Say this about the Rev. Jesse Jackson: You can't accuse him of being blindly on message.
Jackson may be backing Barack Obama for president, but he's been giving his candidate a lot of grief -- tough love? -- lately. His latest critique comes in an op-ed today in The Chicago Sun-Times, in which he charges that the Democratic presidential candidates, except for -- wait for it -- John Edwards, have been doing a dismal job addressing the problems of black America.
"The Democratic candidates -- with the exception of John Edwards, who opened his campaign in New Orleans' Ninth Ward and has made addressing poverty central to his campaign -- have virtually ignored the plight of African Americans in this country," Jackson writes. "The catastrophic crisis that engulfs the African-American community goes without mention. No urban agenda is given priority."
In September, Jackson criticized Obama for not acting more forcefully in the case of black teenagers charged in the beating of a classmate in Jena, La, reportedly saying that Obama had been "acting like he's white." Jackson later backtracked from the remark. Jackson's son, US Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, has been active in Obama's campaign, recording a recent radio ad for black audiences in South Carolina.