One sign of Obama's verbal virtuosity was his equating a passing comment by his grandmother -- "a typical white person," he says -- with an organized campaign of public vilification of America in general and white America in particular, by Jeremiah Wright.
Since all things are the same, except for the differences, and different except for the similarities, it is always possible to make things look similar verbally, however different they are in the real world.
Among the many desperate gambits by defenders of Senator Obama and Jeremiah Wright is to say that Wright's words have a "resonance" in the black community.
There was a time when the Ku Klux Klan's words had a resonance among whites, not only in the South but in other states. Some people joined the KKK in order to advance their political careers. Did that make it OK? Is it all just a matter of whose ox is gored?
While many whites may be annoyed by Jeremiah Wright's words, a year from now most of them will probably have forgotten about him. But many blacks who absorb his toxic message can still be paying for it, big-time, for decades to come.
Why should young blacks be expected to work to meet educational standards, or even behavioral standards, if they believe the message that all their problems are caused by whites, that the deck is stacked against them? That is ultimately a message of hopelessness, however much audacity it may have.