This morning I was woken up from a dream where President Obama was lecturing America on terror, religion, and why we need to realize we’re all on a giant carbon ball orbiting through space. Then I realized I fell asleep with CNN on like the old man I am, and that Obama actually gave that speech. Of course, his critics said he doesn’t love America because he seems to regularly criticize it, but those people are idiots, which is a claim I’m confident to make because one of “those people” was Rudy Giuliani (if his name is spelled wrong, I don’t care. Not worth the time Googling). Nevertheless, it reminded me of when people were saying Obama was a secret Muslim, a topic I wrote an Op-Ed about for the Daily Record back in 2008. It also happens to be Chapter 10 of my first book, Life On a Treadmill: The Collected Works of a Successful Failure. You can read it below.
Salaam-Alaikum, fellow citizen. Surely by now you’ve received a strange email or seen a segment on the news entertaining the idea that Barack Obama might be a closet Muslim. According to these speculators, he is not your typical run-of-the-mill Muslim, but a radical one with secret plans of jihad for every American dumb enough to vote for him. To some, that is your typical Muslim; and with a name like Barack Hussein Obama he must be a terrorist in politician’s clothing.
All right, let us return from Lalaland, for that is the only place where basic reasoning and common sense can be suspended in order to believe such a nonsensical thing. The fact that mainstream news outlets are perpetuating such asinine rumors—the kind started up by some hillbilly with a Jesus fish and a terrorist hunting permit on the back of his truck—is quite sickening. Uneducated, hypocritical bigots are a segment of American society, which has been holding us back for too long.
Obama has consistently said he is Christian, but once news broke that he went to an all-black church with an out-spoken and bitter minister, Obama’s religious ties once again worked against him. Of course, it was the media who was behind this religious undoing. The clip of Rev. Wright, which played for weeks, was taken so far out of context that it baffles me as to why the other news networks decided to play it on a continuous loop.
It has gotten to the point where the major news channels are on the same level as The Daily Show, cutting and editing video in order to manipulate it for their own ulterior reasons. The Daily Show admits to this, but they are a comedy show with the sole purpose of entertaining rather than informing. They are not a credible journalistic entity that has responsibilities to the American people—yet they’ve seemed to be the most responsible; the drunk guy taking care of the shit-faced one.
In this Bushy time period, it is fitting that a comedy show is far more credible than any of the news channels. And if you think editing a video to take it out context isn’t that grave of an offense, then you are underestimating the value of context. A determined video editor could make Hitler look like Mother Teresa while making Martin Luther King look like Hitler.
Nevertheless, after the first clip ran non-stop across televisions nationwide, Rev. Wright made comments that displayed a kind of anger that is responsible for the blind hatred and racial intolerance that has forever stained American history. And while blacks have a right to be angry about America’s past they, along with whites, must learn from that pitiful period in our existence. We must not dwell on the actions of those who are not us. Instead, we should not tolerate racial intolerance. This is the time to put an end to unjustified and irrational disdain for other people.
What’s more, the media’s irresponsibility has worsened as ratings and page views have become more important than the truth. This irresponsibility is partially to blame for unwarranted biases that continue to plague social relations in our country. However, we are also at fault. We have allowed the media to be liberal when it pays to be liberal and conservative when it pays to be conservative.
The most troubling thing about our media’s perpetuation of rumors rather than fact is what is says about our society. As harebrained networks run segments on Obama secretly being a Muslim, it subtly hints to the American public that Muslims are bad people, out for blood.
Is it really a big deal if he were Muslim? Sure, if he were keeping it a secret, paranoid speculation would arise that he is an undercover al-Qaeda operative, sent to infiltrate the White House. What we must realize, though, is that the radical Muslims are only a small portion of the Islamic population, and that this country was founded on the idea of spiritual independence not spiritual tyranny. To stir up a frenzy over the possibility of a leading presidential candidate being Muslim goes to show how intolerant our country has become of ideologies which do not reflect the status quo. If Obama really were Muslim he would have no choice but to hide it. Hell, the fact that being called a Muslim or a Marxist can have career-damaging effects further illustrates how misinformed we are.
We must stop being ignorant to our own ignorance. By allowing the media to spread misinformation in the form of idiocy and bigotry, simply because it turns a profit, we are in essence, allowing our minds to be polluted with garbage. To be narrow-minded in a world where nothing is certain is cognitive suicide, and only serious sickos believe in killing themselves for irrational causes