Monday, August 25, 2008

What if?

Newsweek ran an article entitled "So What If He Were Muslim?", which pointed out the religious bias and prejudice that runs through, as this article concentrates on, the political arena. The article also pointed out briefly the political run of Mitt Romney, a Mormon, and the fact that there hasn't been a Roman Catholic in the White House since JFK. So, religious bias has been muddying the political waters long before this election, yet not as strongly as today.

So many people have tried very hard to color Barack Obama with the Muslim-laden paint brush from the very beginning of his political run, based on mass emails, and opinions of my DH's co-workers, from what he tells me, although I doubt his workplace is of the exception.

"I'm not votin' for no Muslim!" seems to be the daily rally cry in the break room, when it has been made very clear that Obama is not a Muslim (as if that should really matter). And there is nothing one can say to these people to sway their opinion, which makes me wonder what is the real issue here.

When I read the above mentioned article, I started thinking, "What if Barack Obama's name was 'John Smith', and he was a long time Protestant, who just happened to have a father who wasn't a Caucasian...a black man?"

What if 9/11 never happened? What if Muslims weren't thought of as "Enemy No.1" by many as the Japanese were after Pearl Harbor?

What if no one could label Barack Obama with anything besides the obvious?

I think the real issue would come to light, and I wonder how many would be as eager to voice their racial prejudice as easily as their religious/cultural prejudice? I wonder what the mass e-mails would look like then?

I bet if you rip off the label of the Muslim paint can, you will find the original label underneath.

It's all racism, no matter how one paints it.

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