Thank you, Campbell Brown

October 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm (pop culture, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

A video was splashed all over the place over the weekend of a crazy-haired woman at a McCain rally saying that she doesn’t trust Barack Obama because he’s an “Arab”.

John McCain was quick to say “no no, he’s a good American”, (although, really, what else was he going to say, he knew there were cameras there), but the ickier, stickier issues lie beneath that:  “No, he’s not Arab, he’s a good man” is the same as saying “No, he certainly is not Republican, he’s smart!”  And maybe now is not the time to tackle this, because we want our boy to win, but why on earth does Arab or Muslim mean BAD?  We want the correct information out there, surely, but as Campbell Brown said today at CNN, So What if Obama were a Muslim or an Arab?

When did that become a disqualifier for higher office in our country? When did Arab and Muslim become dirty words? The equivalent of dishonorable or radical?

Whenever this gets raised, the implication is that there is something wrong with being an Arab-American or a Muslim. And the media is complicit here, too.

We’ve all been too quick to accept the idea that calling someone Muslim is a slur.

It seems like an obvious thing to state anywhere, really, which is why I was pleasantly surprised that CNN actually had its finger on the pulse for once.  So yay Campbell!

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1 Comment

  1. Charles said,

    I agree, Emily. But part of the problem with the issue is that people who are claiming that Obama is a Muslim intend it as a slur and to a certain retarded group of people it would be a disqualifying characteristic.

    If you respond “Obama isn’t a Muslim … but so what if he was?,” it sounds like you are hedging on the former point. And to the people who think that being a Muslim is a bad thing, you are convincing them that he is a Muslim. That said, contrasting Arab with ‘decent’? That’s just fucked.

    I hate the pandering that this Catch-22 requires, though McCain is probably the only person in a position to make the right argument without it backfiring.

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