11/27/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

A Response to the Anti-Obama Message of Fear

My niece, Ryan Beattie Scrimger, a 30-something actress and soon-to-be mother in San Diego, received a fear-laden e-mail about Barak Obama from a friend. It took the tried, but untrue line that "we don't know this man and have reason to fear him." It is too common a dirty trick, but it is making waves with some voters.

My niece took on the message of fear, as opposed to trying to argue a war of information in the face of "non-facts." I think she did so beautifully, persuasively, going right to the heart of the fear. With her permission, I have reproduced both her response and the original message of fear, because I think she has touched this issue in a deep and humane way. I have removed the sender's full name and e-mail address to respect her privacy. Ryan's reply may help others deal with this issue. - Gordon Adams

Ryan's response:


Loved hearing from you on my voice mail. I'm still fat and barefoot... soooo excited to meet this little squirming body who keeps me up at night!

I am truly concerned that you are reading the messages like the one you sent me below and buying into the fear that it is propagating. Take a hard look at what kind of REAL information it is sending. Fear over whether or not this candidate is capable of making judgments, communicating with advisers or other world leaders and interested in the well being of his nation with a sound education? Or whether this message is focusing on his religion (what do you care what religion he is - which is Christian, by the way, not Muslim, but what if he was Muslim? What is wrong with a young American Muslim boy thinking he could grow up to be the President of the US? Don't you want MaryJane to believe she can be anything she wants to be?) or some trumped up witch hunt of who he MIGHT have known during the course of his life... are you sure you've always associated with the most perfect citizens?

Kathy. What we need is someone to run this country with a cool head, an interest in betterment and who wants a safe and growing country in a healthy globe. Think about the people endorsing Obama: Oprah, Colin Powell, Warren Buffet, National Organization of Women (NOW), just off the top of my head. Are these people/groups that you have some doubt that they haven't deeply considered Obama's strengths, weaknesses and potential to great length before putting their endorsement on his campaign.

Think carefully. Do not be swayed by a fear-based history that actually has no basis of truth. Obama's history is not a mystery as your message indicated. He has received scholarships and achieved academic honors for his WORK and skill. Remember that when he was at Harvard Law School he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review - you can't BUY that position because of knowing some Syrian people, you earn it. That's why we revere the position.

Giving you names of people he roomed with in college and making their names sound like Habib or Washim, etc. is just trying to instill a hatred of a culture. You have been part of MANY cultures, Kathy. Many of them different from the mainstream, and many included people with bizarre names... Fro Bob, Snake, Speedball? Are you questionable because of THEIR names? C'mon, Kathy, your judgements can filter that baloney.

So what if he has a background in Pakistan or Syria (which is not true, by the way -- it's Kenya where his father was from and where he traveled -- do you also have a fear about Africa or just the Middle East), what matters is what he can do as a leader. Can he call on the wisdom and support of valued advisers? (Colin Powell, Warren Buffet) Does he understand the challenges of you and me? (single mother, grandparents helped raise him and his sister, worked his way through school) Does he have ambition to be great (he has survived 2 years of extreme scrutiny by every media organization and the Republican National Convention and yet is STILL without scandal)

The mystery you are sending out is trumped up out of fear, Kathy. Fear of strange names, fear of Muslims, fear of the Middle East, fear of someone who is educated and calm. As a country we say that we want our children to go to college and get the best possible education and yet when this man does, we decide he is now "elite" and that is somehow BAD? Aren't YOU trying to get a higher education? Does that make YOU elite?

Careful that you are using your whole soul to weigh what you hear. I trust that you can see beyond fear and hatred and prejudice and bigotry and find the person inside the color, the name and the background. If you had to hold your history up for all to see -- what would you be showing???

There's so much more that goes into making this decision than the stuff in the message below, such as who can protect your rights as a woman to choose, or how to make graceful diplomatic strides on a global level to correct the impression we now have in the international forum, and what steps to take with the environment and the economy and how to respond to health care issues. Who the person roomed with in college is hardly the kind of factor to use in your decision.

Vote wisely, Kathy.... I'm voting for Obama.

RyRy [Ryan Beattie]

The original message:
On Oct 17, 2008, at 12:03 PM, ....[removed for privacy] wrote:
-----Original Message-----
From: [removed for privacy]
Sent: Fri, 17 Oct 2008

Subject: FW: Did you know...wake up America

A growing number of Americans suspect that Barack Obama may not be who his handlers would like us to think he is.

Some folks say that we are being silly, even paranoid. Please take the time to read the following, before judging.

