Obama has been making this point — and stirring controversy — since he was a candidate in 2008. Jesse Jackson Sr. was incensed by what he saw as Obama’s “talking down to black people,” yet it was Jackson who was criticized. Many in the black community believed that Obama’s chastisements were necessary to make himself politically palatable to white voters.To be fair, Jackson was criticized because he added — with a brusque cutting gesture — "I want to cut his nuts out." The metaphor of brutal violence made it easy to discount Jackson's message at the time.
The president’s most recent such remarks — there were only a few Sunday, but they were widely reported — triggered a debate on blogs and social media that, in part, asked why Obama continued his lecturing.
May 22, 2013
Writes Vanessa Williams in The Washington Post.