Every couple of decades, it seems, Jesse Jackson's inner malevolence rears its ugly head -- usually when the reverend thinks no one is listening or that he won't be exposed.
This time he was caught by an open microphone on Fox and Friends, when Jackson whispered to a fellow guest that he'd like to cut out Barack Obama's "nuts" because of the senator's remarks on the failure of too many black men to take responsibility for their families.
Jackson's most celebrated previous unintended revelation occurred in 1984 when he referred to New York City as "Hymietown" in a conversation with Milton Coleman, a black Washington post reporter.
Having covered that campaign, I witnessed the impact: From that moment onward, despite his alleged apology, Jackson was dead to most Jews -- in the same way Michael "Cosmo Kramer" Richards is dead to most blacks after his "nigger" outburst in a Los Angeles comedy club.
Jackson offered an "apology" for his disgusting remark about Obama. "For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize," he said in a written statement. "My support for Sen. Obama's campaign is wide, deep and unequivocal."
Not only was this not a genuine apology -- it appears to have been the fault of the open microphone -- but even if it had been a genuine "I'm sorry for my crude remark," Jackson can't make amends for inadvertently revealing that his actual, private world view is fundamentally revolting.
His own son, U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., a tireless Obama supporter, saw his father's behavior for what it was and courageously made it known that he was "deeply outraged and disappointed."
"Rev. Jackson is my dad and I'll always love him," Jackson Jr. said in a statement. But, he added, "I thoroughly reject and repudiate his ugly rhetoric. He should keep hope alive and any personal attacks and insults to himself."
This was no Sister Souljah moment for Obama. In that case, in 1992, Bill Clinton chose the time and place to separate himself from the hip hop MC who had been quoted as saying, "If black people kill black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?"
Which gave Clinton an opening to respond in a speech at Jackson's Rainbow Coalition; "If you took the words 'white' and 'black' and reversed them, you might think (former KKK Grand Wizard) David Duke was giving that speech."
In the case of the Jackson castration remark, we have something else: A rough-cut, seasoned black leader -- and father of an illegitimate child himself -- jealous of a younger more polished black politician who is doing what he was never able to do in 1984 and 1988 -- forge a broad coalition that has propelled him to the Democratic Party nomination and a good shot at the White House.
Of course, as religion and philosophy professor Lee Yearly of Stanford University used to say: "Freud never sleeps."
So, deep down inside, what does Jackson want for Obama? To emasculate him - just like whites did to blacks throughout most of American history. Which is odd, coming from a man who marched with Martin Luther King and stood as a beacon for young blacks to believe they ARE somebody.
Like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the Rev. Al Sharpton, Jackson is still driven by rage while Obama - a post civil-rights-struggle politician -- is driven by hope. Those who still feel the sting of the whip in their bones find themselves baffled by a black leader of a new generation who is mastering the system that has so long oppressed his people.
Jackson says he was angry because Obama did not address his critique to all men of all races who abandon their families. But what makes Obama refreshing is that he has the audacity to speak directly to a black audience about black mens' responsibility without trying to dilute his message or make excuses.
That does not make Obama a self-hating black man. It simply demonstrates that he's got balls.