When news broke that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is “receiving intensive medical treatment at a residential treatment facility for a mood disorder,” it was a blog-buster and a subject of breaking news on traditional media websites. The innuendo ranged from “alcohol addiction” to “a mystery illness.”
No matter if he’s suffering from a “mood disorder” or “exhaustion,” as one close source to Jackson reportedly told ABC News, we should not judge or raise questions. We should be compassionate and respect this elected official.
We are a reality TV-obsessed culture so when someone invokes their right to privacy, somehow we believe it’s a cover-up. Yes, Jackson is a public figure. His role as an Illinois congressman is a job. On the other hand, his personal well-being, is just that —personal.
There is nothing to be gained by speculating. The best role we can play is to pray for the return of Jackson’s best health and his family’s strength.
We should be thankful to Jackson for his many accomplishments including advocating for jobs, addressing the persistent water and flooding issues in Ford Heights (Illinois), one of the country’s poorest suburbs, and securing over $800 million in federal funding for infrastructure, health care, education, transit, housing, community centers and other projects in his congressional district, and his tireless support to rebuild nations such as Liberia, to name a few.
There’s other news that really needs your action and attention like the conflicts in Syria and Sudan, the global AIDS crisis and the war on women and children.
Amen. –yvette caslin