Jackson Cracks 48-Hour Redemption Barrier
world of mass-media absolution was sent into shock last week when
the Reverend Jesse Jackson shattered a slew of long-standing redemption
speed records lowering the previous mark on some of them by several
years. Some of these records were thought to be as impregnable as
Joe Dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak. And breaking the 48-hour
barrier had often been considered physically impossible. Up until
now, Jackson's previous personal best had been an unimpressive 4
years in the "redemption after racial/ethnic intolerance"
category, after his "Hymietown" incident.
Among the records that Jackson's amazing feat shattered:
Fastest redemption by an African-American political figure:
This had previously been held by Mayor Marion Barry. Barry still
holds the record in the chutzpah category, which is reserved
for those select few whose ghastly behavior and subsequent return
to civilized society are so cathartic that their performance is
forever engraved in the American heart.
Fastest redemption after sexual shenanigans by a religious leader:
Jackson also blew away the record held previously by the Reverend
Fastest redemption after being caught diddling an aide: Jackson's
two-day feat easily bested the existing record of former Speaker
of the House Newt Gingrich.
Fastest redemption by an African-American celebrity: Jackson
here topped what was thought to have been a record unbreakable by
anyone other than the previous record holder, Darryl Strawberry.
This consensus of absolution commentators was solidified by the
fact that Strawberry had held the second, third, and fourth best
marks in this category, in addition to his record.
Order of Day
buzz surrounding Jackson's record-shattering performance was intense,
as accolades poured in for the Reverend.
"I remind people that Reverend Jesse Jackson should not be
judged just by this single, amazing performance," the Rev.
Al Sharpton said in a news conference in New York City. "We
should remember that during the last 35 years, it was Jesse Jackson
who made up all those neat rhymes, that sort of got South Carolina
to kind of abandon the Confederate Flag, that went to foreign shores
to bring home prisoners of war for this nation at a time when we
were nearly out of them. Did I mention that he made up a lot of
neat rhymes? It was Jesse Jackson that raised issues that others
didn't raise. And look& at least she wasn't a white woman."
Even Republican absolution analyst Ann Coulter had to praise
Jackson's feat, but she was careful not to give sole credit
to Jackson. "God's grace worked fast," Coulter noted.
Meanwhile Jackson, in his first public appearance after his time
of healing reiterated something he had said often in the months
before the presidential election, giving this advice to his followers:
"Stay out of the bushes."
"His statement is very clear. That's the first, second, third,
fourth, and last word he will say regarding that issue," said
Rainbow/PUSH/SHOVE Coalition spokesmomma Keyashawnaiana Qweesy.
"Everything henceforward is focusing on our future plans and
goals. Why keep dwelling on the distant, sordid past? As Joyce said,
'History is a nightmare from which I'm trying to awaken.'"
As Jackson had been preparing himself for his shot at the record
books, he apparently received a phone call from President-elect
Bush. Bush telephoned Jackson on the Friday before the inauguration,
and offered Jackson words of encouragement: "It's during times
of trouble, which are often the most disturbing, troublesome times,
that all of our difficulties seem to be upon us. I pray for you
that, through these disturbingest of troubles, you'll be in my prayers."
The Rev. Jesse Jackson held a prayer service in Harlem as part of
his Wall Street Project dedicated to looting the financial sector.
During his sermon, the Reverend Jackson said: "The ground is
no place for a champion to wallow on. If you've been with the bitches,
it's no reason to wallow in the ditches."
In an interview with The Associated Press, Mr. Jackson said he had
spent the two days prior to his redemption at home in Chicago with
his family, undergoing the period of intense crisis that is the
traditional preparation for attempts at redemption records. He said
he had been doing "lots of thinking, lots of praying, lots
of reflecting, and a whole heap o' yellin'. Lordy, you don't know
the troubles I seen." Many speculated that it was those two
days at home with his wife that were the major factor convincing
Jackson to quickly return to public life and get back on the road.
Callahan is a regular contributor to mises.org,
Morgenstern is contributing editor at The
© 2001, Gene
Callahan/Stu Morgenstern Archives