The Other Side of the Coin

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jul 11, 2008 11:50 AM
Given the pieces discussing how Jesse Jackson's outburst may help Barack among some voters, it's interesting to see that the Washington Post is reporting some mumblings of agreement with Jackson's critique among other black leaders.

Of course, none of this is going to depress black voter turnout for an Obama candidacy.  But it will be interesting to see how Barack responds to it.  Will he have the courage to continue pointing out obvious dysfunction in some parts of the African American community, or will he be cowed into silence, or will he simply extend the critiques formerly directed at certain segments of the black population to everyone?

At the outset of Barack's candidacy, it seemed that the appeal he held for some whites (conservatives, even) was his capacity (and his willingness) to offer some "straight talk" to elements of the black underclass -- advice which, if a white offered it, would be roundly denounced as racist.  Is he aware of this, and will he therefore thumb his nose at other black leaders and keep up the hard truths?