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“Jesse Jackson, Jr., Christopher Dorner”

“Jesse Jackson, Jr., Christopher Dorner”

By Pastor Rasheed Z. Baaith


Pastor Rasheed Baaith

     “Every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1Corinthians 3:13 KJV)

    At first glance it would appear that Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Christopher Dorner have little if anything in common but for their gender and ethnicity.

    But with a deeper inspection we find that is a false assumption.  They are both men who were experienced in their chosen professions, were educated and well trained.  They moved in the center of a particular power group and seemed destined to rise to the level of their ambitions, whatever those ambitions might be.

    Sadly, they both failed of their promise, and in the end both were overcome by the systems they had chosen to serve.

    A mentor of mine from back in the day by the name of Loftus Carson, Sr. once told me that you can never put a poor man in charge of a large amount of money. “He’ll steal it every time,” Carson said.  Jesse Jackson, Jr. may epitomize that maxim.  Still, I believe that there are poor folks who will not steal no matter how great the temptation.  I know some.   

    Still, it is estimated that Jackson illegally used $750,000.00 of campaign money.  And he did what most of us do when we get some money after not really having any; he bought things.  Stuff.

    Furs, antiques, a Rolex watch worth $43, 350.00, nine thousand dollars’ worth of children’s furniture, Martin Luther King, Jr., Michael Jackson and Bruce Lee memorabilia and a $5,000.00 football among other things.  It’s hard not to spend big money when you have access to it.

    Yet even with that understanding, his behavior cannot be excused. He has destroyed his personal reputation, besmirched the reputation of his father and put at great jeopardy the future of his children.  The last is the greater crime in my eyes.

    Not to mention that our people have lost an elected official that understood  the needs of those he represented, was skilled as a legislator and was a much listened to voice on every level of government,  especially in his hometown of Chicago.

    Jackson also demonstrates to us the need for a man’s leadership in his family to be Christ based and honorable.  Jackson’s wife, a Chicago Alderman, was forced to resign her position because of filing false income tax reports.  I believe that despite Mrs. Jackson obviously being an adult, that Jackson is primarily responsible for her crimes.  Leadership flows from the top down.  

    When it comes to marriage and family, whatever immorality the leadership is involved in will influence the culture of both.  How can it not?

    Christopher Dorner brings back the reality of racism, real and perceived, still lives in America. Attendant with that is all of the anger, frustration, and sense of injustice that social reality brings to those who are victimized by it.

    Dorner had served this country well as a soldier and as a policeman.  He apparently had no qualms about putting his life on the line to protect what he thought was his responsibility to do so.  That is more than admirable; it is commendable.  I’ve yet to hear anyone describe his actions as derelict of duty.  

    I sure would like to have heard the fullness of his story.  While we saw his face over and over, we never got to hear his voice even one time.  Did he have family, friends?  We heard from an ex-girlfriend but no one else in his life. Could he have justified murder? No, but he could have given us the reasons he thought he never got a fair hearing from the LAPD and why he thought utilizing the legal system would do him no good.

    Christopher Dorner reminded us and America of what it wants to believe no longer exists or is of consequence in this country: racism. Too many believe that the election of a bi-racial man to the office of President signaled the end of bigotry.  It didn’t.

    Just ask yourself this: do you really believe the Republican opposition to the President’s policies and the manner in which they voice that opposition and the disrespect they show him is just politics?  Seriously?



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