Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Bishop Eddie Long: Is It Time To Just Go Away?


By Gary A. Johnson

September 27, 2010

Last week’s public revelation of Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s extra-marital affair with a blond nightclub hostess which reportedly occurred a couple of years ago, has caused many columnists, talk show hosts and beauty shop and barbershop patrons to ask:  Is it time for the Jacksons (Jesse, Sr. and Jesse, Jr.) and Bishop Eddie Long to just sit their asses down somewhere out of public view?

Speaking of Bishop Eddie Long, Jesse Jr., should have sent Bishop Long a nice “thank you,” note for taking over the scandal headlines.  Whew!  Did you see the photos of Bishop Long all muscled up in his Spandex tank top and shorts with a huge soaking tub in the background?  Ouch!

The scandal associated with Bishop Long is that he appears to be a first class hypocrite.  Bishop Eddie Long has been one of the most vocal public advocates against homosexuality and gay relationships.  Disgraced Pastor Ted Haggard, who fell from grace a few years ago when a gay male prostitute exposed Haggard’s visits for both illegal drugs and sex.  Haggard was on CNN defending Bishop Long.  (Not sure if this is a helpful endorsement).

At last count, four young men have filed a lawsuit against Bishop Long claiming sexual coercion and misconduct.  I don’t care what the Bishop is being accused of; there are many others who will support him regardless of the evidence.

I don’t know what it is about preachers and politicians, but it seems they get a longer leash than others who get in trouble.  It seems as if you could have video evidence of a preacher or politician “doing wrong” and there will be a group of supporters who will attribute that video to a racist conspiracy, a government plot or some digital interference by Satan himself.

Men and women who like Jesse, Jr., and Bishop Long know that they have a core group of supporters who will not hold them accountable and blindly support them in the name of the Lord.  This is why Bishop Long can address his congregation and essentially say nothing about the allegations against him.  (I don’t want to hear this crap about his lawyer advised him not to say anything or try this case in the media).  Bullshit!  That has nothing to do with proclaiming your innocence.

I watched Bishop Long address his congregation yesterday.  From what I saw Bishop Long DID NOT deny the allegations against him!  Why didn’t Bishop Long state that he was not guilty of luring young men into sexual relationships?

Instead of proclaiming his innocence, Bishop Long said the following:

“Please hear this. Please hear this: I’ve been accused.  I’m under attack.  I want you to know, as I said earlier, I am not a perfect man.  But this thing I’m gon’ fight. There have been allegations and attacks made on me. I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man. But I am not the man that’s being portrayed on the television.  That’s not me.  That is not me.”

This partial explanation leads to more questions.

I want to make a point about POWER.  The power bestowed upon some public figures is intoxicating.  Many simply cannot manage the power that comes with their positions.

If the allegations against Bishop Long prove to be true, dude looks like a sexual predator.  Thank goodness for him he lives in America.  Bishop Long will have his day in court with the best lawyers money can buy, (unless the parties settle for an undisclosed amount of money and agree to a gag order sealing all the evidence).

Allegations that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. offered to raise $6 million for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for an appointment to Barack Obama’s former Senate seat is potentially damaging to Jackson politically among his constituents.  However, Jackson’s admission of having an extra marital affair with Washington, DC hostess Giovana Huidobro who Jesse, Jr., described as a “social acquaintance” have hurt his wife and family.

Giovana Huidobro

Sandi Jackson, Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s wife who is a Chicago Alderman, was interviewed by the Chicago Sun-Times.  In her interview, she talked about her husband’s affair and said last week’s public release of the story opened up old wounds.

Sandi Jackson said that the affair is in the past and that she and Jesse, Jr., had the opportunity to receive therapy out of the public eye.  Showing a bit of humor, Ms. Jackson referred to the blond nightclub hostess as “kryptonite in the world of the African-American woman,” a reference to the one property that can weaken the superhero Superman.

Ms. Jackson appeared to be quite candid in the interview, (a trait that her husband and Bishop Long should use) when she recalled her husband’s discloser of the affair to her.  At a public gathering celebrating her birthday, with Jesse, Jr. in attendance, Ms. Jackson said:  “’I put my foot knee-deep in his ass and he has been having a very difficult time sleeping peacefully since then.” (Spoken like a true sister).

