9th February 2013
For the scion of what was once the country’s most influential African-American family, the plea deal represents a precipitous fall from grace that overlaps with the ascent of another African-American Chicago family to the White House. The Jackson dynasty appears to be done.
The guy grew up watching his old man extort money from all points of the compass as a race pimp. No wonder he turned out a crook. The only disappointment is that his dad won’t be in the next cell.
The son of the Reverend Jesse Jackson—who mounted two competitive campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1980s—served 17 years in Congress, representing a seat so safe that he easily won reelection last November despite not campaigning due to a highly publicized hospitalization for bipolar disorder and other ailments.
“A lot of politicians use political donations as lifestyle enhancements—getting work done on their homes, taking fancy vacations, etc,” says Shaw. “At the very least they’re bending the rules of campaign finance and sometimes they violate them blatantly. Unfortunately the IRS and state election boards are stretched too thin to investigate. But if you end up under the microscope of the U.S. Attorney that all changes … Jesse Jackson Jr. is not an outlier here, but he’s the one who got caught. There are a lot of politicians who are probably saying ‘there but for the grace of God go I.’”
Sorry, but I don’t think the grace of God had as much to do with it as individual freedom of choice. Crooks are crooks because they choose to be crooks, not because ‘the devil made me do it’.
Jesse Jackson Jr.’s fall is more profound than most Chicago pols because of the arc of history behind it. This is not just the case of one wayward son—the Jackson mantle has been tarnished in recent years due to a steady stream of scandals from the father as well.
No shit, Sherlock. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
There does appear to be a glimmer of a silver lining to Jackson Jr.’s plea deal, where he will reportedly plead guilty to a single felony charge, and it will be left to a judge to decide if receives jail time. “The feds don’t usually prosecute the husband and wife of small children,” says Shaw. Look at the Blagojevichs, for example—so that may be the saving grace for Sandi Jackson.”
And if you believe that one, they’ll tell you another one. If he were a poor black guy rather than a rich, famous, and well-connected black guy, his ass would be in jail right now, destined to remain there, and his ‘baby mama’ and kids would be on their own.
After all, this is a state where four of the last six governors have been sentenced to prison, along with some 30 aldermen in recent years.
Some swamps take a long time to drain. Stunningly, three current members of the Illinois state legislature were sworn in this year despite facing criminal charges, ranging from bribery to bank fraud.
And Barack Obama’s ‘home state’, in more ways that one. Just sayin’.