaway slave."

posted by rcade to basketball at 01:57 PM - 48 comments

Way to get your name out there, Jesse! Not sure how many people were thinking of that comparison before, but they're thinking about it now. I don't agree with the way Gilbert handled this thing so far, but give him a break...he's pissed he just lost the biggest name in basketball who, by the way, pretty much wrote off the Cavaliers this entire process regardless of the lip-service bullshit he spewed about how much he "loved" Cleveland, etc. Yeah, Jesse, slave master mentality. James practically rules the world in this day and age with all the money being thrown at him from every direction. LeBron James WAS the Cavaliers in case you hadn't noticed, Jesse.

posted by dyams at 02:16 PM on July 12

There was a point in time that I thought the Rev had some value to society ... what was I smoking?

Gilbert's public bashing of LeBron was a big mistake. He did however run the entire Cavs organization catering to LeBron's demands. Gilbert's comments are somewhat understandable considering the treatment he received in return.

Free agency grants a player the right to choose his situation, LeBron earned that. He did not earn the right to treat an employer with the complete lack of respect that he did.

posted by cixelsyd at 02:22 PM on July 12

Well, it's an interesting thought at least. Gilbert's letter does seem to be mad about Lebron leaving at all, while most commentary from others focuses on how tacky Lebron was about leaving. It makes you wonder if Gilbert recognizes that many other people in the NBA see all of it as a business not anything that requires loyalty.

posted by bperk at 02:53 PM on July 12

It's good to see how much we've progressed as a society since slavery was abolished. I mean if Jesse Jackson, one of the great leaders for equal rights, has so little knowledge of what it actually means to be a slave that he'd make this comparison, then obviously the pain and suffering of actual slavery have died. If being a slave now means makes millions playing basketball, and millions upon millions more for commercials and photoshoots, then here are my wrists, please shackle me up.

As for Gilbert, I'd like to think that if LeBron would've left Cleveland in a classier way, rather than his grandstanding hour-long bitch slap of the city, then Gilbert doesn't react as he did. Did I watch the "special?" No, but there's nothing LeBron could've said that made it seem any less ego-driven. Sign your contract, release a statement or hold a short press conference, and move on.

posted by MeatSaber at 03:15 PM on July 12

A "slave master mentality"????? Please. Jesse Jackson always thinks it's about race. This has nothing to do with race, just the fact that Lebron happens to be black and Gilbert white. Every time there's a controvery between famous people, and one of them is black, either Jesse Jackson or the other idiot opens up their trap and screams racism. This is about an owner of a team being pissed that his star player, whom he coddled the entire time, left without the benefit of speaking to him first. That's it - nothing more. Was Gilbert over the top? Probably, but race was an issue in this case? Definitely not.

posted by DvonR at 03:26 PM on July 12

Well, it's an interesting thought at least.

It is an interesting thought, a bit hyperbole but interesting nonetheless. I wouldn't have gone as far as to call Dan Gilbert a 'slave master' believing that LeBron James was his 'slave' but Gilbert's letter did help LeBron look a little more sympathetic for leaving the Cavs organization.

All of this could've been avoided if everyone involved had acted professionally but I don't know why LeBron chose to exit the way he did or his reasons for it.

posted by BornIcon at 03:30 PM on July 12

I'm surprised Jesse Jackson said something this stupid and tone deaf politically. He's normally more astute in the battles he picks and the way he attracts media attention. No one on Earth outside of professional agitators would find a comparison between one of the world's richest athletes and a slave.

posted by rcade at 05:34 PM on July 12

I think that this piece by Dave Zirin makes a more salient critique of the Gilbert reaction.

As for the "slave owner mentality" expressed in his rant, William Rhoden's book Forty Million Dollar Slaves does provide a bit of context for the good Reverend's position.

posted by Spitztengle at 05:39 PM on July 12

It never ceases to amaze me how it is that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have somehow become the foremost authorities on race relations in this country.

posted by TheQatarian at 05:47 PM on July 12

No matter how he puts it, Rev. Jackson is calling Dan Gilbert a racist. I'm sorry, Rev. Jackson does some good at times, but at other times, such as this, he introduces an accusation that many people will believe but I believe did not occur.

posted by jjzucal at 06:15 PM on July 12

I think people ought to think twice before comparing others to slave masters, or Nazi's. Seldom do things really rise to those levels. Jackson is an activist, and as such, he is always trying to create controversy, even if none exists.

