Archive for March, 2008

Reality Check

March 16, 2008

Senator Obama reminds us of what this campaign is about:

Hat tip to Yalin.

And annatopia brings the funny.

It’s Primary Day

March 4, 2008

Go vote, then go caucus. And if any HRC supporters give you lip, lay down some smack.

That’s my name, don’t wear it out.

March 1, 2008

Over at Informed Comment, Juan Cole breaks it down:

I want to say something about Barack Hussein Obama’s name. It is a name to be proud of. It is an American name. It is a blessed name. It is a heroic name, as heroic and American in its own way as the name of General Omar Nelson Bradley or the name of Benjamin Franklin. And denigrating that name is a form of racial and religious bigotry of the most vile and debased sort. It is a prejudice against names deriving from Semitic languages!

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Barack is a Semitic word meaning “to bless” as a verb or “blessing” as a noun. In its Hebrew form, barak, it is found all through the Bible. It first occurs in Genesis 1:22: “And God blessed (ḇāreḵə ) them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.”

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The other thing to say about grandfathers named Hussein is that very large numbers of African-Americans probably have an ancestor ten or eleven generations ago with that name, in what is now Mali or Senegal or Nigeria. And, since so many thousands of Arab Muslims were made to convert to Catholicism in Spain after 1501, many Latinos have distant ancestors named Hussein, too. In fact, since there was a lot of Arab-Spanish intermarriage, and since there was subsequent Spanish intermarriage with other European Catholics, more European Americans are descended from a Hussein than they realize. The British royal family is quite forthright about the Arab line in their ancestry going back to Andalusia.

The whole post is worth a read. Very interesting little bit of history. I might have Arab ancestors also since I am half Croatian, and the Ottomans at one time conquered most of the Arab world and a good chunk of the Slavic one as well.