What Raynard Jackson risks (Mouth of the Beast – #9)
Updated November 13, 2016. A shorter version of this article was published as a ‘rapid response’ to a politically polarized, dangerously provocative article that American lobbyist Raynard Jackson published on November 8 and then promoted via Twitter, as protests against Donald Trump’s election victory were escalating.
This lengthier version links the UK-based Telegraph Jackson article more clearly with the preceding 8th instalment in this Mouth Of the Beast series.
In part 8 I addressed what I call Corbott, a conspiratorial pact or spiritual, hurricane winds approximating phenomenon generated by Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott.
The chilling Maox assassination (Jo Cox killed by Thomas Mair), issues raised by Welsh MP Johnny Mercer’s risky denunciation of the Iraq Historical Abuse Team (IHAT) as a “witch hunt” and wider life and death, ‘spiritual warfare’ were also addressed.
Jackson’s opportunistic character assassination of Obama should therefore be interpreted against this backdrop.
“Woe to them that call darkness light and light darkness.” (Isaiah 5:20)
Contrasting sharply with the tone of reconciliation and mutual respect being adopted by president elect Donald Trump and Obama during their recent White House meeting, Jackson’s promotion via Twitter of this deeply divisive document suggests that he is blissfully unaware of how precariously his country is poised on the brink of widespread racial and broader socipolitically motivated bloodletting.
Even as nationwide protests against Trump’s election victory were gathering momentum in the US, Jackson, the founder and chairman of a super PAC called Black Americans For A Better Future, was pushing his historically defective partisan political narrative, denouncing Obama’s presidency as a “massive disappointment” for Black Americans.
First published the day Americans were voting, the Republican Jackson’s patently opportunistic, partisan political punditry now runs the risk of fomenting racial and economic division and discontent at a time when they could do the worst possible damage to his country.
Your country is smoldering, Mr Jackson: why are you fanning such flames?
From my vantage point, the article represents the worst of minority ethnic identity politicking and does a disservice not only to the Black Americans that Jackson claims to be championing, but to Black people everywhere.
And readers should note the role being played by the Telegraph in this respect.
Indeed, if we adopt the humanistic, universalist frame of reference that the pacifist human rights icon Dr Martin Luther King advocated (see the final paragraph here) it becomes apparent that Jackson and his British Telegraph allies have put their interests above those of all human beings, irrespective of nationality, class, colour or creed.
Among other things, Jackson’s strategically published election day article and his subsequent post-election promotion of it on Twitter portrays him as a mawkish manipulator of sociopolitical and, especially, religious sentiment.
And Jackson’s accommodators at the Telegraph stink with the stench of his political calculation and cynicism.
Reminiscent of the volatile, typically blame-shifting rhetoric that Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan spouts habitually, Jackson’s analysis of Obama’s eight years in office marks a serious departure from more balanced analysis: analysis that had once prompted me to consider working with him.
His reckless behaviour at this crucial juncture in America’s history is first and foremost a tragic testament to his and other Black American leaders’ personal-responsibility-ducking.
What were he and other Black leaders doing during the eight years of Obama’s tenure?
Were they working with or against him, as the spectacularly self-righteous, deeply cynical Dr Ben Carson has been doing, for example?
Moreover, Jackson’s simplistic denunciation of what Obama and other Democrats and Republicans have achieved through hard won concessions not only ignores the incredible odds against which his country’s first Black president was working – including the pessimism and hostility of Blacks like Carson, journalist Herbert Dyer and others whose grasp of their own fallibility seems deeply suppressed.
It also reinforces the very Corbottic (as I call it), political rape and personal-responsibilty-ducking that Jackson has previously, rightly, castigated.
Yes WE can!
If I recall correctly, Mr Obama’s signature campaining slogan was Yes We Can.
It was not “Yes I can”, as Jackson’s analysis suggests.
As Commander-In-Chief, America’s first Black president certainly has to bear final responsibility for much that has gone wrong under his tenure in office.
But it is neither logical nor constructive for Jackson to assign Obama full or sole responsibility for the shortfalls of his leadership.
That is the kind of rationally and morally anaemic, suspiciously selective reasoning I would expect from the militancy maximising, sensationalist Farrakhan, his legalism-blinded, Barbadian-history blurring lieutenant professor Sir Hilary Beckles and his British partisan political ‘playmate’ Nigel Farage of UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party).
Like the machismo fond Farrakhage, as I now dub the Farrakhan-Farage controversy courting, gender, race and religion racketeering couplet, Jackson seems to have taken a page out of the book of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, notorious for his indifference to the violence that his hate-filled rhetoric characteristically incited.
And the bigoted beast Farrage’s physical, wide-mouthed resemblance to Goebbels is not lost on me, incidentally (see Farage-Goebbels photo collage below).
Nor are both men’s pre-political career links to the financial industry, possibly predicting their nefarious number games machinations.
Like the pre-presidential, carnivourously campaigning, ‘bigly banking’ Trump, Goebbels is known for his amoral, megalomaniac publicity seeking, typically risking or openly courting violence to secure the widest possible media reporting of his hate-filled, populace poisoning pedagogy.
As Wikipedia, citing the book “Dr Goebbels: His Life and Death”, by Roger Manvell and Fraenkel Heinrich notes, as a youthful campaigner, hand-picked by Adolf Hitler, Goebbels focused mainnly on the political capital of publicity, not caring whether the publicity was positive or negative.
