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Why Jesse Really Attacked Obama

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Rev. Jackson,

Your vulgar tirade caught on tape by Fox News, in which you said you wanted to rip Barack Obama's nuts off and accused him of talking down to black folks with moral lectures at churches, is simply the last straw for me and a growing number of African-Americans.

There are many blacks across the nation (myself included) who are appreciative of the work and contributions you have made in your civil rights career. But at this point, you are hurting Black America and Senator Obama. Your continued verbal attacks (see Jena 6 drama) are unwarranted. It is as if you're jealous that he has eclipsed you and both of your campaigns for the Democratic nomination.

Senator Obama's recent comments about black fathers not abandoning their children and accepting moral responsibility is a lesson you apparently needed to learn when you were younger. If you had, it may not have caused you to cheat on your wife and father a child out of wedlock with a former staffer.

Maybe that's what really bothered you about Senator Obama's Father's Day message urging black fathers to be responsible for their children. You certainly haven't been.

Living in Los Angeles, I have watched your ten year old daughter Ashley Laverne Jackson grow up. Over the years, I have had the pleasure to spend several holidays with your daughter including Christmas, her birthday parties and other milestones in her life. I will never turn my back on Ashley, her mom and their family. It is about providing friendship, support and love while you have been missing in action.

Your daughter has never traveled with you. You have an annual birthday party in Beverly Hills every year where your entire family is welcome, but your youngest child has only attended it once. She has had very little contact with her siblings and has never even met her big brother Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr, who apparently doesn't want anything to do with her. Allegedly (I believe it to be true), he was the one to leak the scandal to the media concerning your affair.

Now don't get me wrong, Senator Obama is not above reproach. He is a politician and is fair game to be fairly criticized by you or anyone else. But to personally attack him is crossing the line. Senator Obama is not talking down to Black people. He wants you and other dead beat dads to spend time with and care for your children properly.

The destruction of the black family and absentee fathers is a major problem in our community.

It's a problem that Dr. King spoke about and fought against. Forty years after King's murder, I can see why King didn't trust you. If you can't and won't sincerely help Senator Obama in this historic run, then at least stop attacking him.

Listen to his message of being a responsible father and start with taking care of your own daughter.

Najee Ali is a founding contributor of the African-American news and opinion site, UrbanThoughtCollective.com. Mr. Ali also serves as Executive Director of Project Islamic H.O.P.E, a national civil rights organization that advocates for oppressed people regardless of race, gender or religion.