Obama: Still not an Arab

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October 28, 2008 @ 21:46 UTC

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Countries:
Jordan
Candidates:
Barack Obama
Issues:
Civil Rights & Ethnicity, Media & Internet
 

Search queriesAfter more than 20 months on the campaign trail, dozens of interviews, thousands of headlines, it seems some people still aren't sure whether Obama is “an Arab” or not. He is not.

Looking at the statistics for visitors to Voices without Votes we can see that a large number of readers are coming to us via search engines with queries like “obama arab”, “is obama an arab” or “obama is arab”. In case you are one them, please spend more than a few minutes on this website. Shoe fetish people, you're in the wrong place.

On South Asian blog Desicritics.com, Aditi Nadkarni based in Ohio, writes a tremendous post on the racism surrounding the McCain/Palin campaign, including the fervent use of Obama's middle name “Hussein” to hint at some form of Arab or terrorist connection.

The “Hussein” paranoia has led some very Christian people to forget how many times the word “Barack” appears in the bible. The military “terrorist fighting” Americans in their patriotic zeal, have also forgotten that an Arabic first name did not stop the likes of Omar Nelson Bradley from being one of the main U.S. Army field commanders during World War II all those years ago. Now, while it is very disturbing that people would suddenly grab at a middle name to establish Arab ancestry and “terrorist inclinations”, what bothers me even more is that nobody, not the media, not the candidates, not even the usually outspoken members of the blogosphere have the gumption to at least try and dissociate the mere “Arab” epithet from “terrorist”.

England for Obama suggests there should be a citizenship test for the entire planet that requires everyone to learn a bit of history and world culture: “Lessons in Humanity”…

That way, no one would come up with the illogical association made not only by that “crazy lady” (as SNL calls her) at a McCain rally but implied by McCain himself, to wit: “Arab = Muslim = Terrorist.”

What many Americans don’t realise is that there are Arabs of many faiths, including Christians.

Jordanian blogger, Naseem Tarawnah on Black Iris, thinks “race has never played this big a factor in a US election” and questions the scientific accuracy of the so-called Bradley-effect the media keep discussing in spite of Obama's leads in the polls.

The blogger himself, however, is not entirely sold on Obama as a candidate.

My reluctance to get on the Obama bandwagon has mostly been due to the fact that he has this seemingly cult-like following. He is seen as this messiah of change, and is described and depicted as almost prophet-like. I have a problem with anyone who puts that much faith in a single politician, especially an American president. If the on-going history of America has shown the world anything, it’s that change (in the positive sense of the word) is not a big factor in a US presidency. So I am constantly astonished by any Arab who is entranced by Obama and have to constantly remind myself that most of the fan base in this part of the world comes from a particular more-westernized demographic and have been swallowed up by the wave of US election culture that is dominated by Obama. Everyone is entitled to their own perceptions but I remain realistic to the degree of change that is expected with either candidate in the Oval Office.

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  • 3 comments

    1. ZT Says:

      For a post supposedly fighting smears, this post does a good job of using its own.

      “Aditi Lamba based in Ohio, writes a tremendous post on the racism surrounding the McCain/Palin campaign, including the fervent use of Obama’s middle name “Hussein” to hint at some form of Arab or terrorist connection.”

      Feverent use? Show me a McCain campaign commercial that tries to make the connection.

      In fact, even before repudiating the statement he was an Arab recently, McCain apologized for a speaker at one of his events who kept refering to Obama’s middle name.

    2. Solana Larsen Says:

      OK, I admit it was frivolous of me to use the word “fervent”. It is absolutely true that McCain has reacted when presenters at rallies have referred to Obama in this way. But honestly, I think these events are such scripted affairs that the Campaign could easily have put an end to this sort of speech if they really wanted to avoid it. Presumably they know who they’re inviting…?


