Oh, damn I'm going to be all up in Barack's ass!!!
Jesse is connected enough to the plight of African America that he knows that the struggle over race in this country is not over. He knows that just because a light skinned brother with double Ivy League degrees got elected to the White House that the lives of average African Americans will not, just by definition, miraculously also improve. I have no doubt that Jesse is in intimate touch with that reality.
That said, I heard in an interview that he explained that his tears were because he so wished that the martyrs of the CRM like MLK and Medgar Evers could be here to see this moment. The commentator inferred that Jesse was saying that a black man in the White House signified that we (African America) had arrived at "The Promised Land" that King talked about in this last speech. (BTW - read my last commentary: while being elated at Barack's victory, I strongly disagree that racial struggle is over in America.)
I don't doubt that Jackson had some real emotion around Barack's election. At the same time I believe that Jesse's tears (and subsequent words) were as much out of strategic calculation as genuine emotional expression.
African America needs black leaders to pressure President Obama to bring the proverbial bacon home to us. Jesse will, no doubt, be in a prime position to contribute to that effort. He knows that. Barack knows that. Those tears were strategic in that their intent was to inoculate Jackson from criticism that is going to come when he takes on his new role pressuring President Obama for our "earmarks". Six months from now when Jesse is all over Barack, instead of questioning his motives and thinking of him as merely a "hater", we'll all go back to the vision of a tearful Jackson overcome by emotion at Obama's election.
This is a game. The new president will have to play/govern by doing so down the middle - and more than anything without hinting at preference to black people. On the other hand, now more than ever, African America needs strong advocacy on its behalf - if for no other reason that we now will have a president with the greatest opportunity to actually do something for us. Jesse knows this and is merely playing the game too! He's positioning himself to increase his power and effectiveness in that role. God bless him!