July 11th, 2008
01:39 PM ET

Has Jesse Jackson become irrelevant?

 Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Jesse Jackson got away with calling New York "Hymietown" a few years ago, a reference to New York's Jewish population. But this time he might not be so fortunate.

Jackson saying he wanted to castrate Barack Obama for "talking down to black people" may mark the end of Jesse Jackson's relevance to anything. His comments – which were caught on an open microphone in a television studio – were in response to Obama's speeches about the responsibilities of absent black fathers.

Jackson apologized, saying he meant there are other important issues to address in the black community – like unemployment and the number of blacks in prison.

But it turns out Jackson's vulgar comments could actually help Obama, with white voters who wonder if he shares their values – remember the Reverend Jeremiah Wright? – and with blacks who see Jackson as a figure of the past. Barack Obama is proving to Jesse Jackson as well as everyone else that it's not necessary to play the black and white races off against each other, something Jackson has done his whole life.

Charles Hurt of the New York Post this morning wrote that Jackson knew exactly what he was doing when he made these vulgar comments.

Hurt suggests that the real reason Jackson is unhappy is that "Obama has shown that unifying and uplifting campaigns succeed in American politics where the divisive failed campaigns waged by Jackson become history's footnotes."

Finally consider this: Obama's telling a black church that a father's responsibility doesn't just end at conception may have hit too close to home for Jesse Jackson. After all, it was only a few years ago that Jesse Jackson acknowledged an extra-marital affair that produced a baby born out of wedlock.

Here’s my question to you: Has Jesse Jackson become irrelevant?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Jesse Jackson