Spitztengle, Rhoden's point may have been valid with athletes 30 years ago, however, I don't see James as any sort of slave. He clearly was in total control of his destiny, and has been rewarded beyond any normal person's dreams.

posted by dviking at 06:33 PM on July 12

Jesse might be losing it in his old age. He's not helping his cause.

Gilbert's letter did help LeBron look a little more sympathetic for leaving the Cavs organization.

About the only thing positive written about LeBron that I've read (surprise) has come out of miami. The vast majority written has no only been negative, but completely condemning of LeBron's actions.

Gilbert came off looking unhinged. But it just made both sides look terrible. I don't see how it helped LeBron in any substantial way.

posted by justgary at 08:15 PM on July 12

Gilbert came off looking unhinged.

Absolutely. A jilted lover comparison would be much more appropriate. Gilbert wasn't pissed that someone he owned ran away; he was pissed that someone who he felt owed him some loyalty showed him none.

posted by tahoemoj at 09:10 PM on July 12

I met Jesse Jackson once at a Cubs game. Big dude. Was a nice guy, took a picture with me.

God is he ever full of shit, here, though. Isn't this the same guy who called New York "Hymie Town"?

I don't Gilbert was doing a slave-master mentality so much as engaging in some emotionally-focused damage control. But, hey, never let a crisis go to waste, Jesse.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:01 PM on July 12

I must be a racist cause i got pissed when my friends went to a party with my black friend last night instead of the poker game with me...

Should i just turn myself in!?

posted by StarFucker at 02:54 AM on July 13

Only Jackson and his ilk could turn this into a race issue. The sooner people with this mentality are gone, the sooner we will move toward racial harmony.

posted by FonGu at 06:09 AM on July 13

Poor LeBron. You have to feel sorry for the heinous treatment he's been subjected to his entire life, and continues to endure. The horrible conditions he has been made to live in, the poverty, the on-going abuse. HOW MUCH CAN ONE PERSON TAKE, I ASK YOU? Please, Jesse Jackson, step in and help this man!

posted by dyams at 07:50 AM on July 13

Only Jackson and his ilk could turn this into a race issue. The sooner people with this mentality are gone, the sooner we will move toward racial harmony.

The man's a travesty of his former self, but it's nonsense to imply that he and those like him are the main obstacle to getting rid of racism. Is he the boss of a major corporation, in charge of company hiring policy? Is he the head of a powerful government agency? Does he have millions upon millions of people doing something Because Jesse Said So? No to all three. Instead, he's an annoying knucklehead and also a convenient strawman for people who don't want to address the issues of racism. As long as they can use Jesse as a scapegoat, as the reason why racism still exists, they can conveniently ignore the real and thorny problems.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:27 AM on July 13

The man's a travesty of his former self, but it's nonsense to imply that he and those like him are the main obstacle to getting rid of racism

I don't think anyone said that Jackson was the main obstacle to getting rid of racism, but he most certainly is an obstacle.

This story never takes the precarious trip into the realm of slavery without someone like Jackson throwing it out. The man seems to be constantly throwing shit on the wall, knowing that some will stick, most will not, but his integrity seldom gets called on it. I think this is one of those times where the shit didn't stick. Jackson is a smart man, and he simply moves on, knowing that the media will never make an issue of it. As others have mentioned, if a white guy said something equally foolish, there'd be hell to pay. That's part of the reason that Jackson is an obstacle to getting rid of rasicm, we can't deal with the real issues if fake ones keep getting in the way.

posted by dviking at 11:10 AM on July 13

I don't think anyone said that Jackson was the main obstacle to getting rid of racism, but he most certainly is an obstacle.

Nonsense. Disagree with him or not, it is important to recognize that black people see a lot of the world around us through a race filter. And, the older you get, the more likely you are to do that. Jackson is just voicing what some people think. And, the whole "if white person said this" crap is played. White people say and do stupid (and racist) things all the time and rarely pay for it. Instead, apologists come out of the woodwork saying they didn't mean anything by it. Further, for something to be even to be considered racially motivated by the bulk of white folks, someone actually has to be using the n-word. If not, then nothing at all could possibly be motivated by someone's race. To hear people tell it, it is really the white folks who are discriminated against because there exists something called BET. It's pure silliness. Whatever our racial problems, it is just foolishness to blame Jackson for pointing out that race is an issue even when someone isn't wearing a white sheet.

posted by bperk at 11:23 AM on July 13

it is important to recognize that black people see a lot of the world around us through a race filter.

