Does Obama Have A Muslim Dilemma?


By Gary A. Johnson

The Politico.com posted an interesting article by Ben Smith on June 18th about two Muslim women who were barred by two Obama campaign volunteers from sitting behind the podium to prevent the women’s headscarves also known as hijabs from being seen on television. Is this a big deal? If so, how big a deal is this?

The Obama campaign reportedly apologized to the women, who said they felt betrayed by their treatment at the rally. Every campaign has advanced staffers who select the people who will be seen behind the candidate for the best photo opportunity to be beamed around the world. Staffers look for the correct balance of diversity to convey what the want to convey when they want to convey it. As a side note, the Obama rally was in Detroit, Michigan, which probably has the largest concentration of Arab and Muslim Americans in the country.

In this politically correct climate and given all of the myths surrounding Barack Obama and his patriotism, barring the women from the podium was not the right thing to do, but as comedian Chris Rock said in one of his comedy routines, (and I’m paraphrasing) “It ain’t right, but I understand.”

Can you imagine what the Internet and evening news headlines would have been if two women dressed in Islamic-looking headscarves were behind Barack Obama? Oh my goodness! Conservative talks show hosts, bloggers and racists would have said, “See, he is a radical Muslim terrorist!”

“This is of course not the policy of the campaign. It is offensive and counter to Obama’s commitment to bring Americans together and simply not the kind of campaign we run,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “We sincerely apologize for the behavior of these volunteers.”

Some Muslims are irritated with Obama, the self-proclaimed candidate of change. They believe that he is sending a message that being associated with Muslims in any way is a negative. This is not fair and I wish this wasn’t the case, but from a political standpoint, for him being associated with Arabs or Muslims is not in his best interest in getting elected President of the United States of America.

An Obama aide also noted that the campaign has no policy against the candidate’s appearing with women in headscarves. What do you think? Should the Obama campaign have barred the two women from sitting behind the podium? Why or why not?

Gary Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also the author of the new book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.”

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4 Responses to “Does Obama Have A Muslim Dilemma?”

  1. goodtimepolitics Says:

    Obama has lied so much that its hard to understand when he is telling the truth. http://goodtimepolitics.com/2008/06/19/another-obama-campaign-financing-lie/

  2. Mr. Bromont Says:

    It is the year 2008, a historic year, but some things just have not changed in all the times that have existed a United States of America. Biased, bigoted thinking with racism is still a societal ill of this country nation. Barack Obama has climbed a tremendous hill to get the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the U.S.A. , now he faces the mountain to get elected. I have a friend who was drafted into the Army years ago, he was in an Army unit that gave out a lapel pin that read [play the game]. As has already been pointed out about the times we are living in and the political atmospheric environment of our American politics. [Play the game] What can you or what do you expect? Mr. Gary Johnson quoted correctly from Mr. Chris Rock comedy routine when he said: “I do understand.” Thanks for allowing my two cents worth nuff said.

  3. oh well, chris rock is damn funny. i like his corny jokes and stuffs *.`

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