When will the public, particularly “church folk” stop being so gullible and enabling politicians, sports figures, entertainers and others who hold responsible positions.  Stop putting a microphone in front of Kanye West, Snoop Dogg and Gilbert Arenas.  Many of these folks don’t know enough about current events outside of the isolated world that they live in.  This is not to say that all rappers, entertainers and sports figures are not socially conscious, smart and literate.  I’m not saying that—some are.  Let’s not throw the public trust to someone because they can hit a ball and talk fast.  Everyone makes mistakes.  No one is perfect.  Some public figures actually learn their lessons and return to society as better people doing great things.  Case in point—Michael Vick.  Two years ago Vick was ending a two-year absence from football after serving time in jail for spearheading a dog fighting ring.  Today, the NFL Quarterback is the “toast of the town” in the NFL and Philadelphia for his play.  Michael Vick is one of the top rated Quarterback in the league and the “must see” player on the field.

Before I get off the topic of being gullible, I’ve noticed a few disgraced white pastors resurfacing on BET?  Many would argue that religion has no color, however, this writer sees almost everything through a racial prism.  Albeit, the shows featuring these disgraced pastors are broadcast late at night, I find it curious these pastors are getting their “second chance” in the black TV community.

When will we as a community come together and hold “leaders” accountable for being responsible to those that support them?  No wonder good school teachers, nurses, community organizers and volunteers are “pissed” about their salaries and the influence they have in the community.

I’m especially sick of these preachers and politicians who seem to be in the spotlight more than any other group.  I’m particularly offended by the hypocrisy of it all.  People tend to look up to preachers for spiritual guidance and advice and to politicians because they hold the key to funding sources that can affect people’s livelihood.  To abuse that power is wrong.  To abuse that power against children is immoral and criminal.

What can we do to protect our children and our senior citizens against people who have abused their power, the public trust and pretty much just lost their way?

Bishop Long is a senior pastor at church with over 25,000 members.  Jesse Jackson, Jr., is a Congressman in the United States Congress.  Inherent in their positions is the trust of others, many of whom are less fortunate.  If their supporters vote to keep these men in their positions, then I guess those supporters deserve whatever comes their way as a result of their vote.

For the record, Bishop Eddie Long and Jesse Jackson, Jr. are the latest guys making headlines.  There have been others before them.  Jesse Jackson, Sr., President Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Marion Barry, Julius Erving, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Jimmy Swaggart, O. J. Simpson, Kwame Kilpatrick have all been part of public scandal.  The sad thing is that there will be more notable people who will follow.

What do you think?  Leave a comment below.

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also the author of the new book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.

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12 Responses to “Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Bishop Eddie Long: Is It Time To Just Go Away?”

  1. Jeff the Interpreter Says:

    Ok, so a prominent minister and congressman are caught with their philosophical pants down. Monogamy and fidelity is challenged. Outspoken stance on issues of same sex intimacy is under the glaring light of public scrutiny. Where have we seen this movie before? Oh, snap it was this time last week, month, year, five years ago, ten years ago, hundreds and even a thousand years ago…and it never gets old. So what is the cure, we know that the symptoms are at times, too much power or too little power. A grand ego or low or lost self esteem, unlimited wealth or lack of financial resources. Immediate fame or a cry from the despair of anonymity. Being loved too much or not loved enough. All of these contrast seems to fit the bill for person of either sex seeking to affirm their status, identity or prowess.

    Yet, what is the cure? Some in very small circles are advancing the call for the return of polygamy…ain’t happening. Some would say invest in stones and glass houses…that would leave a lot of folks homeless. Some would say physical augmentation as in snip-snip, that won’t work. So what is the cure? Compassion for the fellow person no matter how different? Tolerance for those whom you disagree philosophically, spiritually, religiously? maybe. Taking these gentlemen as examples, I would say use the book they tout. Read the passages that says “judge ye not less you be judged”, the scripture that says “love your neighbor as you love yourself”, or “if you love me…feed my sheep”, or “be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves” meaning game recognizes game yet don’t put anyone in a trick bag for your own ego.

    Yet, what is critical to study is the hypocrisy. I heard one preacher say: God is easy on sinners but hard on hypocrites. Can either person or any of us truly measure up to the standards we set for ourselves and others? Can you lead a march against homosexual rights and have the “appearance of impropriety” in your personal life. That’s where it get real sticky… launch a mega-ministry built on empowering the community and you can do the most good. Stand on a platform and denounce particular behaviors and you will be revered until you-yourself are entwined in the same issues you fight against. I don’t know if the Bishop is culpable, whether these young men were on the verge of having their meal ticket cancelled, or just some nefarious attempt to extort money. But what ever it is, Like James Brown once said: “It’s got to be funky!”