Understood, but when does it become inappropriate and unacceptable to compare a horrible time in human history (slavery) to the owner of a team who has paid a individual huge, gigantic, ridiculous money to play a game, helping make that person one of the biggest, richest, most popular individuals in the world? It's the comparison that bothers me, not the issue. It makes no sense, and, in this case, is stupid. Black people can, will, and probably should continue to "see a lot of the world around us through a race filter." This just shouldn't be one of those times. Is James being forced to work without payment? Hardly.

posted by dyams at 02:03 PM on July 13

Whatever our racial problems, it is just foolishness to blame Jackson for pointing out that race is an issue even when someone isn't wearing a white sheet.

At what point in time will it be appropriate for a white employer to expect loyalty from a black employee who he has made very wealthy? When can he be offended that said employee made a public spectacle of the severance of his ties with that employer?

The fact that race continues to be an issue in American society is something that should be pointed out, and your point that many are blind to its latent nature is a valid one. On the flip side, a man of one race should be allowed to throw a bitchy little temper tantrum concerning a man of another race without being accused of bigotry, especially in the immediate wake of a fairly conspicious slight at the hands of that man. Jesse picked the wrong example to try to make his point, even if in another case it might be valid.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:54 PM on July 13

No doubt, Jackson is being deliberately provocative with this comparison. James is one of the most privileged people on the planet. And, as James showed, he pretty much had all the power in that particular relationship. But, perhaps that was the point. Even in a situation such as a free agency, James is facing an awfully harsh judgment from Gilbert because Gilbert thought he was owed loyalty. Should he have? Probably not. Is there a long history of white powerful people expecting undeserved loyalty from black people going back to slavery? Absolutely.

posted by bperk at 02:54 PM on July 13

At what point in time will it be appropriate for a white employer to expect loyalty from a black employee who he has made very wealthy?

LeBron actually made more money from his Nike deal than what he what he was making from the Cavs when he got drafted. They both made a lot of money together but don't forget that before LeBron sported a Cavs uni, that franchise was not bringing in the kind of revenue they were making while he was on their roster.

This is a business and LeBron made a business decision. Sure, he should've told the Cavs organization what he was doing before they found out with the rest of the world but he made his choice and it wasn't a black, white or green (money) issue. It was purely a 'I want to win and I want to win now' issue.

James is one of the most privileged people on the planet.

Not privileged, gifted.

posted by BornIcon at 03:12 PM on July 13

No doubt, Jackson is being deliberately provocative with this comparison.

Thank you for making my point while you were trying so hard to refute it.

posted by dviking at 03:29 PM on July 13

James is one of the most privileged people on the planet.

Not privileged, gifted.

If your particular gifts garner you gadzillions of dollars, you are privileged. My gift at paint-by-number has garnered me nothing.

posted by bperk at 03:29 PM on July 13

If your particular gifts garner you gadzillions of dollars, you are privileged.

Semantics. You say tomato I say Bloody Mary.

My gift at paint-by-number has garnered me nothing.

Try chopping your ear off. Maybe that'll earn you some credibilty.

posted by BornIcon at 03:37 PM on July 13

If your particular gifts garner you gadzillions of dollars, you are privileged. Semantics.

No, two different things are not semantics. bperk was saying it's hard to see LeBron as a slave when he has millions of dollars and moves in the highest circles of fame. Your point was somewhat murkier.

posted by yerfatma at 03:42 PM on July 13

dyams:

Understood, but when does it become inappropriate and unacceptable to compare a horrible time in human history (slavery) to the owner of a team who has paid a individual huge, gigantic, ridiculous money to play a game, helping make that person one of the biggest, richest, most popular individuals in the world?

Inappropriate, sure; unacceptable...eh. I have a really hard time with that word. Perhaps it's because I used to work in a resort, and I've most often heard it used by spoiled, privileged yuppies who are trying to bully a minimum-wage employee into making the impossible happen for them. These folks tend to toss around the word "unacceptable" at every turn, because they perceive that it's a powerful word -- and it would be, if they'd leave it for the right occasion. Instead, "That's unacceptable!" becomes the rallying cry for crises such as not getting a table when you haven't made a reservation, rain having the nerve to fall from the sky during your golf outing, other customers having eaten up all the tiger prawn special, etc.

