Obama: What’s in a name?

November 28, 2007 at 4:58 pm Leave a comment

This morning, WRKO-AM host Todd Fineburg addressed the question of whether Americans should consider the name of Sen. Barack Hussein Obama in making their decision to vote for him for president in 2008. The issues of Obama’s Muslim heritage, and of some Americans’ confusion of his name with Osama bin Laden, were both raised during the discussion.

This isn’t fair to Obama. People shouldn’t succumb to prejudice about Islam and Muslims, and they shouldn’t believe stereotypes about all Muslims being terrorists. As for whether Obama equals Osama, people show ignorance when they conflate a voice of tolerance with a terrorist (as one of Obama’s rivals, Republican Mitt Romney, has done).

A caller named Ian offered some history-based advice for Obama: During World War I, the British royal family changed its name to erase its Germanic origins; the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha transformed to the House of Windsor. But this shows cowardice, not courage. We should be able to see beyond a name and into the beliefs, values, and ideals behind it. That should be the case for Obama.

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Entry filed under: Barack Obama, Elections, news, Politics, President 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Peace problems in Middle East Frames of reference: YouTube, Kucinich

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