I read this great piece in the Sunday NY Times about how a group of Obama supporters are changing their middle names to that of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama: Hussein. Jeff Hussein Strabone started the movement on his blog where he stated:
I don’t know about you but I am sick of Republicans pronouncing Barack Obama’s name like it was some sort of cuss word. It is a national embarassment that American political discourse stretches so far to the extremes of xenophobia and puerility that a candidate’s name can become an object of propaganda. I’m not worried about the influence of such people. Like Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Republicans will learn that Obama is a bright, shining piece of rubber, and they are the glue. It just disappoints me to no end to hear it on the news day in and day out. . . . It’s not just people named Hussein who are being insulted by the racist xenophobes among us. It’s everyone who respects human dignity and who values things like courtesy and etiquette. There’s a tradition on the left of identifying with the targets of injustice by saying, I am [those people you hate].
This is just another example of the racism and religious insensitivity that exists in the U.S. – how soon people forget that this country was founded by people fleeing religious persecution. The country is at a crossroads and the decision we make in November will have repercussions for years to come. This is not the time to be ambivalent. I am Gabriella Hussein Davi-Khorasanee. Who are you?
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