But I digress. That is, at best, a humpty-dumptied meaning of "unacceptable", and only exists in the world of people who have no real problems. Not getting a table at the hottest restaurant in town on a Saturday night is not an "unacceptable"-caliber problem. "Unacceptable" should refer to things that people simply cannot accept -- even when there's a cost associated, a cost to you and not to some other person, in your not accepting them. "Unacceptable" means that a situation simply cannot be borne. In order to be "unacceptable", something's got to be pretty close to the top of really bad stuff, because in real life (as opposed to the world of a selfish, overindulged customer), you don't get to play the Unacceptable Card too many times, and there's always a cost involved.

So, I guess the question is whether you consider Jackson's hyperbole -- which is all that it was -- to be "unacceptable". If you consider it to be one of the top problems that you see in the world, then have at it. I just don't think it rises to that level. Jackson's statement doesn't have that kind of power. IMO, it's an "obstacle" to getting rid of racism the way a six-inch rock on the trail at base camp is an "obstacle" to climbing Mount Everest: if that obstacle stops you, you were never going to climb that mountain in the first place.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:47 PM on July 13

Your point was somewhat murkier

Strange how my points are always 'murkier' according to you.

Let me simplify my point then:

LeBron's gift allowed him to become privileged. LeBron became privileged because of his gift.

Same difference.

posted by BornIcon at 04:07 PM on July 13

I'm actually surprised that this hasn't been linked yet in this discussion. Makes sense to me.

posted by tahoemoj at 04:20 PM on July 13

I'm actually surprised that this hasn't been linked yet in this discussion. Makes sense to me.

He is exactly like Jesse Jackson. He just usually takes the exact opposite position. His every article that has anything to do with race pretty much boils down to "What black people really need to worry about is blah blah blah".

On the flip side, a man of one race should be allowed to throw a bitchy little temper tantrum concerning a man of another race without being accused of bigotry, especially in the immediate wake of a fairly conspicious slight at the hands of that man.

How can anyone disagree with this?

posted by bperk at 04:41 PM on July 13

He is exactly like Jesse Jackson. He just usually takes the exact opposite position.

I kind of doubt that. However, due to my lack of interest in the NBA, this is my first article of his. I didn't know that he wrote on the race subject often, nor do I care. I just think he makes some very astute observations.

How can anyone disagree with this?

Not quite sure if that's sincere or sarcasm, so I'll assume sincerity until told otherwise.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:04 PM on July 13

Whitlock FTW.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:11 PM on July 13

IMO, it's an "obstacle" to getting rid of racism the way a six-inch rock on the trail at base camp is an "obstacle" to climbing Mount Everest: if that obstacle stops you, you were never going to climb that mountain in the first place

WOW, that's a totally unacceptable analogy.

The rock has no bearing whatsoever, as most of the rocks at the base of a mountain are that size or larger. Jackson's misplaying of the race card, absolutely holds some black people back from accepting the fact that not everytime a white person interacts poorly with a black person that it's because of race. Even other blacks agree with this.

Jackson ought to be spending his time chasing after the real racists, Mel Gibson can't possibly make himself a larger target. Get Mel, leave Gilbert alone.

posted by dviking at 08:17 PM on July 13

WOW, that's a totally unacceptable analogy.

Oh, wow. Did you actually say that? Did you read what I wrote?

The rock has no bearing whatsoever, as most of the rocks at the base of a mountain are that size or larger. Jackson's misplaying of the race card, absolutely holds some black people back from accepting the fact that not everytime a white person interacts poorly with a black person that it's because of race. Even other blacks agree with this.

So the "argument" that you're using to invalidate my analogy boils down to, "Is so!" -- have I got that right? Or maybe, "I know a black person who says so!" Is that it? Are you really trying to tell me that Jesse Jackson's "misplaying of the race card", as you put it, is a serious obstacle to this country's and this world's dealing with racism? See, I never said it wasn't an obstacle. It is an obstacle. So's a six-inch stone on the trail. It just isn't much of an obstacle. And, just like with a six-inch stone on the trail, there are a shit ton of ways of dealing with it. Ignoring it and stepping right over it would be two obvious ones, but there are many others. But if you really never wanted to sweat your way up that mountain in the first place, if you really never wanted to deal with the real challenges beside which a six-inch stone (or Jesse Jackson's occasional boneheaded remark) is not even worth mentioning...well, Jesse Jackson sure is a convenient excuse for turning around and hitting the bar to tell your buddies a lot of lies about the daunting challenges you've faced.

