How you win matters

What’s up fam,

I went to the Obama rally that was held in Detroit and it was a great event. My homegirl Monique Perry (a fellow Detroit native I have known since high school and went to the University of Michigan with me) pumped up the crowd and encouraged folks to register and organize. Obama thanked her on national television. Let’s get em’ Mo and GO BLUE! Obama gave a relatively standard stump speech but it surely didn’t sound like one. The brother has conviction and I am happy to see him as the Democratic nominee.

However, I was grieved to learn that someone from Obama’s team “barred two Muslim women from sitting behind the podium by campaign volunteers seeking to prevent the women’s headscarves from appearing in photographs or on television with the candidate.” For context, the city of Dearborn which borders Detroit is home to the largest concentration of Arab Americans in the country so you really can’t be in Detroit and avoid the Arab-American community. And can we way hijjab instead of headscarves? Ok, thanks.

Now if Obama personally called the Detroit reporter and apologized for calling her sweetie the same day the incident happened, his staff needs to find these women’s numbers and make sure Obama himself apologizes. I say that because anybody who knows me, knows that I am all about process and how you win is very important.

I actually think that Obama should have over-indulged himself in the Arab-American community to demonstrate that he is secure enough in himself to be photographed with Arab-Americans. Doing so would not only send a strong message to Arabs across the globe that we are all deserving of respect and it would help end the post-911 classification of the Arab community as “them”. This is a moment where the Obama campaign can continue to do the right thing and not what is politically expedient. How you win matters.

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

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5 responses to “How you win matters”

  1. Garlin II says :

    I agree with you on this B; it’s quite troubling and eerily similar to Obama’s refusal to pose with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who happens to be homosexual.

    I don’t want this sort of triangulation/pandering in the name of “reaching out to Independents and Republicans” to be the indicative of a deeper conflict within Obama or his camp with regards to the core progressive values of inclusion and acceptance.

    One Love. One II.

  2. Clarence says :

    First let me point out a couple of things. 1. You say, “someone from Obama’s team,” I think this is a misleading characterization of the individual involved in telling the women they could not sit behind the stage. It was an un-paid, probably first-time, volunteer that I would venture to guess acted on her own. I have volunteered at many of his events, and have seen the volunteers that act as though they are paid staff. Your rebuttal may be that everyone at this event is essentially an extension of the campaign, which may be true in some respect, but to directly attribute this to the Senator’s views I think is a reach. 2. The Sen. himself has no problem posing with Muslim Americans (http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo/080618/photos_ts/2008_06_17t213910_450x318_us_usa_politics_obama_economy/)

    Lastly, Let’s not act as though we live in a vacuum, we all know why this volunteer acted in the manner in which they did. I don’t agree with their actions, but when you live in a racist and xenophobic country that still believes, at a 15% clip, that Sen. Obama is muslim, and is associated with some type of terrorism then you can understand where the concern comes from. The media (read: Fox News, and the conservative blogosphere) has had no problem taking anything they can get their hands on and applying their standard innuendo. They tried to insinuate that a “dap” between him in his wife might be some type of “terrorist fist jab”! are u kidding me?

    How you win does matter, but I’d argue, who wins, matters even more….

    Your resident Obama Apologist.

  3. Fatima says :

    Thanks B for the post. This situation has been the last straw for many voters in the Arab and Muslim communities. And its highly unfortunate that it happened in Michigan since it’s 1. An Arab Muslim hotspot 2. A contested state. It’s going to make it really difficult for Muslim Obama supporters like myself (and like the 2 women that were discrimnated against) to be able to mobilize our communities to vote for him come November.

    As for that yahoo photo that he took posing with that one, rather beautiful Muslim woman, well, it’s ONE photo and doesn’t make up for it.

  4. Clarence says :

    I don’t think the point of the photo was to “make up” for anything. I don’t believe it’s Obama’s policy to refuse photos with Muslim-Americans. I reject the notion that a volunteer is a direct representative of him….

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  1. Obama does the right thing : The SuperSpade - June 19, 2008

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