      Examples

      “For the second time in three days, the speaker at a McCain campaign rally used Barack Obama’s middle name “Hussein” in a demeaning fashion to ignite the crowd.”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/08/another-mccain-palin-intr_n_132996.html

      And earlier: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaOYtxd-dXE

      And maybe I was also influenced by having read stuff like this…

      http://www.nypost.com/seven/10222008/news/politics/gops_shock_terror_attack_134696.htm

    3. Bob Elder Says:

      I voted for McCain/Palin–not because they are real Americans, or because Barrack Obama is an Arab (actually his lineage through his fathers side can be traced to present day Iran–which makes his forefathers more than likely Shia Muslims—most [~90%] Arabs are Sunni–which is far more significant in that part of the world than being Arab, African, or Persian [actual Iranians consider themselves Persian]) or Irish (his mothers ancestors came from Ireland). I personally am Scotch-Irish and native American(Cherokee) on my fathers side, and Scandinavian (Viking–mother’s maiden name Thurston–or Thor-Stone in old Norwegian) and native American–but your family origins, religious beliefs, relatives political affiliation is meaningless–it’s all about you–and YOUR BELIEFS. I didn’t vote for Obama–because I am in the Navy==and suffered through 8 years of an individual that didn’t have a clue about the military or what military leadership is all about. John McCain embodies what Military Leadership is all about, has lived it—even far deeper than most present day military leaders–and his reputation as a politician is non-partisan—‘fix the problem’—and don’t line up against your enemy (i.e.Rep.vs Dem.).
      Voting should have nothing to do with race or religion. I grew up in the south and know what prejudice is—and how Blacks suffered. What people don’t understand is that it is not slavery, the Civil War, or what happened after the Civil War. People don’t know-because Yankee history covers it up. In the period fm 1865-1872 all southern states elected black politician to the local, state and even federal legislatures. Blacks had all the privileges that white southerners had and there were no Jim Crow laws. They voted, went to school and shopped and lived with whites—in most communities fully integrated. Progress was swift and the healing fm the stench of the sinful, peculiar institution was ongoing. Another statistic that the liberal education elite do not teach is that until around 1815 there were more white slaves than blacks. Most were in servitude until their death and this ‘slave trade’ did not stop until the great British Christian leader, William Wilburforce, got the British parliament to outlaw slavery—in the white’s case it was affectionately referred to as debtors servitude. There were also Blacks across the South that were slave owners and actually fought for the Confederacy—but all these facts do not fit into the Yankee history and the desire to continue to punish the south for their sins. The real cause of the long lasting pain that Blacks across the South—and the entire country for that matter—have suffered is the creation of the KKK. Their terrorist campaign that began with Nathan Bedford in the early 1870’s and remains active to this day (although mostly a few old men burning a cross now and then) created the oppressive situation for Blacks that was not corrected until Martin Luther King peaceful demonstration against segregation and oppression woke this country up. My father grew up in the depression in the south, son of a Methodist preacher, and was taught that it was sinful to be prejudice. I witnessed it up through the sixties. I can distinctly remember riding to school in Hoboken, Georgia and seeing all the Black children standing by the side of the road in front of their shanties and kids on the bus yelling disgusting nicknames at them.
      All that said, remember I am still in the Navy—so my new Commander in Chief will be Barrack Obama—starting Tuesday morning. I am sworn to uphold the constitution and obey the orders of those appointed over me—and that is what I will do to the fullest extent of my ability. I am very proud of him and he is a credit to his race for what he has achieved and I will work to carry out his orders and policy. I truly hope and pray that he will succeed; otherwise this country will be vulnerable to attack from those who hate our lifestyle, our freedom, and everything we stand for. My advice to all the bloggers who keep trying to figure out his heritage==quit it—go get a job—if you can’t find a job volunteer somewhere where you can do some good, or join the Army—they are still hiring (Navy has cut back—we are overmanned). Let’s all embrace the change and support the new President—the outgoing President has set the bar high for the rest of us in showing support above and beyond the call. God Bless America.

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