Obama "acting like he's white," says Jackson

Less repulsive than Al Sharpton’s odious “just because you’re our color doesn’t make you our kind” crack from February but no less transparent in its fear of usurpation by Obama’s post-racial potential, here’s the good reverend spraying poison in answering a question about the “Jena Six”:

On a statewide tour to register new voters, Jackson said South Carolina will determine “who has momentum” in the primary when it votes Jan. 29.

Jackson sharply criticized presidential hopeful and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for “acting like he’s white” in what Jackson said has been a tepid response to six black juveniles’ arrest on attempted-murder charges in Jena, La. Jackson, who also lives in Illinois, endorsed Obama in March, according to The Associated Press.

“If I were a candidate, I’d be all over Jena,” Jackson said after an hour-long speech at Columbia’s historically black Benedict College.

“Jena is a defining moment, just like Selma was a defining moment,” said the iconic civil rights figure, who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1965 Selma civil rights movement and was with King at his 1968 assassination.

Later, Jackson said he did not recall making the “acting like he’s white” comment about Obama, stressing he only wanted to point out the candidates had not seized on an opportunity to highlight the disproportionate criminal punishments black youths too often face.

What’s more obnoxious — equating Obama’s refusal to behave exactly as Jackson wants him to with racial inauthenticity, the fact that Jackson would make that rhetorical move so casually as not even to remember it afterwards, the offhand insult to whites who are interested in the Jena case and support the defendants, or the fact that he’s conveniently overlooking the fact that Obama is white on his mother’s side? Or is that the point, to remind black voters that his blood isn’t 100% “authentic”?

I’ll skip the obvious exit question about how the press would react if a white politician said Obama was “acting like he’s black” and offer this one instead: does being on Jesse Jackson’s bad side help or hurt the Messiah with the electorate going forward?

Update: Here’s David Bowie “acting black,” I guess. In fairness to Jackson, though, he’s only operating in a space the GOP is helping to create for him.