Why the DeSean Jackson controversy had little splash

Today’s topic is hypocrisy, and our shared reaction to hate.

Today’s subject is DeSean Jackson, an admirer of Louis Farrakhan, and a disseminator of faux Hitler anti-Semitic garbage the wide receiver posted on Instagram.

DeSean Jackson Instagrammed himself into a mess

First, Farrakhan. He is well-known as anti-Semite, anti-white, anti-gay. The Anti Defamation League suggests he might be “America’s most popular anti-Semite.”  

Quite the achievement.

And yet many Democratic officials over the years have not shied away from meeting or socializing with him, normalizing him. Farrakhan was a guest at a 2005 meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus, also attended by then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Sen. Barack Obama at Congressional Black Caucus meeting with Louis Farrakhan

Just imagine the outcry if a Republican had met with David Duke or some neo Nazi leader who had called Judaism a “gutter religion,” as Farrakhan had. (Farrakhan later denied using the phrase, but there is a recording of his sermon.)

God knows where Jackson dredged up these moronic quotes, which seem to come from Hitler, but did not.

Faux Hitler quotes with an apology

When the spit hit the fan, Jackson lamely apologized to anyone who “took my post the wrong way.”

There was a right way?

Because I believe that free speech includes even hate speech, I don’t think Jackson should have been fired. I don’t believe the Central Park dog-walker who falsely accused an innocent African-American bird watcher should have been fired. She should have been prosecuted for filing a false police report, and is.

Having hate in your heart is not a crime. Racism is not a crime. Anti-Semitism is not a crime. Homophobia is not a crime.

They are beliefs, they are bad, but they are not prohibited unless you try to weaponize them to harm another. That’s when they become a crime.

So Jackson’s stupid online remarks got out, and the Eagles were a splatter victim. The team issued a pasty, non-specific statement of regret and said Jackson would be punished. It didn’t say how, but it is believed Jackson would get fined as former Eagle Riley Cooper got fined and sent to reeducation camp after dropping the N-word at a concert.

That seems fair to me, but not to Inquirer sports writer Marcus Hayes. 

“It is the same penalty they levied on Riley Cooper in 2013… That was a copout then: Cooper should have been suspended at least two games. It is a copout now.”

I don’t agree with Hayes on that point, but I do on the next.

“Former Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, the eloquent voice of outrage for three years, stayed silent far too long, then, finally, offered no more than a shrug at the pain Jackson caused.”

Jenkins called it a “distraction.”

His reaction to religious hate seems quite mild compared to race hate. I ask why.

A couple of NFL players came to Jackson’s defense, making it seem like “a black man” was the victim of some kind of conspiracy. There was no mass condemnation of Jackson’s remarks, as there was of Saints quarterback Drew Brees when he opposed taking a knee during the National Anthem.

I also wonder about the deafening silence from the members of the Eagles football team. Cat got your tongue, boys? This is the hypocrisy I mentioned at the outset.

By word and deed, anti-Semitism carries less condemnation than other hate. You have to wonder why.

Patriot Julian Edelman to meet with DeSean Jackson

One player with a voice, New England All-Star wideout Julian Edelman, reached out for Jackson in a warm, welcoming way, with an offer of education and burgers. Over the weekend, Edelman said they had spoken. 

Edelman came to realize his Jewish identity later in life, he said, and offered to visit the U.S. Holocaust Museum and then the African-American History Museum in D.C. with Jackson.

Good idea. Here’s another: Ask DeSean Jackson to Google the names Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman. Ask him to share the results with Farrakhan. 

18 thoughts on “Why the DeSean Jackson controversy had little splash”

  1. Sadly, Stu, there probably aren’t many people under the age fo 50, including DeSean Jackson, who even know the names Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. Think Jeffery Lurie and Howie Roseman do?

  2. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu,

    You raise some important questions while properly emphasizing freedom of speech. Good for you.

    For certain, having hate in one’s heart does no one any good –least of all perhaps the haters. That’s a matter of self-control, and the country at large is currently lacking for needed self-control.

    The current rage for firing people or getting them fired for what they say, or how it might be interpreted, is a dysfunctional symptom of our current political divisiveness and factionalism. Its part of the left’s “great march through the institutions,” reflecting back the general tendency toward insider self-aggrandizement –the institutional, opportunity-oriented version of “insider trading.”

    If we want more rational politics, best to cool things off.

    H.G. Callaway

    You bring on a new topic, and as always, there is no short quick concise answer to a problem that is as old as time. These are a few words that I grew up with. Try not to get too offended. Dego; Wop; Pollock; Kraut; Harp. In the ’50s & ’60s, those words had mixed meaning. Most of the definitions were prejudiced. In the ’70s, those same words loss most of the prejudice, but still existed then as they do now. Only now, they have more hate.
    My point is this. We, the people, have always sent a mixed message. While we were taught not to hate or even pre-judge, we still had words in our vocabulary that should have been made to disappear with the best explanation. Those words, even when spoken without malice were then and now are hate words.
    In this country, we walk through life selecting the laws and words that we like and respect. We dismiss the others. There in lays the problem. This is a nation of laws . ALL laws should be enforced equally and without prejudice. That has never been the case for the masses and it certainly is not the case now. How do we fix it? Simple enough. Lets look in the mirror and see if we like our reflection . We all could use some grooming with life’s lessons. Obviously, some more than others. When we are made to realize that all of us need to conform. then the change will come. When there is a consistent rule of law, then all laws will be followed. The word, “respect” comes to miind.
    As for hate speech. Sure, it’s protected by the 1st amendment, but at what price. Speech should be protected. Inciting violence through words is a misdemeanor that goes unpunished. Slander is a subject for court. Maybe we should tone it down a bit, avoiding court issues. There is no good reason to verbally attack someone with crud words and lies.
    I, for one, y today’s standards, have been guilty of the above. I work hard at it everyday, to clean up my language ( and mind ).