Accordingly, Goebbels deliberately provoked beer-hall battles and street brawls, including violent attacks on the the Nazi Party’s communist rivals, say his biographers.
Similarly, Jackson appears to be setting aside the nuances of real life political leadership, with which he doubtless has some acquaintance, through his links to America’s political establishment.
His admission that even as a Republican he voted for Obama in 2008 is itself evidence of his familiarity with those nuances.
Yet he would now put the blame for “an uptick in murders” in US cities at the feet of the man who inspired Americans to cultivate the audacity of hope.
“Meanwhile the 30 US cities with the highest murder rate strongly correlate with those with near-to-majority black populations, run by liberal Democratic mayors in Obama’s mould,” Jackson writes.
His Telegraph article continues “This is in the context of an uptick in murders last year, the biggest single-year percentage jump since 1971, concentrated in just ten big cities. Obama’s liberal policies have only exacerbated the problems these areas face.”
But strategically published the day Americans voted in last Wednesday’s portentious poll, this selective context building was clearly done for the sole purpose of demolishing any goodwill that Obama, and by extension, his prospective presidential successor Hillary Clinton may have built up.
It is in the service of such character assassination and political stigmatization that Jackson continues: “In his home town of Chicago, the most racially segregated city in America, the number of shootings until the end of September this year was already 10 per cent higher than for the whole of 2015, following a 13 per cent increase in shooting incidents and a 12.5 per cent increase in the number of murders in 2015 on the previous year.”
By what rational process has Jackson come to the conclusion that president Obama is to be blamed for the increased crime he identifies?
Might not the incindiary rhetoric of the volatile Minister Farrakhan, for whom Chicago is a spiritual, political and economic stronghold, be at least as significant a contributor to violence in that troubled city?
Might not the hatred harbouring historical analysis of Farrakhan ally Beckles be having the same violence inciting effect on Chicago residents as it clearly had on Farrakhan when, following a speech by the hatred and hope confusing Barbadian, he called for violent action in pursuit of reparations for trans-Atlantic slavery.
As I have previously reported, inspired by the Goebbels-recalling, thinly disguised, racist scholarship of the perversely proud Barbadian professor Beckles, with whom he shared a Chicago State University platform in 2014, Farrakhan virtually called for the use of violence against Obama and other Blacks he labelled ‘Uncle Toms’, and who, according to the militant Muslim leader, are betraying his and Beckles’ beloved reparations ambitions.
What about the megalomaniac mouthings of Reverend Jeremiah Wright and other religious, political, economic and related “principalities and powers” that preside over Chicago?
What about the socio-political and economic inputs of Chicago’s Judeo-Christian power brokers, in the mould of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association?
I have it on good sources that it is the machinations of such “spiritual wickedness in high places” that conspired to derail an educational business initiative that I was developing in conjunction with the University of Illinois.
The University of Illinois Press has published a multi-page extract of my book The Bible: Beauty and Terror Reconciled, in its Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions.
But efforts to build a broader long-term relationship with that venerable institution appear to have been sabotaged by my academic opponents.
I believe the same US, Britain and Barbados-based opposers are behind the impasse that has developed between Jackson and I.
But I remain confident of the triumph of good over evil.
I remain persuaded that notwithstanding Jackson’s, the Telegraph’s or anyone else’s erring, with Obama-like caring and sharing of each other’s burdens, we shall all overcome.
And the example of president elect Trump, abandoning his former divisive, demagogic campaigning personality and embracing the unifying, Commander-In-Chief role also reinforces my sense of hope.
While president-elect Trump’s links to the Black community are limited, as Jackson points out, they are by no means insignificant.
What Trump has lacked is respect for Black people, just as he lacks respect for women, the disabled, Latinos and other minorities.
What Trump has lacked, fundamentally, is the kind of self-respect and conscientious regard for others that his presidential predecessor Mr Obama, rather than his would-be political advisor Jackson, seems eminently qualified to teach him.
It is the admittedly flawed Obama, a clearly committed disciple of the teachings of Joshua of Nazareth and a saintly soldier, tested by political battle, after battle, rather than the mouthy, “prattle without practice” (Othello) spouting Jackson that Trump would do best to lend an ear.
It is in and through Obama that the delicate balance of a responsive, sensitive conscience and spirituality with manly uprightness and courage extolled by the World War I soldier-poet Lieutenant William Noel Hodgson are manifested.
In his famous poem “Before Action”, written shortly before he paid the ultimate price for his patriotism during the Battle of the Somme, Hodgson wrote: “By beauty lavishly outpoured/And blessings carelessly received/By all the days that I have lived/Lord make me a soldier.”
At just 23, Hodgson apparently had a greater appreciation than Welsh MP Johnny Mercer of the “total war” between good and evil and light and darkness that rages every day in human affairs, not just on military battlefields.
Details of my critique of the rogue-soldier encouragement and consequent British civilian endangerment that Mercer risks by denouncing the Iraq Historical Abuse Inquiry Team (IHAT) as a “witchhunt” are avaliable in the preceding article in this series.
I expect that Jackson is a fan of the late Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
I leave with him and his friends at the Telegraph, presumably including my “old friend” reporter Tom Calver, some words of King that I believe informed Obama’s vison and will define his legacy no less than the dreams he inherited from his father.
Recognizing the reality of human interdependence (soldier-civilian, male-female, Black-White, Christian-Muslim, theist-atheist and so on) that makes any faultfinding or blame shifting pointless, King said,
“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be… This is the inter-related structure of reality.”