Jackson ought to be spending his time chasing after the real racists

Pop quiz: without resorting to Google, do you have any idea -- any at all, based in fact rather than fantasy - how Jesse Jackson is spending his time in the 99% of his time that he hasn't just put his foot in his mouth and the media has gone all loopy screeching, "OOOOOOOOOO lookit what Jesse Jackson just said!!!"? I don't. I don't follow the man's political career, or whatever it is he does with his time. I only hear about his goings-on when he pops up on these occasions, and I suspect you're the same. Feel free to tell me that I'm wrong, that you've been a Jesse Jackson political junkie for lo these many years, and that you can give me chapter and verse about how he doesn't spend his time "chasing after the real racists". I'll tell you one thing, whatever it is he's doing can't be very interesting, because the only time the media have anything to say about him is when he says something foolish -- and we all know that they're totally objective and would give full coverage to all his other activities if they were worthy, now don't we?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:08 PM on July 13

LeBron's gift allowed him to become privileged. LeBron became privileged because of his gift. Same difference.

Right, but how does any of that disprove what bperk was saying? Your gift for tautology doesn't mean much in and of itself.

posted by yerfatma at 08:36 AM on July 14

"I know a black person who says so!" Is that it?

Nope, referring to the myriad of black reporters who think that Jackson is off base on this. One was linked to by someone else just a few posts ago.

Pop quiz: without resorting to Google, do you have any idea -- any at all, based in fact rather than fantasy

While it's been awhile since he and I had dinner together, I'm pretty confident that when the Reverend Jackson chooses to make a media splash it's covered. So, given this case, and a few others where he was quick to throw out the race card, I'm comfortable with my take on how he spends his time. And, yes, the media overblows his foolish behavior, but they also cover a lot of his better work.

Rereading my posts, I never said the man was 100% horrible, just that he can be an obstacle to people getting over racial tension. Not the main obstacle, that's bad people (Mel Gibson, IMO) doing bad things. Jackson just tries too hard to stir the pot when it doesn't need stirring.

posted by dviking at 10:40 AM on July 14

Nope, referring to the myriad of black reporters who think that Jackson is off base on this. One was linked to by someone else just a few posts ago.

"One" is a ways away from a "myriad". I'm not seeing anything like a "myriad" of black reporters who think that Jackson is a significant obstacle in dealing with racism (not that he's "off base on this", because that's not what we were talking about).

While it's been awhile since he and I had dinner together, I'm pretty confident that when the Reverend Jackson chooses to make a media splash it's covered. So, given this case, and a few others where he was quick to throw out the race card, I'm comfortable with my take on how he spends his time. And, yes, the media overblows his foolish behavior, but they also cover a lot of his better work.

That doesn't make a whole lot of sense. You're admitting that what you know about him comes from major media coverage, and you claim that he chooses when he wants that coverage. So...what if he doesn't want it all the time? What if he spends most of his time quietly working on whatever it is he works on? I'm not seeing him in the news every day, so by your reasoning, that's the only explanation that makes any sense -- and by your own admission, you don't know what that "whatever it is" is. And yet you judge it?

Rereading my posts, I never said the man was 100% horrible, just that he can be an obstacle to people getting over racial tension. Not the main obstacle, that's bad people (Mel Gibson, IMO) doing bad things. Jackson just tries too hard to stir the pot when it doesn't need stirring.

