The hypocrisy of the morally anointed
Written by Vin Suprynowicz
Thursday, 01 February 2001
The hypocrisy of the morally anointed
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, one-time Democratic presidential hopeful and
long-time political activist claiming to speak for black Americans, asked
last week for the "forgiveness, understanding and prayers" of friends and
supporters who may have been shocked to learn he has a 20-month-old
daughter out of wedlock -- born to one of his employees at the
Washington-based activist organization Rainbow/PUSH -- for whom he has been
paying $3,000 a month in child support.
The Rev. Jackson revealed the relationship in a press release issued
before dawn Thursday, one day before the National Enquirer was scheduled to
break the story.
The first instinct must be concern for the Rev. Jackson's wife and
children. The Rev. Jackson said the revelation has created "an extremely
painful, trying, and difficult time for them," which sounds like an
The second emotion most American will feel -- leaving aside the ignoble
temptation for some political opponents and skeptics to gloat a bit at the
discomfiture of a figure who has seemed at times to thrust himself into
affairs across the nation and the globe, where the main goal sometimes
appeared to be simply getting the Rev. Jackson on TV -- is exasperation
that such matters are now the subject of national gossip and excruciating
dissection by television's "talking heads," at all.
Yes, the frequency with which such scandals embrace our churchmen might
almost indicate there's an inevitable pattern to such things -- some higher
power holding disgrace in store for those who show perhaps too little
humility, advancing themselves as moral paragons and judges, refusing to
acknowledge that even some who refuse to cleave to their particular social
or political orthodoxy may yet be men and women of conscience and
But are we really as shocked as some of us pretend to be, to learn that
able men in public life sometimes violate their marriage vows? No, such
callous disregard of the corrosive effects on our families (and society as
a whole) certainly doesn't set a good example. But given that this
happened, surely there's some small encouragement to be found in the fact
that the Rev. Jackson has acknowledged the child, and contributed to her
Fact is, so long as they do support their children and remember to tuck in their shirttails, the reproductive habits of public men make little precious difference to the conduct of their offices or businesses, and personally I don't care. It was never intended that we be ruled in this nation by a royalty or aristocracy with some noble obligation to "set a good example." It's time we recalled that we hire these folks to do a job of strictly limited description. At 5 o'clock, I would just as soon they go home. They leave me alone, avoid peeking in my windows, and I'll happily return the favor.
But in the end, the Rev. Jackson is not even an elected official -- he
does not or at least should not be dispensing tax moneys. Once some brief
period of titillation has passed, it's to be hoped this affair will return
to being what it really ought to be -- a private matter.
All that said, and hopefully without any appearance of vindictiveness,
all those who reviled libertarian-leaning Justice Clarence Thomas when he
faced uncorroborated charges of doing nothing more than suggesting he might like to date a woman subordinate in his office -- who argued then that there must be a "zero tolerance standard," that as little as a sexually suggestive remark in the office constituted "sexual harassment" and should be enough to disqualify a man from future positions of public trust -- must now watch with interest how the board of directors of the non-profit Rainbow/PUSH organization chooses to deal with the fact that the married Rev. Jackson didn't merely ask one of his subordinates out on a date -- he fathered an illegitimate child with her, and then had that outfit pay the woman in question $40,000 in relocation costs.
Is that "sexual harassment," and an inappropriate use of his position, as
well as the assets of the organization's donors? Were there not other women
in the organization equally qualified for advancement, whose careers did
not progress as well as this woman's, for reasons now obvious?
(Rarely remembered in the now endless assurances that President Clinton's
fling with Monica Lewinsky was "just a private matter" is the question of
career track: Ms. Lewinsky ended up being escorted to top-level job
interviews by chief presidential chauffeur and factotum Vernon Jordan,
landing a sought-after classified post at the Pentagon. Caitlin Mahoney,
who interned alongside Ms. Lewinsky but never showed off her thong, was
shortly thereafter shot to death while pulling down a shift at her next job: jerking sodas in Georgetown.)
Or do such rules not apply here -- do the press and public issue an
automatic "Get Out of Jail Free" card ... so long as the culprit is a
left-leaning, pro-Big-Government, collectivist Democrat?
Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Las Vegas
book, "Send in the Waco Killers: Essays on the Freedom Movement,
1993-1998," is available by dialing 1-800-244-2224; or via web site www.thespiritof76.com/wacokillers.html.
by Vin Suprynowicz
The Multiracial Activist - Who makes 'the best' Americans?
The Multiracial Activist - The hypocrisy of the morally anointed
Copyright © 2001 Vin Suprynowicz. All rights reserved.