Does 911 Help Barack Obama

Though some will think this question is in poor taste I think it is an interesting one.

Many were very surprised when the two leading contenders for the United States Democratic Party nomination for President turned out to be a white woman and a black man. Until then conventional wisdom was that the United States was not ready for a black, or a female, President.

Hilary Clinton’s case is unique, as the wife of a former President, but of course there are other factors at play there as well.

In the case of Obama, while racism may not be as rampant in the United States as it once was, presidential elections can be won by very narrow margins and it would only take a small percentage of voters who would never vote for a black candidate to defeat him. Yet, he may become the Democratic nominee.

Part of the reason for that may be that the racism dynamic in the United States appears to be changing. Racism, though expressed in hate, is based on fear. Traditional racism in the United States was born with the end of slavery as white men began to fear free black men - afraid they would seek revenge for slavery, defile their women and take their jobs. It may have been irrational but it was used by many to their own personal and political advantage and justified by religion.

With 911, or more precisely, the response of the United States government to 911, the racism dynamic was changed. It is no longer white vs black but Christianity vs Islam. It may be just as irrational but it is just as real.

Indeed those using racism to attack Obama are not doing it on the basis of his blackness but are trying to label him as a Muslim. They put undue emphasis on his middle name, “Hussein”, which is of Arab origin and by inference Muslim. As well they refer to his alleged “Muslim father”, although Biography.com states “His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was born of Luo ethnicity in Nyanza Province, Kenya. He grew up herding goats with his own father, who was a domestic servant to the British. Although reared among Muslims, Obama, Sr., became an atheist at some point.”

But the Muslim labeling appears not to be having any significant effect on voters and his blackness appears to be seen as an asset rather than a liability.

If Barack Obama is elected President it will be on his own merits and his ability to reach the minds and souls of the American people with his message of change, but it may very well have been made possible by the changing dynamic of racism in the United States

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