  2. ACCOUNTABILITY!! Now that’s a big word for some big names!!! Do they actually know what that word means??? Very well put article. I hope they are READING!!

  3. At the end of the day, we of the African American and Christian communities must stop being so gullible and naive. It is readily apparent how detrimental this mindset has been to us. We have become victims of our own laziness and unwillingness to critically examine our religious and political leaders and what they teach. As for that bible verse that commands us to ‘judge not lest we be judged’, we need to examine what is meant by ‘judge’ in that verse. ‘Judge’ means ‘to condemn.’ None of us can really condemn another if we believe the biblical teaching that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. However, we have every right to make a critical assessment of another’s credibility and intentions and then choose to believe or not believe them accordingly. We fail to do so at our peril.

  4. Religion is going to be our downfall.
    People beleive in the pope who is a child molester and Blacks give their money to crooks and sexual perverts like Eddie long.
    They all crooks.
    Eddie Long
    Creflo Dollar
    Joel Olsteen
    And anyone else askin you for your money.
    Its the PIMP game you idiots.
    By my book and read and learn all about it.
    DUMB AND BLACK IN AMERICA
    Go to http://www.lulu.com and get it.

  5. @ Jeff, first of all you need to learn how to spell and use words in the correct way before anyone should even attempt to BUY your book. Second of all, you can’t insult people and then give them link to go and BUY your book. Thirdly, I take offence to the title of your book. I’m sure with that great imagination you have you could have come up with a better title. Again, it’s totally insulting.

  6. Dorian Wilson Says:

    Thank you, Mr. Johnson, for a critical examination of these high-profile public figures…who, incidentally, reap their high-end lifestyles from the donations and tax revenues of the people under their influences. Yes, they are, and MUST be, held to a higher standard. And in the cases of both of these men, that trust has been compromised. “We’re all human” and “I am not a perfect man” are convenient fallbacks for those possessed of power and influence. Power and influence bestowed upon them, lest we forget, by those of lesser economic means and circumstances. @Jeff, who advertises a website on which to buy this ridiculously-titled book: You have GOT to be kidding.

    • Jeff the interpreter Says:

      First, I’m Jeff the interpreter not Jeff the “uhumm” author. There is one book I would like to promote that could shed some light on the phenomenon of the “mega-church” and it’s pastors. The book is titled: Watch This! by Dr. Jonathan Watson. Dr. Watson is currently teaching at Princton, a Morehouse grad who take an interesting look at the growth of Black Tele-evangelism. The book provides a profile on three popular churches as a backdrop on the styles and character of ministry in the Black community. Although this book was written more than a year ago, I found it strikingly relevant for todays analysis of church in current times. The three ministry highlighted in the book are; World Changers, Rev. Creflo Dollar, Pastor, Potter’s House, Bishop T. D. Jakes, Pastor, and New Birth Baptist, Bishop Eddie Long, Pastor. The book provides some history on the origin of these men’s walk in the ministry but only as a starting point to look at the expansiveness of their ministry through the use of the media. There is another author who has written about the state of the Black church but at this writting I am at a lost to recall his name nor the title of the book. I will quote him as he made a profound statement at a panel discussion about a year ago. I quote: “preachers today have gone from being fishers of men to being the keepers of the aquarium”.

      Make me wanna holla, throw up both my hands.

  7. In this modern world there are so many things to distract and alienate men and women. I was always told that I was ugly and hated by my own black men. But I learned by being a woman of God that my beauty does not rest upon man’s interpretation of me. I am a of royal heritage of women whose lives are full of love for every man and all created life. I realize that men focus upon a European standard and my focus is upon a eternal light where beauty is everlasting. The hearts of men have gotten the world into the deadly pool of death that encompasses the whole world. My prayer is that mankind will see the beauty in all created life and not hate one another for being different Rev Mother Pauline of Detroit. When I see a homeless black man hovering over a garbage can looking for bottles, I see a man who has the potential to change the world, could he be the Christ?

  8. Thank you for some other fantastic post. Where else may anybody get that kind of info in such an ideal way of
    writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m at the search for such info.

    • Black men are finally free to choose their own destinies in American society. Color really has no bearing upon a man’s quest to find his place in society. The black man has done his best . If he marries out side his race, then he chooses to be free to choose. It is his right to morally deter from his marriage because ultimately he must become himself. I applaud every black man in America because freedom has come to you. In the 19th century America a black man was lynched daily, hung high for everyone to see. Now today, let everyone see him be free.

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