Sure he does. But that's not a major obstacle, it's not even a minor obstacle. Honestly, it's an obstacle only if you make it one. It's a tempest in a teapot, and like all tempests in teapots, it can simply be ignored. And, like all tempests in teapots, it provides a convenient diversion for those who would rather not solve the problem. That was all I was saying.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:16 PM on July 14

One" is a ways away from a "myriad".

http://www.fcnp.com/sports/6915-picking-splinters-lebron-a-the-race-card.html

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/Jesse-Jackson-LeBron-James-Dan-Gilbert-slavery-comparison-071210

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/07/12/jesse-jackson-the-cavs-owner-views-lebron-james-as-a-runaway-slave-or-something/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/earl-ofari-hutchinson/jesse-jackson-fouls-out-o_b_643896.html

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/419709-jesse-jackson-is-somebodys-grandfather-too

not sure what your definition of a myriad is, but for a quick one page search on Google I think this is a pretty good start. Not sure if every of the reporters are black, I know that several are . There were also a few print articles that I have read over the past few days, no time to research each of those right now. Point is, it's not my personal "one of my black friends said so" type of situation.

My second point is that Jackson has the ability to "choose" his media coverage, and he often does so just to stir the racial pot when it really doesn't need stirring. If he wants to stay behind the scenes he can. I thought it was pretty clear from my last post that I don't have any better idea of what he does every day than you do. What difference does that make? He has clearly inserted himself into this story, just to make a racially charged accusation, without any need for proof of what he was saying. He does this often, and that's my point, he makes himself an obstacle for getting past a racially charged situation (even if the original situation wasn't even really racially charged). He's on the news with various marches throughout the year, the over-whelming majority of which are just fine, he speaks at various venues from time to time, and he has some charity org. that he works for. No Google searches needed for that.

As to ignoring the tempest in a teapot that Jackson is, easy for you or I to say, but we're not the ones he's trying to influence. He has absolutely zero influence on me, and he's fine with that. However, I believe it's pretty obvious that there are people that are influenced by his rhetoric, and that's where the obstacle comes into play.

posted by dviking at 10:28 PM on July 14

not sure what your definition of a myriad is

Main Entry: 1myriad Pronunciation: ˈmir-ē-əd Function: noun Etymology: Greek myriad-, myrias, from myrioi countless, ten thousand Date: 1555

1 : ten thousand 2 : a great number

Five is more than one, but it still isn't a myriad or even close to one. Sorry.

Not sure if every of the reporters are black,

You're going in the wrong direction in getting to a myriad, then.

My second point is that Jackson has the ability to "choose" his media coverage, and he often does so just to stir the racial pot when it really doesn't need stirring. If he wants to stay behind the scenes he can.

Right, and...so what?

I thought it was pretty clear from my last post that I don't have any better idea of what he does every day than you do. What difference does that make? He has clearly inserted himself into this story, just to make a racially charged accusation, without any need for proof of what he was saying.

Right, and so what?

He does this often,

Define "often".

and that's my point, he makes himself an obstacle for getting past a racially charged situation (even if the original situation wasn't even really racially charged).

He makes himself a six-inch rock. You're trying to make it out like he's a boulder the size of a mountain. Why do you want to do that?

As to ignoring the tempest in a teapot that Jackson is, easy for you or I to say, but we're not the ones he's trying to influence.

The black people of America are incapable of making up their own minds? Is that it? A couple paragraphs back, you would have it that a "myriad" of black journalists see right through this guy; now you're trying to say that his influence is so profound that the black people of America can't get past his bullshit. You can't have it both ways, so which is it?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:03 PM on July 14

Seriously??

Okay, let's nitpick every silly word. First, my dictionary (desk version to be 100% honest, but a dictionary) says a myriad is a large, indefinite number. That would be relative to the situation, in that most people would think of a myriad of reporters to be smaller than a myriad of grains of sand. Whatever, I'm not going to get hung up on semantics. It was more than one, and it most certainly was not my own little opinion, which is what you were trying to suggest.

The point of Jackson being able to precisly orchestrate the media coverage is to show that he can manipulate the media at will, and thus he is actually choosing to stir up a racial conflict, as opposed to merely saying something stupid which has the effect of stirring up a racial conflict. That may be a hard concept for you to understand, but to me it makes him a very real obstacle to those people that, for whatever reasons, are kept down by perceived racial tensions. If a black person is told over and over that whitey is out to get him, every time he has a poor interaction with a white person it automatically becomes about race. Jackson wants to perpetuate that mindset, at least I think he does, and he uses these well rehearsed, and staged, outbursts to do so. He never apologizes even when proven wrong, and is never held fully accountable by the mainstream media.

If "I" made him a boulder, please explain the articles I linked to. Did I somehow influence those writers to draft those stories?

