A Negro, a Muslim and an anti-American. These are just some of the names Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has been called over the past few days. Is Obama in danger and are hate and fear still powerful forces in America? Bloggers from around the world react.
Al Jazeera had its crew at a small town in Ohio and here are some reactions:
Palestinian/Jordanian Hala, writing on Soul Blossom, reacts to this video as follows:
Other than WOW, I have nothing to say. I am almost sure Obama will get assassinated if he becomes president. What gets to me is that what people think is simply untrue. Oh Gosh. Stupid
people, at least know what you are talking about; he is not Muslim neither Arab. Also, being black does not mean he will oppress whites. Even though it is sarcastic to think that many years ago, whites had the right to discriminate against blacks
openly ... So there you have it, the most powerful nation in the world is still full of hatred, injustice, and racism. It was
hidden, but now it slowly is coming out. Scary.
Writing at No Longer at Ease, in Doha, Qatar, Abdurahman sheds more light on the video:
A report on the role of race (and racism) in the US election by Al Jazeera English's Casey Kaufman received more than a million views, and was written about in Washington post. Casey speaks to people attending a Sarah Palin rally and most of them have clearly racist feelings Obama, here is some of what they've said:
From an older white woman: "I'm afraid if he wins, the black [sic] will take over. He's not a Christian. This is a Christian nation! What is our country gonna end up like?"
An older white man: "When you got a Negro running for president, you need a first-stringer. He's definitely a second-stringer."
A young white man holding a child: "He seems like a sheep -- or a wolf in sheep's clothing to be honest with you. And I believe Palin -- she's filled with the Holy Spirit, and I believe she's gonna bring honesty and integrity to the White House."
An older white man: "He's related to a known terrorist, for one."
An older white man: "He is friends with a terrorist of this country!"
An older white man: "He must support terrorists! You know, uh, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. And that to me is Obama."
A young white woman: "Just the whole, Muslim thing, and everything, and everybody's still kinda -- a lot of people have forgotten about 9/11, but . . . I dunno, it's just kinda . . . a little unnerving."
A white woman: "Obama and his wife, I'm concerned that they could be anti-white. That he might hide that."
An older white woman: "I don't like the fact that he thinks us white people are trash . . . because we're not!"
Tune in to listen to people calling Obama a Muslim, terrorist and a baby killer, among other descriptive cliches. Did I hear someone yell 'Barak Mohammed Obama?'
On racism in the campaign, Malcolm Clark from the UK, who blogs at SixFifty notes after watching the final presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain:
Firstly, was McCain failing to directly and unequivocally "repudiate" (that his word for what he wanted Obama to do on several other matters) the worst excesses of the racism and threats of violence made by Republican supporters at some rallies. Instead, McCain was happy to "say, categorically, I'm proud of the people that come to our rallies." McCain should rightly take a lot of stick on that. And it is why the perversion of the McCain campaign slogan is so apt: The Hate Talk Express.
In conclusion, Eatbees from Morocco says:
Obama is pretty well immunized by now against attacks on his character, because the American people have seen him respond calmly under pressure, while McCain is the one who seems erratic and radical; and most Americans are sick of manipulation based on fear, having seen where it leads, to war and economic collapse, so they are eager to reject it on election day. It didn't work in 2006 against Congressional Democrats, and it won't work against Obama unless he does something completely out of character between now and November 4 to destroy people's trust.
If that is all McCain has to hope for, he has lost the election.
This blogpost is cross-posted from Voices Without Votes, a Global Voices project that aims to enable readers to experience American events through the eyes of ordinary citizens from outside the United States.