As a younger man I might have voted for Obama. Now I find myself watching all the news channels, jumping from one to another. I feel if you view MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News, you might get some middle ground to work with.

Something stinks, I can't put my finger on it but.something is not gut tells me be ware of this newcomer whose history remains a mystery. (sic)

About six months ago, I started thinking for myself. The first thing that made me curious.Where did Obama's money come from?

I went to College, we were middle class and money was tight. We (including my Father, Mother & Me) worked hard and there were lots of student loans.

I started looking into Obama's life; Around 1979 Obama started college at Occidental in California. He is very open about his two years at Occidental where he tried all kinds of drugs and wasted his time. Even though he had a brilliant mind he did not apply himself to his studies.

'Barry' (that was the name he used all his life) had two roommates during this time at Occidental, Muhammad Hassan Chandoo and Wahid Hamid, both from Pakistan.

During the summer of 1981, after his second year in college, he made a 'round the world' trip. Stopping to see his mother in Indonesia, next Hyderabad in India, three weeks in Karachi, Pakistan where he stayed with his roommate's family, then off to Africa to visit his father's family. My question. Where did he get the money for this trip? Most students who claim
to come from working class families would not have had money for a trip like this while they where failing out of college.

When he returned to the USA he started school at Columbia University in New York. It is at this time he requested everyone to call him Barack - not Barry. Do you know what the tuition is at Columbia? It's not cheap to say the least! Where did he get money for tuition? Student loans, maybe.

After Columbia, he went to Chicago to work as a Community Organizer for $12,000 a year, where by 'chance' he met Antoin 'Tony' Rezko.

Rezko, was born in Aleppo Syria, and is a real estate developer in Chicago. Rezko has been convicted of fraud and bribery. Rezko, has also been recognized as 'Entrepreneur of the Decade' by the Arab-American Business and Professional Association'

About two years later, Obama entered Harvard Law School. Do you have any idea what tuition is for Harvard Law School? Where did he get the money for Law School; more student loans or scholarships or does he owe someone?

After Law school, he went back to Chicago. Rezko offered him a job, which he turned down. But, he did take a job with the law firm of Davis-Miner-Barnhill & Galland. Guess what? They represented 'Rezar' which is Rezko's firm.

Rezko was one of Obama's first major financial contributors when he ran for office in Chicago. In 2003, Rezko threw an early fundraiser for Obama which Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendelland claims was instrumental in providing Obama with 'seed money' for his U.S. Senate race.

In 2005, Obama purchased a new home in Kenwood District of Chicago for $1.65 million (less than asking price), on the same day Rezko's wife, Rita, purchased the adjoining empty lot for full price. With all those Student Loans - Where did he get the money for the property?

The London Times reported that Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi-born billionaire loaned Rezko $3.5 million three weeks before Obama's new home was purchased. Coincidentally, Obama had met Nadhmi Auchi many times with Rezko; another coincidence?

Now, we have Obama running for President. Valerie Jarrett was Michele Obama's boss. She is now Obama's chief advisor and he does not make any major decisions without talking to her first. Where was Jarrett born? Are you ready for this.? Shiraz, Iran! Do we see a pattern here, or am I going crazy?

On May 10, 2008 the Times reported, Robert Malley close advisor to Obama was 'sacked' after the press found out he was having regular contacts with 'Hamas', which controls Gaza and is controlled by Iran.

This past week, buried in the back part of the papers, Iraqi newspapers reported that during Obama's visit to Iraq, he asked their leaders to do nothing about the war until after he is elected, and he will 'Take care of things'.

Oh, and by the way, remember the Occidental college roommates that where born in Pakistan? They are in charge of the Internet campaign contribution program which raised $200,000,000.00 for Obama. This is the largest amount ever raised by a candidate and all contributions were between $20 and $200.00. Now you tell me!!! Where is that money coming from? Was it the poor and middle class in this country, or could it have been from allies in the
Middle East who are interested in seeing Obama become the president?

One additional bit of news; On September 7, 2008, the Washington Times posted a verbal slip that was made on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Obama, while talking about his religion said, 'My Muslim faith'. When questioned, 'he claimed it was a mistake'. Some mistake!

Taking into consideration Obama's 20 year close pastoral association with the infamous racist Reverend Wright and the working relationship with admitted unrepentant "weatherman" terrorist William Ayers. I can only attribute these as gross errors in judgment which obviously disqualify him as a suitable candidate to guide my country, protect my children and assure
our future. This dude scares the hell out of me.

Wake-up backs are hell. (sic)

All of the above information was researched on line.
If you would like to check it - Wikipedia, encyclopedia, Barack Obama