The Drudge Report is teasing an O’Reilly segment that has Jesse Jackson once again playing himself like only Jesse can. Audio obtained by FOX apparently has Jackson saying he would like to “cut Obama’s nuts out”. It’s Drudge though, so the tease might be misleading, except that Jackson himself has said:

Jackson Statement: For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize. My support for Senator Obama’s campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal. I cherish this redemptive and historical moment.

My appeal was for the moral content of his message to not only deal with the personal and moral responsibility of black males, but to deal with the collective moral responsibility of government and the public policy which would be a corrective action for the lack of good choices that often led to their irresponsibility.

That was the context of my private conversation and it does not reflect any disparagement on my part for the historic event in which we are involved or my pride in Senator Barack Obama, who is leading it, whom I have supported by crisscrossing this nation in every level of media and audience from the beginning in absolute terms.

Andrew Sullivan is already referring to this as “the kind of electoral gift a politician dreams of”. I can only speak for myself, but I’m getting really sick and tired of the celebratory response of some white Obama supporters whenever Obama further distances himself (or is forced to distance himself) from prominent black figures, and by extension the black community. It’s not that any one incident in and of itself doesn’t make sense, but the larger understanding of what his candidacy means in racial terms seems to be that his proximity to us as a people is a problem. And that in itself says more about how this country sees black folks than any speech Obama could ever give. That kind of white approval–based on his distance from established black leaders–only goes so far. And if Obama is going to be president, he needs to be more than America’s Favorite Negro because he stands up to the ones America loves to hate. 

But Jesse, for real, didn’t you learn your lesson about “private conversations” after Hymietown?


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