By Harvey Tobkes

Barack Obama delivered a masterful escape from quicksand speaking from his heart; he put all his cards on the table, no lies. No equivocating.


It will be replayed as one of the best speeches in political history, especially in view of the controversy surrounding his relationship with his pastor, which could have cost him the presidency, if not his career.

However, one petty annoyance pops into my brain. He said Rev. Wright was a man who experienced virulent white racism in the fifties and sixties, and intimated that this was the cause of Wright’s “anger.”

The word “anger.” in this case is a euphemism. Why? Because there is a difference between anger and “hatred.” If you provoke a person he will surely become angry. But “hatred” is wrong, self-destructive and over-the-top.

Somewhere in between anger and hatred there is prejudice (or false perceptions) and that was what Barack’s grandmother was feeling when she said she feared black men who passed her in the street.

Obama said that priests, rabbis and pastors sometimes say things that offend the congregation, but that shouldn’t prevent the parishioners from returning the following week.

Senator Obama, if I were listening to a sermon and heard the words, “No no, no, not God Bless America…God DAMN America!” I don’t know what I would do. Leave, boo, throw eggs, or punch that s.o.b. out for using his pulpit to curse my country. Return next week? Return never, is more like it!

I haven’t decided who I’m going to vote for in November, but I know one thing, love him or not, there are very few others in any walk of life that could have spoken to the American voters as Barack Obama did today.

Someone once said its not the words that are delivered that make a man great, but rather his delivery on the words. Are you politicians listening?

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