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Jesse Jackson’s anatomy of a botched pander



handshakeLast week we reported on the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s trip to Caracas, where he delivered remarks at Supreme Leader of the Bolivarian Revolution Commander President Hugo Chavez’ state funeral.  The Reverend Jackson also found time to grant an extensive interview to state-run TeleSur.  But today, I want to focus on 10 seconds of botched pandering, which open a window and give us a glimpse into progressive racethink.

Today, I’m going to break down Jackson’s “Sí Se Puede” pander, which he dropped on an unsuspecting TeleSur reporter as though flashing a Barrio Pass.  Said analysis will be given to you BuzzFeed style, sans cats, gifs, or cat-gifs.

But first, a brief explanation:

“Sí, Se Puede” (or “Yes, We Can”) became relevant as a political rallying cry in the early 1970s, in the midst of the United Farm Workers’ battles in Arizona.

Per the UFW:

The leaders offered a refrain Cesar and Dolores heard many times: The grower lobby that dominated state politics, the Legislature and governor was so powerful, these Latino leaders declared, it couldn’t be beaten. Cesar and Dolores silently listened while they explained why the fast and efforts by farm workers would be fruitless.

“No, no se puede!” (“No, no it can’t be done”), they kept repeating in Spanish. Then Dolores responded,“Si, si se puede!” (“Yes, yes, it can be done”).Dolores immediately picked up the call and made the slogan the rallying cry for the farm workers’ campaign in Arizona.

Although Mexican-American in origin and history, the phrase transformed into a sort of pan-(U.S.) Hispanic generic rallying cry, which reached its zenith during president Barack Obama’s 2008 White House run.  However, this phrase does not hold that same resonance outside of the United States.  So watch what happens when Jackson drops it in Caracas, as a sort of walk-off mic drop:

[vsw id=”Upq_-u06J8Y” source=”youtube” width=”640″ height=”360″ autoplay=”no”]
Ok, that was fast, so let me break that down.
First, Jackson shakes the journo’s hand and draws him in:
Then says “Sí Se Puede” the first time…but the journo says, “huh?”…because a uniquely Mexican-American slogan bears little to no cultural relevance in Hugo Chavez’ Venezuela.  Jackson repeats himself, ssslllooowwwllllyyyy.
Having thus flashed his Barrio Pass, Jackson lets loose a co-conspiratorial wink, a smile, and a playful chest tap. “We’re down, right, buddy?”
“Dude, I have no idea what just happened here”.
“My work here is done (drops mic).  Jackson out.”
And this is the anatomy of a botched race pander.  This is the sort of thing that is bound to happen to progressives who really believe Hispanics are a single monolith with no discernible differences, cultural or otherwise.  Whenever and whenever it happens and we catch it, we’ll be sure to clown whoever does it regardless of what side of the aisle they come from.

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About author

Jorge Bonilla

Jorge Bonilla is a Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress in Florida’s 9th Congressional District.

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Jesse Jackson’s anatomy of a botched pander

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