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Jul 09th
Home Columns The Way I See It What’s In A Name?
What’s In A Name? PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - The Way I See It
Saturday, 05 April 2008 02:46

This follow-up of my recent article on Senator Barack Obama’s dilemma concerning his relationship with his pastor Reverend Wright, should dispel any doubts of my continued support for Senator Hillary Clinton. Readers who knew that I voted for her during this year’s Texas Democratic primary elections are puzzled if I’m still for her when I supposedly put up a so-called “passionate apologia” for Mr. Obama.


      I’m for her until the nomination fight gets settled because I believe she has served longer the people’s causes for which the Democratic Party stands for. But if Senator Obama gets nominated, why not for him, too? If I were a boy now, he’s the guy I would like to become when I grow up. He’s popular with the girls, brilliant, steady, and someone who will be an iconic example for all Americans, White, Black, and in-between.  How more all-American can you get?

      Actually, my last article just read like it was trying to defend him.  In truth, it was more of a response to the frightening tendency nowadays of demonizing Senator Obama for no other reason than that he is running for President; he’s not the typical white-establishment candidate; and he carries a name not listed in the Christian almanac. When I received probably six e-mail postings in one day of Pat Buchanan’s rant, A Brief for Whitey , I thought I should share my breakdown of Mr. Obama’s position on the disputed issue.

     Pat Buchanan, of course, is the famous one-time Republican candidate for President, a speech writer of President Richard Nixon, and formerly CNN, and now MSNBC commentator.

My last article just read like it was trying to defend Mr. Obama.  It was more of a response to the frightening tendency nowadays of demonizing Senator Obama for no other reason than that he is running for President.

     All that I wanted to show in discussing Mr. Obama’s predicament vis-à-vis his pastor is to expose Mr. Buchanan as tricky and narrow-minded when he demanded to know why Senator Obama did not just walk-out when Reverend Wright was calling for “God damn America.”  Without expanding my own take for Mr. Obama’s reasons to stay put, let me just say that the immigrant communities, more especially the Filipino-Americans, have been bombarded with an alarming rate of vicious materials against him which are doubtless calculated to turn their prejudices into active resistance against the first credible non-white candidate for President.

       Whoever started this campaign must have done their home work well. They plumbed all the way down to the bottom in understanding the psyche and insecurities of the minorities. They learned that all that’s needed to drive Filipino-Americans, for example, against Senator Obama is to incite their fear of the “black menace” of public welfare and perceived Black indolence. Maybe the blacks should have their own Dr. Jose Rizal who explained in his own time the reasons for the Indolence of the Filipinos. Dr. Martin Luther King was so preoccupied with his human rights agenda that he never had a chance to tackle the other social problems of his people before he died.

        And the antipathy of the non-black minorities is even aggravated by insinuations that Mr. Obama is a Muslim. They have become so frightened enough to be ringing bells of alarm to alert their friends throughout the country of an impending disaster if he gets elected President. Then, their worst nightmare of Black domination will come true.

      This predisposition to go along with the typically White-Supremacist ideas of Pat Buchanan can easily be culled from the e-mail traffic within the Filipino-American community. They seem to approve of Buchanan’s social philosophy that the best thing that happened to Afro-Americans was when they were brought to the Western world as slaves. He claimed: It was here that 600,000 Black people, brought from Africa in slave ships, grew into a community of 40 million, were introduced to Christian salvation, and reached the greatest levels of freedom and prosperity blacks have ever known.

      I have yet to hear of a decent, highly educated, and supposedly Christian, and a devoted practicing Catholic at that, public figure, who has been so misguided, morally bankrupted, and perhaps mentally troubled, as Mr. Buchanan.  To say that a person brought to slavery is better off than allowing him to grow old in semi-savage stage or primitive life in Africa is unheard of. Yet, this rubbish has apparently found a fertile ground in the minds and hearts of most Filipino Americans. Such acceptance is a regrettable validation of the long-held suspicion that when it comes to looking down on anyone they believe, at least in their imagination, is below their level, the Filipinos are not behind, but up in the front pew, among other church-going and God-fearing Christians, who are of the same mind.

Aspiring Archie Bunkers are enjoying making fun of Mr. Obama’s  name, and sowing fear of a second coming of a Hussein, in the person of Senator Obama, after the Americans pushed the first one down from power in Iraq.

      It is interesting why his message of white supremacy and cultural inferiority of the non-whites is resonating with the minorities when they don’t even look like Mr. Buchanan, among other curious questions that maybe asked.

      Aspiring Archie Bunkers in our midst are even enjoying making fun of  Mr. Obama’s  name, and sowing fear of a second coming of a Hussein, in the person of Senator Obama, after the Americans pushed the first one down from power in Iraq. Some even give significance, uttered almost under their breath, in hushed and fearful timbre, of the alleged sinister implication for Mr. Obama not using openly his middle name.  And in a triumphant gotcha tone worthy of a fact finder who has just stumbled upon a hidden truth so vital to national security, he yells patriotically and decisively, that his middle name is actually Hussseeeiiiinnn!

     These people who are afraid of Mr. Obama’s middle name are no jokers in real life. They are highly learned and could have done better to help their fellow men if only they were not too sophisticated for their own good. But by exceeding their own measure of themselves, they judge people by the book’s cover, by the skin’s color, or by the name’s sound.

      If only they paused and reviewed first their own god-given personal attributes, they would have been more realistically open-minded.  They would not be taking against other people, characteristics they have not asked or bargained for, like being a gay, a Black, born of a Muslim father, or given a Muslim name, or belonging to a country where they were only accidentally born, like what polls say some Filipinos think.  (

Editor's Note: The author is a practicing lawyer in Houston, Texas, and is licensed also to practice law in Illinois. He is a community leader, who presently heads the Texas chapter of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations. He is one of the pillars also of the Filipino-American Community of South Texas.

Last Updated on Saturday, 05 April 2008 03:09

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You have to accentuate the positive,eliminate the negative,and latch on to the affirmative.Don't mess with "Mr. In-between".~Louis Armstrong