Sunday, June 29, 2008

New Middle Name for Now

From this day forth, until the election is over, I have added a middle name: Hussein. I am sick to death of the racism, sexism, and religious bigotry, all of which is coming to the surface in this election. I think the fact that true feelings are being expressed is good. We don't change until we face what needs to be changed. But I must weigh in, along with the bigots.

Barack Hussein Obama looks like my sons. That is the first reason I decided to vote for him. But being a thinking person, I knew I must read and look into who he is. There are plenty of bad people in the world that look like my sons! I read both his books. I searched the internet for articles about him from the right and the left points of view. I do not discount people from the right, even though I mostly view the world from the left.  I read about his mother, a woman who had her mixed son around the same time I had my mixed sons, when segregation was still the law of the land. 

More than just a gut feeling that I am looking at my son emerged. Senator Obama is intelligent, well read, well spoken, a person who believes in mediation. He doesn't discount people just because they don't agree with him. I was horrified when Bush won the second term and he said, "Now I have a mandate. I don't have to listen to anyone." That meant I don't count in his world, since I disagree with him on many things. I wrote him a letter a day for a year expressing the point that I, too, am American and it is his job to listen to all of us, not just those who agree. This President in the White House refused to represent any part of me. That isn't the ideal of America I grew up to love. 

So I feel it is time we have someone in the White House who understands compromise, that all must be included in some way or another, who is a learning, curious and questioning type of person. He understands that no one point of view always wins. We must give and take to accommodate the differences that make up our country. I know first hand from my family. It is a lot of work to understand our difference.

The group of folks who make fun of Senator Obama's name gleaned from his father, who insist on spreading lies about what religion he practices, who insist on demonizing Islam in general, and who confuse the people who are terrorists, who happen to be Muslim, as all of the Islamic community. There are fanatics who call themselves Christian, who in the name of religion thought it was okay to shoot a doctor because he provided abortions for women who needed them. Whether you agree with abortion or not, "Thou shalt not kill," is written in every religion. But fanatics find excuses to do all manner of immoral things to justify their behavior. I have a branch of my family that is Muslim, another branch is Christian, another branch is Jewish, another branch is Buddhist, and some declare no religion. No one in my family are terrorists, but our diversity is American. 

So, I declare a middle name Hussein. I like that Barrack Obama has running through his veins blood from many continents. Like my family, it is hard to go to war some where without discovering a relative. It changes ones perspective if you think about the world in that way. Some times bad guys force you to act, but we've all had a relation who was out of control and the family had to take a stand. The twin towers was one of those times. But we were side tracked. Maybe with a Barrack Hussein Obama in the White House we can hold the real culprits accountable. At least, that is my bet, and thus my vote. So call me Shirley Hussein A. Blair Keller.