Do Black Activists Want a Black President?

"There is a generational rift about exposure, experience and access," he added. "The kids who grew up during the civil rights movement are now adults, integrated and media savvy. Jackson speaks in a way that reflects a time when blacks got little attention from the mainstream media. Obama speaks in a way that reflects his being accustomed to being heard in the white community."

Jackson was quick to apologize even before the clip of his comment aired on Fox, but he was equally quick to explain himself and bring Obama to task for "talking down" to the black community and black men in particular.

"For any harm or hurt that this hot mic private conversation may have caused, I apologize," he said. "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."

According to Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist and ABC News consultant, the argument over whether African-Americans themselves or the government is responsible for fixing problems affecting the black community is moot.

"What was lost in Rev. Jackson's crude castration reference," she said, "was an important point about the need to have a conversation about both black fathers' moral responsibility and the importance government intervention. You can't have one without the other."

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