Sunday, July 06, 2008

Obama as a scary Muslim

Obama preaching at Apostolic Church of God, Chicago. June 15, 2008. Photo: Alex Brandon/AP

Lately I've noticed one of the most popular search threads that draws people to this blog is "why not to vote for Obama". People who go to the link find a snark post about the phony story that the Democratic candidate is a Muslim.

A diary at Dailykos gave me a more nuanced idea of how the "Obama is a Muslim" rumor works. DeanDemocrat describes a tiresome coworker he was stuck with for several years. The guy was a rightwinger and a completely unimaginative bore. But DeanDemocrat worked on the guy. And he made some progress in 2004:

The Democrats were getting some serious press coverage with their many many debates and at one point for some reason Al Sharpton was in the news. I think it was because he criticized a speech Bill Cosby gave about Blacks and more specifically inner city youth. And if I am remembering correctly Sharpton was pissed. Ed of course agreed with Bill Cosby, and made a racist remark about Al Sharpton. I countered with something about how electing a black President might help knock down some of the barriers young blacks see standing between them and being successful.

It was then Ed said something interesting. He said and I quote "I would vote for someone like Bill Cosby in a heart beat. But never Al Sharpton." that made me think Ed wasn't racist he was just really really conservative and Sharpton rubbed him the wrong way.

Not too long after, Ed quit and DeanDemocrat didn’t have to think about him until he ran into him recently. Curious, he raised the topic of Obama's Father's Day speech in which he held up the responsibility African America adults should take for young Blacks in the inner city, much as Bill Cosby had. Ed agreed that Obama had said something he could agree with.

Called Obama "A classy guy, smart, charming, a once in a lifetime candidate." He said he'd never seen a politician who so plainly stood out as an obvious leader. He even said he'd make a good President. Reminded him of Bill Cosby.

... So I asked if he was going to vote for Obama. He said no. I asked why. He said 'I heard he's a Muslim.'

... And thats when I realized Ed isn't simply a moron. He is a racist. And a cowardly one at that. Fully aware that racial discrimination is no longer acceptable in polite society he's instead clinging to the Muslim rumors as nothing more than an excuse. He could find no reason not to vote for the Black guy so he invented one. As if not voting for someone because they're Muslim is somehow more acceptable than not voting for someone because they're Black.

This story made me wonder about the people who search for "why not to vote for Obama." Are they people who can't say, to others or even to themselves, that they won't vote for the scary Black man, who are looking for cover? I suspect some of them are.

Think where that leaves U.S. Muslims.

1 comment:

Nell said...

Think where that leaves U.S. Muslims.

And yet: Rep. Keith Ellison.

Just so I don't jump off a bridge...