Jackson has his base of supporters/followers, those are the people that he's preaching to. Not all black people are in those groups, that's why I think he's an obstacle, not necessarily the main obstacle, to getting past some of the racial tension in this world.

BTW, I think you are a bit out of line for taking this phrase: However, I believe it's pretty obvious that there are people that are influenced by his rhetoric, and that's where the obstacle comes into play

And, then inferring that I meant this: that his influence is so profound that the black people of America can't get past his bullshit

I never said anything of the sort, and for you to even go that route is beyond fair play. Not that fair play has any bearing here.

posted by dviking at 12:24 AM on July 15

Not to derail (although that's been done already), but as long as we are defining the word myriad can we at least use it properly? This is a pet peeve of mine, as it is misused all the time, including several times in this thread. Myriad is "a great number" and is literally equivalent to a number that, as dviking said, is large relative to the context. To use it properly, you should be able to replace it with a large number and it sounds right. For example, in this phrase:

...you would have it that a "myriad" of black journalists...

If you replace myriad with 10,000, you get

...you would have it that a 10,000 of black journalists...

Proper usage, however, is to say

...you would have it that myriad black journalists...

/end of myriad rant, back to topic at hand

The problem here is that Jesse Jackson has turned into the boy who cried racism. No doubt he is influential, and has done good work in the past to shed light on some situations that were indicative of real problems of race relations and might not have otherwise gotten attention. However, when he makes a deal out of a non-racially-inspired event such as this, people are forced to pick sides but with much worse ramifications. People who think he's a tempest in a teapot (as I do, on this issue, and from the looks of it most people) tune him out, and people who think he's on to something or people who go along with whatever he says (and I'm sure there are some in this camp as well) support him and note this as another high-profile instance of racism against black people. All that's really accomplished is that the divide widens.

posted by bender at 08:22 AM on July 15

... Jesse Jackson has turned into the boy who cried racism.

Who you callin' boy?

Thank you for the myriad lesson. Did. Not. Know. That.

posted by rcade at 09:09 AM on July 15

The point of Jackson being able to precisly orchestrate the media coverage is to show that he can manipulate the media at will, and thus he is actually choosing to stir up a racial conflict, as opposed to merely saying something stupid which has the effect of stirring up a racial conflict.

You are just wrong about this. Jesse Jackson has a press release just about every single day. The press chooses when they are going to blast them all over the news.


That may be a hard concept for you to understand, but to me it makes him a very real obstacle to those people that, for whatever reasons, are kept down by perceived racial tensions. If a black person is told over and over that whitey is out to get him, every time he has a poor interaction with a white person it automatically becomes about race.

This is a pretty offensive idea. Black people are seduced by the lure of blaming everything on racism, so are kept down. I hope I'm reading your point incorrectly.

All that's really accomplished is that the divide widens.

I don't think he widens the divide at all. I would expect he does just the opposite if his view is totally far-fetched. Black and white people find agreement that this isn't a good example of racism.

posted by bperk at 09:23 AM on July 15

bperk, we're going to have to agree to disagree, as I think you're being somewhat naive regarding how Jackson gets his message out. Oh, sure, from time to time one of his comments may get more, or less, coverage than what he intended, however, he is fully capable of ensuring that his message gets heard when he wants.

As to your statement: Black people are seduced by the lure of blaming everything on racism, so are kept down.
That's a paraphrase of llb's statement, not mine. My take is that there are some of Jackson's followers that are influenced by his rhetoric, and thus he is an obstacle (for the last time, not a major obstacle, nor the main obstacle) to getting past the racial tensions for some.

In this case, I do agree with your last point, in that given that many blacks have come forward saying that they don't agree with Jackson, this case may actually help reduce tensions. That wasn't Jackson's intent, so I still see him as an obstacle.

bender, yes, my English teachers always said that one should strive to use the least number of words to properly convey one's thoughts. I have always used "a myriad" will place a mental sticky note in my brain to stop doing so. Lots of stickly notes there already, will try my best!

(on edit, wiki tells me I can use either "myriad" or "a myriad" however, given my teachers' direction going with the shorter version seems best)

posted by dviking at 10:50 AM on July 15

dviking, perhaps you should have referred to a plethora of journalists.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:43 AM on July 15

I almost went with a shitload, but thought that was too vague

posted by dviking at 03:19 PM on July 15

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