Reverend Al -- Jackie Mason's Just Old

3/16/2009 8:46 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Al Sharpton still respects his elders -- even the ones who call him a "professional racist." In fact, he blames Jackie Mason's age for the entire racially charged mess the comedian got himself into.

Even though Mason chose to attack The Rev hours after calling Obama a "Schwartza" this weekend, Sharpton was cool at LAX, clasping his hands together and saying, "At this stage in Jackie's life, we should pray for him."