Jesse Jackson Jr -- New Poster Boy For Insane Asylums!

I know, I know, we don’t use that term anymore! It properly went out with burning witches and chaining mental patients. However, one look in today’s Chicago media and it’s pretty clear some story-makers get judged more harshly and more personally than others.

The bigger-than-life Stephens family running Rosemont made the front page. A lot funny-money deals out there making the boys in that family very very rich. But how do the press cover it…? A wink, a nudge, and a ya-gotta-give-it-to-them tribute to their just-barely-legal free enterprise…

Then there’s Michael Phelps becoming the winningest Olympian. Amazing athlete, yet a few years back damned for using pot. But how does the press cover him now…? Hey, who remembers the little stuff when the guy is again winning the big stuff….

Next come those weekly headline-makers down in Springfield where Illinois’s budget crises keep getting tabled by back-room dealing. How does the press cover this…? With a shrug, that’s how. Oh, not that they aren’t condemning these pols, but the reporters have be doing it for so long for so little results, not even they get all that upset anymore. Pols will be pols….

Aha! But now there’s Jesse Jackson Jr. He’s had his share of good and bad press, like his dad; but this time, this time there’s a delicious extra layer of judgmentalism to it. This time the media have him not just with his hands in the public till, but his troubled mind in a mental institution. Diagnosed with — of all the flaws most deserving our sanctimonious judgment — depression….

Will the time ever come when we — the bold, the proud, and the sanctimonious — finally stop condemning mental illness as humanity’s most unforgivable sin?? The mind is not only a terrible thing to waste, but a tragic thing to misunderstand….

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  • Being skeptical about politicians is indigenous to Chicagoans. I feel people today are much more accepting of mental illness. However, when that illness appears on the cusp of being charged with a crime, the "skeptical side" tends to dominate. And having the whole thing shrouded in silence, doesn't help. JJJ's "people", including his father, have thrown everything out in an attempt to garner sympathy for the Congressman. I have sympathy. But I have an even greater desire to wipe out the corruption in Chicago and Illinois. So I hope he heels. I really do. But after that, he has some questions to answer.

  • In reply to Jennifer:

    Jennifer ~ I can't argue with your suspicions. However, I was mainly trying to make a case for the needs of mental patients not just JJJ

  • In reply to Jack Spatafora:

    I understand. In light of the closing of all the facilities in Chicago, we need to have more people speak up. So I thank you for that. In many ways this whole association with JJJ and depression just makes it worse for those with mental illnesses, it tends to cast more doubt. I enjoy your writing by the way!

  • In reply to Jennifer:

    Thanks, Jennifer, but lets hope it helps more than hurts. Of course that's always a very individual matter,isn't it...

  • As far as mental illness itself, the state is derelict in its responsibilities.

    However, in the case of JJJr--

    --does the Second District really want a mentally ill representative?

    --another one (however I don't remember which) said something to the effect that you don't hound Kirk, ignoring that Kirk has released several videos about his condition. Supposedly, Sandi Jackson came clean with Sneed in today's S-T.

    In his case, he probably should resign and take some time off to get some treatment (even though that would place the nomination back into the hands of the ward and township committeemen).

  • I think the media has been very kind to Mr. Jackson. Other than some insensitive remarks made in some comments sections, the media has been pretty decent about this matter.

    I'm just curious to see what people are going to say if he tries to use this condition to get out of trouble (either the ethics investigation or perhaps criminal charges).

    I hope all these people chanting "depression is a real illness" will be the first people to explain depression doesn't cause or excuse criminal behavior.

  • You both make a great deal of good the JJJ drama will actually play out now depends on what he does next and especially what the Media does with what he does. Stay tuned...

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