  4. Interesting article Stu. Sadly, anti Semitism has been, and continues to be accepted in our country. Ignorance persists, regardless of levels of education.

  5. Tell me why the vast majority of Jewish people in America tolerate the anti semitism of the left and mainstream Democratic political party.
    That is a puzzle I cannot solve.

  6. I think there is an underlying problem that we have ignored because it has benefits that both sides of Desean Jackson’s diatribe will accept. Football from High School through College and into the Pros has become more important than education, responsibility and common sense. We cut the arts before football because it has no financial incentives. Followers of college football are well aware of the lost income if a star player is cut for poor marks so they immediately provide a tutor. Recruitment offers more benefits to a sports star than to a genius because one provides money the other human advancement. Eagle fans for the most part are probablly secure that Jackson will play this year as are the owners because a sport has rison from physical attributes in the use of a ball to actual team worship placed in front of any human bigotry or setting a standard for civility and respect for young fans.

  7. Good article Stu,
    Didn’t have an immediate comment, since you said a lot. And me a bit slow. So I skipped to my favorite fiction writer (cough) who I haven’t recently followed, Will Bunch, just for curiosity and a good laugh. I wasn’t disappointed. Trump is his ‘common denominator’ in every column I’ve read. So I read two more times your piece and the comments and saw how Hate can be attributed to one person as well as groups. Ergo, if Bunch hates Trump, he must feel that way with us deplorables, just like racism and etnic bigotry. I hope that’s clear! I also was compelled to email the Ink..board[sic] to tell them how far they have sunk since you and Dom and Christine were booted. (My opinion).
    I’m looking forward to hockey! August11.

  8. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu & Millicent,

    My experience is that anti-Semitism in its European homeland is a product of what we might call “identity politics;” and what is fundamental in this is the organization of the European countries along ethnic (and formerly along religious) lines. The old concept of the European nation-state was something like “one people, one language, one religion.” That made the historical European nation-state easier to govern and control top-down and easier to organize for external wars and conflicts –of which there were many, many over the centuries. In our situation, in contrast, if we organize ourselves in a similar top-down, centralized fashion, this ignites jealousies. “Who is going to be calling the shots?”

    Looking back at American history and the history of the people and peoples who came to this country over centuries, this European model was never really plausible. The national moto, recall, is “E pluribus unum” –“out of many, one.” (It appears on every dollar bill.) The country has been built up largely by a process of immigration and integration. Our contemporary versions of Identity politics, imitating Old Europe again, is essentially a resistance to the process of integration by means of which a single nation has been formed out of diverse sources –from every continent, race, ethnicity and religion. Its as though they say, “Well, look at shinny new Europe, they organize themselves along ethnic lines, and do pretty well, maybe we should do the same!” This ignores centuries of American experience in forming a country –and notice the U.S. is certainly one of the most successful countries to ever have been built up through immigration. (Canada, say, is a contender here; Latin America largely not.)

    The lesson I draw from American history is that we do best to tolerate distinctive ethnic or religious identities (the Amish, say or the Hasidic Jews) who want to remain distinct and separate in degree. But what we cannot do is reward and encourage people, group by group, simply because they represent some cultural difference. “E pluribus unum” implies placing the policy incentives and societal rewards on integration as contrasted with standing apart.

    But contemporary “identity politics” counts this as “discrimination.”

    H.G. Callaway

  9. Why DeSean Jackson controversy had little splash?
    I heard somewhere that democrats (MSM) , liberals, and the like “have two standards…Double and none.”

  10. DeSean Jackson’s claim to fame is he carries a football. When his career is over he will disappear and take with him his hatreds, and he won’t even leave a ripple on the pond of life.

    1. Vince,
      all the way to the bank.
      Poppa Joe believed in education way back when . Somehow he knew that only a hand full of new faces each year, made it to the big league.

      1. And I am of the belief that (as I have said in the past) when Blacks as a people start praising their doctors and lawyers and professors and hold them up as something to be emulated (instead of their criminals and racists — Al Sharpton’s name leaps to mind –) young Black men and women will start to reach for something other than a piece of sports equipment. Perhaps even a book. The scorn heaped upon successful blacks like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas by Blacks is unfathomable.

  11. This the reason that Chip Kelly got rid of this slug. Had nothing to do with football. He was, and is, a cancer, not only in the clubhouse, but civilized society as well. Hard to swallow that they didn’t dump him again. I believe I’m done with football.

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