Follow Up: Obama Has My Vote, but He Earns My Trust.

Dear Readers,

Fresh off a New York weekend to remember. By day I was at the South Asian Journalist Association convention at CUNY, Columbia, the New York Times, and Mint. The convention was juicy, lots to chew on. It ended with intimacy, some comedy and desi sung R&B. So inspiring, a reflecting pool shining, I rejoiced to gaze. By night I was in Brooklyn homes with poets, young academics, and non-profit defectors. Mehndi, daal-chawal, eating with my hands, sleeveless spades, music for days, a welcoming inside. In between it all, there were bike-rides from Flatbush Ave to Canal Street to Prospect Park for concerts of opera and African hi-life. Brought tears to my eyes, truly, to see humans gathering to music in the golden lined green park.

June 23, 2008: Obama Has My Vote, but He Earns My Trust.

A follow up on my last post regarding Muslim women being asked to leave the backdrop of an Obama speech in Detroit:

After I posted my last blog, a desi organizer with South Asians For Obama, brought an AP article to my attention, “Barack Obama apologizes to Muslim women barred from sitting behind him at a campaign rally.” In it, Obama apologizes and says the actions of these few volunteers do not reflect the true values of his campaign. (Full text below.)

His apology was the right step. Right on point.

And, how are we to integrate this apology with the knowledge that Obama is constantly battling being called Muslim and linked to Islam? The New York Times ran this front page article on Saturday: “Bloomberg, in Florida, Blasts Rumor About Obama.” Reporter Michael Barbaro writes, “Speaking before a crucial constituency in the coming election, Jewish voters, in the pivotal state of Florida, Mr. Bloomberg said that rumors of Mr. Obama secretly being a Muslim represent “wedge politics at its worst, and we have to reject it — loudly, clearly and unequivocally.”

Look, Obama has my vote. Between him and McCain? No question. Obama’s candidacy is historic, a win in so many ways, and he deserves energetic support.

Obama Has My Vote, but He Earns My Trust.

I learn from history. I have enough hope to ask questions and thus, be truly civicly engaged at this stage of the American political project. For me, there’s no other way to go but forward with a discerning eye.

Happy Monday and stay tuned for more from your fav political poet.

Love,

rs/N

*

Barack Obama apologizes to Muslim women barred from sitting behind him at a campaign rally

Associated Press
Last update: June 19, 2008 – 8:24 PM
Click here to find out more!

DETROIT – Barack Obama personally apologized Thursday to two Detroit-area women who were barred from sitting behind him during a campaign rally earlier this week because they wore Islamic headscarves.
The Democratic presidential candidate released a statement saying he had “reached out” to the women, Shimaa Abdelfadeel and Hebba Aref. “I spoke with Ms. Abdelfadeel, and expressed my deepest apologies for the incident that occurred with volunteers at the event in Detroit,” he said. “The actions of these volunteers were unacceptable and in no way reflect any policy of my campaign. I take deepest offense to and will continue to fight against discrimination against people of any religious group or background. Our campaign is about bringing people together, and I’m grateful that Ms. Abdelfadeel accepted our apology and I hope Ms. Aref and any who were offended accept my apology as well.”
Aides said Obama left a message for Aref.
Aref said Wednesday that Obama campaign volunteers had invited them to sit behind the podium during a rally Monday for the Illinois senator at Joe Louis Arena. But she said they were told that women wearing hijabs, the traditional Muslim head scarves, couldn’t sit behind the podium — and in front of TV cameras.
–AP
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One thought on “Follow Up: Obama Has My Vote, but He Earns My Trust.

  1. Nasir Jamal says:

    I wonder if he will make a good president. I would also wonder if he will become president at all.

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