I’m also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, “Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.” Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.
I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards–Purple Heart, Bronze Star–showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross, it didn’t have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life.
—Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama on Meet the Press
2 thoughts on “To that seven-year old Muslim-American kid”
There used to be this theory post-Kerry, that if there is a false rumor, and you do not vigorously deny it, and do not produce proof to the alternative, people will believe the rumor. The *real* truth could convince them.
The theory is horse apples. Barack Obama’s communication director denied it vigorously, he produced contrary evidence. Still people believe that Obama is a Muslim.
Perhaps the 2004 DNC was to blame, when Obama was introduced to the press as a Christian with Muslim roots. It was a muddled statement that became more bold over time. Now he has no Muslim roots.
The reason some rumors spread is because they contain some true statements. The synecdoche is not correct, but there is just no stopping it.
I think the study that is applicable is that even when people are provided with a carefully thought out report to the contrary that instead of changing their views, they will get more firmly entrenched in their lies.
For instance, I don’t recall the 2004 DNC introducing Obama as having Muslim roots. Granted all I heard at the time was his speech where he never mentions such a thing. In fact, a search reveals no such evidence. The closest you can come is that Obama had lived in Indonesia which is predominantly Muslim.
In fact the “Obama is a Muslim” meme out there is almost entirely attributable to one man, and a despicable one at that. On reading that you’ll soon face the evidence the reason some rumors spread is because of an orchestrated campaign to spread them.
Of course, Colin Powell is right, “So what if he is?” But then I suppose I shouldn’t listen to him because he is black. 😀
I do agree that the Democratic view of “confronting rumor” is crap. What has weakened the rumor the most is this cycle the issues have gotten bigger than the attacks.